Letters from Paul

December 26, 2013

Persecution in America . . . really?

Recently, a friend of mine brought a particular blog to my attention.  She asked for my opinion and I thought I would share them here.  I know there is a show entitled, “Dog with a blog.”  I guess this would be “blogging on a blog.”

The original blog dealt with the issue of persecution.  The title:  “Real vs. Fake Christian Persecution: how you can spot the difference.” I WOULD REQUEST – Please read the original blog before reading my thoughts. The blog was originally written in July 2013, but with all the recent events including but not limited to Phil Robertson and all the controversies over “The war on Christmas,” nativity scenes, etc . . . I thought this was appropriate.  I look forward to your comments.

Here is the link to the original blog by Benjamin Corey – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/real-v-fake-persecution/

Dear ________,

I read the blog that you referenced and I appreciate your inquiry concerning my opinion.  My first thought as I read was that it was awfully harsh.  If one wants to compare the persecution experienced by Christians in let’s say . . . Saudi Arabia verses the United States – done.  We experience nothing like those living in a Muslim state.  We are not losing our families, being imprisoned, or put to death, but that does not mean that Americans do not experience REAL persecution.

When you look at the gospels for instance, would anyone suggest that Christ was ONLY persecuted when he was physically manhandled?  Because if so . . . the persecution he received was in reality, very little in comparison to not only is life, but his ministry years.  For instance, Jesus lived approximately 33 years; and yet, his capture, torture, and eventual execution lasted only about 24 hours.  I am aware that at other times others sought to do Jesus physical harm.
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April 2, 2013

Which side of the Line? “Culture” or “The Lord”

Last week, I blogged for the first time in a long while.  You might have noticed that I stayed away from the “homosexual marriage” firestorm that was everywhere, but the temptation to get involved in the debate was tempting.  OK, I admit.  I fell for it once on Facebook.  My comments were not well received nor was the outcome what I hoped for.  I realize that for me and my family, the day is quickly approaching that I will be labeled a bigot and a homophobe because I follow the Word of God.  These labels will come even from those I once served.

It is difficult, I believe, for Christians to communicate to the world that . . . well . . . we do not have a choice in the matter of homosexuality.  If Jesus is my Lord, then he is the Lord.  That word, “Lord,” means something.  Even as I sit here and type, my heart is heavy.  I don’t desire the conflict, but I simply do not have the authority to move on this issue.  My Lord God (and yes – Jesus Christ) has proclaimed that homosexuality is a sin.  That is the Word, plain and simple.  God’s Word declares this to be true in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.  It will not surprise me if one of the first comments to this blog accuses me of being a “sheeple.”  If you are unaware of this term, the accusation is that I am a mindless animal who just follows . . . unable to think for myself.  It’s a “strawman” argument to label Christians sheeple simply because we follow the Lord and his authority.  I know the media likes to label Christians as uneducated and ignorant, and yet; in my church there are engineers, lawyers, healthcare providers, computer programmers, etc. . . not exactly people who do not think for themselves.  I guess I would ask the question, “Why is there such a mass conversion on this issue in only 10 years?  Why is it that so many are willing to follow this movement without thought . . . without consideration of the consequences . . . without any information?” (I will deal with that soon)  Why are many following because of emotion rather than logic?  Isn’t that the definition of “sheeple?”

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March 27, 2013

Is The Bible Pointless?

I remember growing up and learning about the Armor of God.  You know that passage in Ephesians where we are told to “take up the whole Armor of God.”  This battle uniform is described as having the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of readiness given by the gospel, and of course the shield of faith.  All of these things are given in order that we might be protected, not from earthy foes, but from attacks beyond the physical realm.  Oh yes, there is one more item . . . not meant for defense, but rather offense . . . that being the sword, The Word of God.  As a child, I always thought it was weird to talk about the Bible, a book, as a sword.  The Bible was small and short, blunt, and made up of a bunch of paper, whereas a sword was long, sharp, and made of steel.  Of course, now that I am older, I understand the symbolism.  However, I am not sure others who claim the faith of Christianity fully grasp the power scripture has as their only weapon against “this present darkness.”  This has so stirred me that I am back at my blog after a long hiatus.  Let me share with you two examples.

A new miniseries, The Bible, has recently debuted on the History Channel.  I was interested to see, and truly hoping, that it would be true to scripture.  I was also curious if it would be appropriate for my children to watch.  Oh, I was pretty sure there would not be too much violence or even foul language. But would it give my children an accurate picture of God?  Well, it didn’t take long for me to learn that the The Bible used the Bible as reference material, but most certainly did not use it as THE source.  Now let me be clear.  When someone decides to tell the Bible in a short amount of time they MUST choose what to include and what to exclude and no two people would agree entirely on the other’s choices.  So I am not here to criticize why one particular event was omitted and another included.  Secondly, I am not here to talk about the acting or the special effects.  What I am critical of is this: the blatant and intentional ignoring of scripture or just the plain ignorance of scripture when presenting THE BIBLE.

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August 8, 2012

No Compartments

For those who frequent this blog, you might be thinking that I only have one tune to play, so to speak.  The fact is that I don’t create current events, I just comment on them.

During all the media coverage of the tragedy in Colorado and the excitement of the Olympics, the Democrats made it official: “Equality in Marriage” will now be a part of their platform.  That is a big move at this stage of the game. Also notice how they have worded the issue.  Isn’t their strategy interesting?  I wonder how much time and energy was invested to avoid using the phrase “homosexual marriage.”   I mean come on . . . isn’t the term “Equality in Marriage” nothing more than “a spoonful of sugar?”

At the same time that this was occurring, gay activists took their fight to the doors of Chick-fil-As across the nation regarding another issue.  Ah yes, the media hype and the media slant on that event dubbed a “kiss-in” was something to behold.  The local media was most interesting here in Houston.  One reporter reported that “it was a response to the National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”  Of course you know me . . . I wrote to the station.  That report was not exactly accurate.  Let me help you out if you are unaware of the timeline.

  • July 16 – The Baptist Press releases the comments by Dan Cathy
  • July 19 – Carly McGehee (according to the Huffington Post had been planning for months to do a kiss-in at Chick-fil-A but just needed a catalyst) announced the “kiss-in”
  • July 20 – Boston Mayor says that Chick-fil-A is not welcome
  • July 24 – Mike Huckabee calls for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day continue reading more…

April 29, 2012

Things NOT better yet!

Let me begin this latest blog by apologizing to the three people who actually read this blog.  I have been swamped with being a father, husband, pastor, and student, so my blog has taken a back seat.  I don’t think anything is going to slow down in the near future, but I had a moment to write, so here it goes.

I am sure all here are familiar with the term, “Bully Pulpit.”  Believe it or not, the term originally had nothing to do with a “pulpit” or a “bully.”  The term was coined by Theodore Roosevelt and it actually had a positive meaning.  That was news to me, because I am sure you know the term as I do.  We talk about a “Bully Pulpit” when someone misuses a position of authority in order to intimidate others.

Although this is tactic is used all the time, I believe this particular incident upon which I am blogging is really quite different for two reasons.

  1. The Bully Pulpit was utilized by a man who stated he was adamantly against bullying.
  2. I wrote about this being the case almost one year ago to the date. continue reading more…