Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CPR, and bad memories

It is amazing how things in our past can affect us years later, and even hold is in a grip of fear. I am experiencing that. Tomorrow I have to do something at work that I don't want to do, and that I am dreading: I have to be trained for CPR.

 I'm not sure why. After all, I work in a hospital where I am surrounded by medical personnel, and am close to the Emergency Room. But the powers that be want everyone who does the job I do to have CPR training. No problem, right?

 Wrong. I am worried and dreading it. Why you ask? Well, it is kind of silly.

 Way back several years ago when I was in 8th or 9th grade, some EMTs came to the Christian school I attended to train everyone in junior high and high school in CPR. There we were, all in one room. I can't remember much about it, but I know when I stepped up to perform CPR on the dummy, a couple of kids started making fun of the way I was doing it. I can't remember what I did wrong, nor what they said. I do remember what happened next: I ran. I fled the room, ran down the hall, and hid in the boy's bathroom.

 You see, I was the kid everyone made fun of and bullied. I should have just stuck it out and tried harder, but I didn't.

 One of the EMTs was a woman, and I remember at least she coming into the bathroom to try to talk me into going back and trying. I know she wasn't alone, so there may have been 2 EMTs trying to talk me into it...... and I refused. There was nothing they could say that could talk me into walking back into that room in front of all of those kids, and trying again.

 And now, 30 + years later, I have to do that. I have to listen to the training again, and again perform CPR on a dummy in front of at least a few people. I'm not that 13 or 14 year old kid anymore, but I still have the same feelings of failure and poor self worth.

 I, Mark Buzard, am scared to take CPR at the age of 47. It sounds pathetic. And it is pathetic that a bad memory has me tied up in knots so much

 So if you're reading this, say a prayer for me tomorrow, March 22. Pray I can get this out of my mind, and successfully complete this CPR training. Maybe that will help me get past what happened so many years ago.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A tale of two young men, and two different paths

 **Names have been changed.


    I saw something on Facebook last night that made me sad. A young lady I am friends with had changed back to her maiden name. She was no longer "Shayla Brown", but was now "Shayla King". I knew what that meant. She and her young husband had divorced. I looked up his Facebook profile, and was further saddened by what I saw there.

   Shayla joined the Hope For Wholeness Facebook group a couple of years ago. HFW is a ministry for people with unwanted same-sex attractions. She didn't join because she was attracted to the same sex. She joined because her young husband of less than a year, "Sean",  had asked permission of her to experiment sexually with other guys. He was gay, and wanted to forsake his wedding vows so he could fulfill his sexual desires with other men.

 I prayed faithfully for this young couple for months. She disappeared from Facebook for a while, and then I found out from a mutual friend that Sean decided he didn't need his wife's permission, and had started having sex with random guys. He'd cry and apologize, and then go out and do it again.

 Last night, as I looked at his Facebook profile, my heart broke. He has dove head first into the gay lifestyle. There are pictures of him at gay pride events, all kinds of pro-gay posts such as ones claiming two lesbians do a better job of raising kids than a mother and father..... and more.

 Sean is a very nice-looking young man, and I know what it is like. Him being around gay guys is like waving red meat in front of ravenous wolves. As he tries to find fulfillment and happiness with other guys, he will be used over and over by other guys trying to find fulfillment in multiple sexual hook-ups with him and other guys. He won't find happiness and fulfillment, and has embarked on a dangerous path. The health and mental risks are much higher in active gay men than heterosexual males.... and the end of that path will be an eternity in hell if he does not repent.

 I've been thinking. How long has it been since I prayed for Shayla and Sean. True, I have never met either of them, and have never interacted with him at all. And true, me praying for them doesn't guarantee any different outcome..... but what if it did?


   And then there is "Michael", whom I have met and heard his testimony. He may not mind me using his real name, but since I made the above couple anonymous, I may as well stay with that. Micheal is close to the same age as Sean, though possibly  a year or two younger at age 20. Michael also is attracted to the same sex, and I believe he chose to give into those attractions and desires for a brief time. Since then, he has given his life to God and is living the very difficult life of a young man attracted to the same sex, but living for God instead of his desires.

  It isn't easy. I can attest to that, It also gets easier, in some ways. At my age, there is the loneliness factor, and the fact that guys my age are married with kids..... and then there is me. But it is still easier at my age than Michael's.

  I don't think people get how difficult it is to have same-sex attractions, and live for God instead of giving in. It is far more difficult than I can explain. And for a young man of Michael's age with the hormones and sex drive of that age......you truly have no idea how difficult it is for him to serve God and remain pure and celibate.

 Sure, he may be able to marry a woman at some point, but there is no guarantee. What does the church have to offer him? A pat on the back now and then? The struggle is real, and at times is more than we can bear.

   Sean nor Michael asked for this. It is not a choice. Neither they nor I woke up one morning and thought "I think I am going to be attracted to the same sex!" No, that isn't how it goes. No one knows for sure what causes it, though I have heard some credible ideas and I can see some of them in my own life.

 We need to be there for the Seans and Michaels of the world..... and yes,  the Marks also. All Christians need each other, but this is something in a class pretty much by itself. There is no God-approved way of someone with same-sex attraction to fill their sexual desires and attractions. Many today are trying to claim that God is OK with loving relationships between two people of the same sex, but they are wrong.

 Imagine being 20 years old, and it is wrong to be attracted to the opposite sex, to marry them, to have a loving relationship with them...... that is our reality every day with the same sex.

 My heart breaks for Shayla and Sean, and for Michael...though in a different way. I know what Michael is going through. I know the struggle and the difficulty of living for God and not always getting the support you need. I pray for Michael, but am resolving to pray more and harder. I believe this is a young man God can use if he continues to follow Him.

 In closing, this: A while back, over a year ago, Sean agreed to meet Michael. They live fairly close to each other, and Shayla got her husband to agree to meet Michael. Sean hadn't started down the wrong path yet. We prayed for that meeting, that God would give Michael the words to say, that Sean would listen and turn to God.

  Sadly, the meeting didn't seem to do any good..... but who knows the seeds that may have been planted that day as Michael shared his testimony of deliverance from homosexuality and showed Sean what his life could be like.

 This life is so fleeting, and we all so easily forget that we aren't living for this life. When Sean stands before God some day, he will wish he had followed God instead of his sexual desires, as he hears those dreaded words "depart from me." I hope and pray he finds God and follows Him before that day happens.

 But for Michael and all others who served God instead of living for our sinful desires here on earth, we will hear those words "well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord".

 I want to hear those words, and I want Sean and Michael to hear those words. Say a pray for these two young men dealing with the same struggle, but in two very different ways. One is on the right path, so pray he remains on it and God gives him the strength he needs daily. The other is on a very wrong path. Pray he finds his way to God before it is too late.

 And if you know of anyone else dealing with this very tough struggle, pray for them, and reach out in love.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March musings

  Blogging has been rough lately. I only blogged 3 times in February, and March isn't looking much better. I haven't had much to say that isn't political, and no one wants to hear my political thoughts since I'm not for the man in the White House.....plus my depression/anxiety have been really bad lately, which interferes majorly with a lot in life, including my writing.,..... it has also made me more anti-social.  But even with those issues, I still have had things bouncing around in my brain, so here they are:


 If they can come up with something that kills 99.99% of germs, why not come up with something that kills 100%? Want to impress me with your product, Lysol, make your product kill 100% of germs...

House buying

I am seriously tired of and discouraged with the house buying venture...... I am starting to wonder if I'm even supposed to buy a house of my own.


  The Trump/GOP healthcare plan sounds a lot like Obamacare. So much for that full and complete repeal......

Feel-good Christianity

  Whether it be The Shack, Jesus Calling, or anything else that may not be up to Bibical standards, as long as it makes people feel good, or they receive help - or perceived help, no one seems to care anymore about things or people agreeing with the Bible. Instead of calling out false teachers, we buy their books and other media, and defend them against accusations that they are wrong.

 Lies We Believe About God

   William Paul Young, the author of The Shack, has written a non-fiction book titled "Lies We Believe About God". In it, he takes the same beliefs he put in The Shack and brings them more blatantly out and says we have believed lies. His beliefs: universalism - everyone is going to Heaven, that there is more than one way to God, that no one goes to hell.... among other false teachings and heresies...and yet Christians are raving about his book and movie.

Transgender God

 Speaking of The Shack,  there is a transgender pastor who is claiming that God is transgender. Maybe he got the idea from reading The Shack........ am I really the only one who considers it beyond bizarre that the god of The Shack is a woman who wants to be called "Papa"? Maybe the god of The Shack IS transgender.


 I have been somewhat surprised at my job to discover there are actually people afraid to ride elevators. Often they ask for someone to ride it with them, and others they want the stairs. The one that surprised me the most was a  young man in his early 20's who asked for the stairs so he wouldn't have to ride the elevator.

St Patrick's Day

 I don't really get St Patrick's Day.....people wish you a Happy St Patrick's Day, but how does one have a happy St Patrick's Day? The closest I came to doing anything to commemorate the day was sitting in a restaurant that was playing Irish music and was decorated for the holiday.

The Facebook store

  I hate it when people are constantly using Facebook to try to sell some product. The constant posts are not going to get me to try a product.... it will just cause me to keep scrolling.

Fully Alive

  Way back in 1983, The Bill Gaither Trio recorded what I consider to be one of their best albums, Fully Alive. I consider Welcome Back Home the best one they recorded. Unfortunately, Fully Alive was never released on CD (the other one was). Other than 2 songs from Fully Alive, I have not heard  the rest of that album for 20-some years....until recently. Bless the man who put the whole album on YouTube. I am again able to enjoy that album.

Making God our puppet

 There is a danger with the onset of books like The Shack, Jesus Calling, and others. In such books, the author makes God say what the author wants Him (or her, as in The Shack) say. The danger is when people read those books and think that is really what God is like and is saying.

Liberals and the Bible

 It still amazes me how liberals will use the Bible to try to further their agenda on things such as welfare, illegal immigrants, and refugees.....yet ignore it when it condemns homosexuality and abortion.

 I wonder if these Christians who are liberals realize how hard liberals fight against religious freedoms, and that liberals will be the ones to outlaw Christianity..... if it ever happens in our country.

Donald Trump

 I still cannot stand the man - and it isn't stubbornness or pride on my part, as some have claimed.  I haven't forgotten how he treated people,  what he has done, and what kind of man he is..... and I am weary of people acting like you are un-American or un-Christian if you oppose him. That is liberal ideology.

 And though I don't like liberals either, I feel Trump deserves every attack he gets by liberals. Maybe if he had acted like a decent human being, I might drum up some sympathy for him. Maybe.

 I still believe the man will be impeached before the end of his term, but I could be wrong.


 I seriously cannot wait til winter is over. Yeah, I know it hasn't been a bad one, but I still don't like it. Everything is more dreary and grey. It is still cold and we still have snow..... and it has been proven that people are more depressed  in the winter..... something I can attest to.


  My stack of books to read is getting out of hand. Unfortunately, one thing my depression/anxiety affects is my reading. There are times I have to practically force myself to read.

Family Christian Stores

 I am sad that Family Christian Stores are closing. I don't really enjoy shopping at the only other Christian Bookstore in the area, the one I worked at for 5 years. I will probably shop more on Amazon and Christian Book Distributors, but I'll miss browsing in a Christian bookstore. On line shopping is no replacement for that.

 There are a lot of opinions why they are closing....... I have wondered a little if their being open on Sundays played into it. I have long believed God honors businesses that close on the Sabbath. Maybe that had nothing to do with it, but it is as good of a theory as some I have read.


 Our family vacation is fast approaching - the end of May - and I still haven't lost any of the weight I want to lose before vacation. Not sure that is going to happen. Sadly my appetite is not affected by depression, unless it is to eat more.

Used stores

 People who don't shop at used stores are really missing out. Not only have I got a lot of nice clothing at these stores, I have also picked up some great CDs and DVDs for a cheap price at these stores.

Bible versions

 Speaking of missing out: I believe that people who only use the KJV are missing out. I enjoy reading from multiple versions. The people who bug me the worst are the ones who practically worship the KJV and are constantly putting down other versions and those who use them.


 I get why Calvinists like the part of their doctrine that says that once we become Christians, there is no way we will ever not be Christians and miss Heaven. However, I cannot understand why they want to believe God picks and chooses people to send to hell without ever offering them a chance to serve Him. I would think that kind of God would be hard to tell people about. How can they say God loves everyone? And why defend that belief so fervently?

Girl Scout cookies

  I personally never plan on buying Girl Scout cookies again. If you look at the organizations they support, they are all liberal, pro-gay, and pro-baby killing organizations. Besides, the cookies are way too expensive.

Church addition

  My church is spending a lot of money to make the church bigger..... but I am not sure we need that. Churches are growing smaller and dying all around us. We have no assurance that in the future we will need even the space we have now. But no one ever asks my opinion....... I am just there to warm a pew :)

Eating at a bar

 Today I sat and ate at a bar. I went to one of my favorite restaurants, O'Charley's, for lunch. They had some deal that if you sat at the bar, you got free soft drinks. I was going to order water, but I was happy to sit at the bar for free pop..... and I was the only person sitting there, and one of two groups of people in the whole restaurant. They had some great Irish music playing that was mostly instrumental, and it really added to the ambiance of my dining experience.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Would Jesus boycott Beauty and the Beast because of a gay moment?

   Sometimes you can tell the slant of an article by the title of it.... and this one was obvious: "Would Jesus boycott Beauty and the Beast because of a 'gay moment'?" The writer believes that there is no way Jesus would  boycott "Beauty" because of the gay moment.

   There have been a lot of posts about this controversy. There are people and organizations calling for a boycott, and people knocking boycotts and saying it isn't that bad, some are even saying that you should just let your kids go see it and educate them.

 But would Jesus boycott it?

   It amazes me how so many people know exactly what Jesus would do in these cases... and what a surprise that He would do the thing they agree with. The article writer has no issue with the gay moment and is against a boycott, so of course he is going to say Jesus would not boycott it. It's funny how that works....Jesus always agreeing with us and doing what we would do, or not doing what we would not do.

   Here is a better question: would Jesus watch anything for entertainment that glorified or painted in a good way a sin that He died for? Seriously.... would He? He went through the agony of the cross, suffered, and died for the sin of homosexuality (and all sin). Can you imagine Him being entertained by something portraying that sin in a positive light?

 Or any sin.

   Evangelical Christians tend to pick and choose what to be outraged by and what to stand against. Back a few years, a movie released in theaters called "Brokeback Mountain", a story of two men having a gay relationship. Christians were horrified and boycotts were called against theaters that showed it. Yet the same churches never called for boycotts against movies, or theaters that showed movies with heterosexual immorality in. I don't think any even called for boycotts of theaters that show the porn lite 50 Shades of Grey movies. But a gay cowboy movie.....of course we need to boycott that and take a stand.

 We condemn Democrats for immorality and other wrongs, yet have no problem when our party's candidate does the same and worse.

  We watch all kinds of immorality and sin on TV, but are outraged when a pro-gay company puts a gay moment in a movie.

 Selective morality. Selective outrage.

 Is it any wonder the world does not take Christians seriously?

    At the risk of sounding like those whose Jesus agrees with them and would do everything they do, let me give you a pearl of wisdom: I don't believe Jesus would watch Beauty and the Beast, and not because of the gay moment (though I hold with what I said earlier) -  I don't believe He would waste time on the entertainment Hollywood throws our way. Be honest: If the three persons of the Trinity would appear in bodily form, how many of our TV shows and movies would we still watch? How comfortable would we be if the Trinity sat in on our viewing of the shows and movies we watch? Would we cringe? Would we be  embarrassed? Would we want to fast forward through some parts?

  We tend to be too earthly minded, and too addicted to the god of entertainment. We will defend watching movies like the Shack, ignoring the many reasons we shouldn't. We will watch shows glorifying all sorts of sin and will defend our watching it. But have we so capitulated and bowed to the gods of this earth, that we honestly believe we MUST watch anything?

No, we don't have to watch the Superbowl

No, we don't have to watch Game of Thrones

No, we don't have to watch the newest vampire movie or TV show

No, we don't have to watch the newest Disney movie.

No, we don't have to watch the newest superhero movie.

  I have my things I like to watch, but really...... I don't need to watch them. I like to think I am careful in what I view, but am I careful enough? Would Jesus watch what I watch, if He watched anything?

  I am convinced TV/Hollywood has helped America become more godless and immoral. I am also convinced it has helped us become used to and more accepting of things we wouldn't normally be. We have gotten used to immorality and profanity. Homosexuality is the newest frontier, and they have been putting gay characters in wherever they can. Is anyone who has been paying attention truly shocked that Disney would put a "gay moment" in a movie geared for kids? Liberals and Hollywood have long been trying to indoctrinate kids that "gay is OK". It was just a matter of time til they tried it in a Disney movie.

  Back to Jesus. The TV show and movie that doesn't glorify sin in some way, or is not profanity-filled is rare. I don't care if it is Beauty and the Beast or The Dukes of Hazzard (the only sinful thing I remember about that was Daisy Duke's too short shorts.....)...... I don't think an argument can seriously be made for the Son of God to watch anything that glorifies sin.

   There is one thing you can count on: Jesus would be consistent. He wouldn't watch and be entertained by something that glorifies heterosexual immorality, then be outraged by a gay moment in a movie.

 So would Jesus boycott Beauty and the Beast? I believe He would boycott any form of entertainment that portrayed any sin in a positive light......including much of what evangelical Christians watch, listen to, and read.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What is it like? Part 1: background

  **Warning: This post is going to be very personal, and I will discuss some things some Christians may be uncomfortable about. However, doing this post has been on my mind lately. This whole gay/homosexuality issue is something the church has gotten wrong for so long, and it seems many Christians really have no clue about it, how to deal with it, and how to react. I hope this post will help those who bravely read on after this warning, and that you will get a better understanding of people dealing with this issue.

Some background:

  The year was 1990. I was in my first semester as a junior in Bible college. In one of the classes I was in, Christian Ethics, we had to write a paper on some major issue of the day. I picked the Occult, and went to run it by my teacher, as we had to do. She said no. She told me that she had seen people get sucked into that just by studying it for good reasons, and asked me to come up with another one. I thought briefly, and asked if I could do it on homosexuality. She said that was fine, and she knew she had nothing to worry about with that one.

 I found some books on the issue written from a Christian viewpoint. As I started reading, studying, and writing down things to use in my paper, it hit me. I can still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach, and the horrified feeling as I realized "this is me". What I was reading described me. At the age of 21, I realized I was attracted to guys, not females.

  I was a naive kid. I grew up without a TV after the age of 12, attended a Christian school, and had no friends. I read a lot and kept to myself. I was picked on and bullied a lot at school, thought no one liked me, and tried to avoid other boys. I barely knew what homosexuality was. I barely knew what sex was. I always felt comfortable around girls, never realizing there was no attraction there, but a buddy type feeling that made me feel at ease around them.

 Boys were the mystery, the enemy, and I was afraid of them.

 I dated when I went to Bible college because it was the thing to do. Physical touch was discouraged there, so I never thought about why I didn't want to hold hands to kiss either of the girls I dated. Dating made me feel I was trapped, and it never lasted long.

 And now here I sat with the realization I was attracted to guys. Suddenly, a lot of things made sense to me.

Why boys seemed so opposite to me

Why girls seemed like buddies to me

Why when I saw a romance novel with a shirtless guy and a barely dressed woman, my eyes went to the guy

Why my eyes were always drawn to nice looking guys, and not pretty girls.

  I looked back over my teen years and realized these feelings had been going on for a long time, but I had not had a clue what they were.

Now I did.

I was going to hell.

  Seriously, I thought that. The Bible says that homosexuals were going to spend an eternity in hell. I knew the verses.

  I broke up with my girlfriend immediately, and went through the rest of the year in a bit of a daze. I needed help, but who to tell? I was living in a boys dorm on a very conservative Bible college. If I told anyone, it would mean getting kicked out of college.... even though I had done nothing.

 I made it through that semester and the two semesters of the following year, carefully guarding my secret, listening as the other boys made jokes about gay people, and made fun of them.

Telling someone

   The summer after I graduated, I finally did it. I wrote a letter to a friend from college who lived several states away. I had been a loner even in college, but he was one guy I had hung out with some. I can't remember how I worded it, but I beat so far around the bush that I am still amazed that he read between the lines and figured out what I was talking about. He sent a letter back, and assured me that I was not going to hell for having these attractions/feelings. We wrote back and forth for a few years, and for a long time, he was the only person who knew. I messaged him a few months ago and thanked him for all he did and said all those years ago. It helped more than he will ever know.

 Those days are long past. I really never dreamed that some day I would be admitting my struggle on a public blog....... well, I never dreamed we'd have something like the internet back then either..... but I seriously thought this would be something I'd hide for the rest of my life.

  Eventually I did start telling more people. I told my pastor, and eventually if anyone pressed hard enough on why I wouldn't date, I'd tell them. For the most part, the reactions were good. Either people weren't bothered by it as I had originally feared, or they covered it well.

 So what IS it like to be attracted to the same sex, and have to deal with that on a daily basis? If you're still reading, I will discuss it more in my next blog post, so as to not make this one too long.

Heresy hunters

   A young friend of mine did a sarcastic post on Facebook suggesting a new TV show called "Heresy Hunters." He has evidently seen too many accusations of heresy, and did this post as a result. (I think largely because of the posts against The Shack book and movie.) And nothing against him. I think a lot of him, and he is a great encouragement and inspiration to me.

   But the fact remains there is heresy and false teachings today in 2017. When the last page of the Bible was written, heresy and false teaching didn't suddenly disappear. There are a lot of warnings against false teachings in the New Testament, yet we modern day Christians just swallow everything that comes our way, never questioning it, and giving people a hard time who do. As long as it has the Christian label attached and the local Christian bookstore sells it, we jump on it.

 The Shack novel/movie is a great example. The book is fictional, but has several false teachings which are considered heresy my many. Yet, countless Christians rave about the book and urge their friends to read it, or watch the movie. They take offense at accusations of heresy in the book, and refuse to acknowledge it may not be a book Christians should read.

 Walk into any Christian bookstore, and you'll see books by people who are teaching and preaching things contrary to the Bible. You don't have to look far. But it would seem as long as that person says enough that is Biblical and makes people feel good, we overlook the parts that don't line up with the Bible.

 And that is where heresy/false teachings come in: when something doesn't line up with Scripture. It doesn't matter if Rob Bell,  Joyce Meyer, William Paul Young, Joseph Prince, Benny Hinn, your pastor or mine,  or Billy Graham said it. If it doesn't line up with Scripture, it is false teaching.

 We do have to be careful not to accuse people of heresy for things we may see differently that may not be in black and white in the Bible, and different churches may consider different things heresy.

Walk into a Calvinist church and tell them they are wrong on  that "once saved always saved" and predestination, and you may be labeled a heretic.

Go into a Catholic church and tell them infant baptism confessing to a priest, and making too much of Mary is wrong. You will be labeled a  heretic most likely.

Go into my church and suggest that we bring a drum into the church, and you will be labeled a heretic. (just kidding...... maybe)

Try telling a charismatic church they are wrong on that speaking in tongues thing, and you may get called a heretic.

  Back when the church ruled everything, people were labeled heretics for doing or saying anything the church disagreed or disapproved of. William Tyndale was a heretic for making his translation of the Bible. Many good people were burned at the stake for being heretics, simply because the church didn't like what they were saying and doing.

 So one does need to be careful, but we have gone too far the other way. If you dare suggest someone is teaching or preaching something false, you will be met with resistance. A few years ago I did a post about a popular preacher and his wife and dared suggest that he preaches a false Gospel. (I still believe he does). I had one man on Facebook delete me as a friend because "I attacked the body". I received a couple of other negative comments also.

 Here is a question to consider: how much of someone's teaching has to be false, for them to be considered a false teacher? Well, how much poison would have to be in your food for you to consider it inedible?

 It is said a few times in the Bible that a little leaven leavens the whole loaf. That means a little false teaching within a lot of good teaching makes it all bad.

 Nothing supersedes  the Bible. If someone is saying things contrary to the Bible, they are guilty of false teaching and possibly heresy. And we all need better discernment to see it when it happens. But discernment seems to be lacking today among we 2017 Christians.

 Here are some real life heretics:

Rob Bell. This man wrote a book and insisted in it that God loves people too much to send anyone to hell, and everyone will go to Heaven in the end. (Something also taught in The Shack).

John Pavolvitz. I personally tangled with this man several times in a Facebook group. He teaches that God is OK with homosexuality - in fact He blesses people doing it - and that the Bible is not divinely inspired, among other things.

William Paul Young. In his popular book The Shack, he gives several ideas that are contrary to the Bible.

  And there are more. The most dangerous thing about these people and others, is they say enough good that Christians overlook the bad. It seems if a book or preacher makes them feel good, they will overlook the false teachings and defend them with all that is in them.

 If Jesus and Paul were here on earth today, I believe 100% they would be calling out many of these people that Christians are following so easily and faithfully. I also believe they'd be shouted down and called names for daring to call these people out. It isn't popular to point out false teaching. I don't know all of the reasons, but it is sad that with all of the warnings against false teachings that are in the Bible, no Christian today wants to acknowledge that any exist, and they are definitely not receptive to them being pointed out.

 We do have false teachers today in 2017, and it is time we stop following them and recognize them for what they are. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Michelle Obama, George W Bush, and Christianity

  Did you know there are exceptions to a lot of what the Bible says? Things like:

Loving your enemies

Turning the other cheek

Showing mercy and grace

And more.

   When do these exceptions apply? In politics. When it comes to politics, you can toss out everything the Bible says. All that matters is defeating the other party. Anything is on the table: slander, character assassination, lies... you name it. Oh, Christians may not always do all of those, but they have no problem with it if their candidate or favorite news source uses those tactics and it makes the other party or candidate look bad.

    I have a unique prospective on this, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff lately. For the first time in my life, I felt I could not vote for the person who won the GOP nomination. As a Christian, I felt there was no way I could vote for a man such as Donald Trump. I had paid attention to how he acted - still acts - and the things he said and done. I took a stance early on that as a Christian, I could not vote for him. The applause, accolades, and admiration I received from other Christians overwhelmed me.

    Just kidding.....no, I was urged to vote for him anyway. People in my own church tried to say I was for Hillary if I didn't vote for him. They didn't come out and say it, but the idea was there: defeating Hillary was more important than doing the right thing - politics is more important than Christianity. I'll admit the more pressure I got and the more nastiness I got from those firmly in Trump's camp, the angrier I got. I wish I had just backed off, kept my convictions to myself, and voted third party quietly...... but it brought out the outspokenness in me, and I fought back as good as I got.... or almost as good.

   Something happened today that showed me how pathetic we American Christians are, and how we have been sucked into this political fray and have become totally un-Christ-like. A good friend of mine posted this, and nothing against her for posting it: "George W. Bush Breaks Down His Affection for Michelle Obama: ‘We Just Took to Each Other’. Hummm....."

  What got my attention were the comments. "What a RINO" "I'm disappointed in him", and other similar comments. Put aside politics, if you can, and read what she posted again through the lens of the Bible. Forget the political parties and politics of Bush and Michelle. A former president said something nice about the wife of another former president. What is wrong with that? (It isn't like he said she'd make a great president.........) Had he said that about the wife of a former Republican (are there any surviving ones other than his own mother?), no Republican would have had an issue with it..... but since it was Michelle Obama, suddenly he is a RINO and a horrible person.......

  "But she said, she did, her husband did......" So what? Have we become so hate-filled for the opposite political party that we have no decency or Christianity when it comes to anything to do with them?

     I don't say this lightly, and I am as guilty as the next person...... it has just become more noticeable since I haven't caved into supporting Donald Trump in any way: No matter how good of a Christian we are, we are fine with a candidate being put down, called nasty names. shredded, slandered, having their character assassinated...... unless we voted for, or are going to vote for that candidate.

  The same people who had no issue with the harsh things I had to say about Obama have major issues with me saying them about Donald Trump.....because they voted for him, and he has an "R" by his name. Had he run as a Democrat and they had voted for someone else, they wouldn't care what I said about him.

 But poor Hillary.....no one cares what you say about her. She is an evil woman who helped get good men killed, and who has done only God knows what else. She is fair game. People will "like" insulting things you say about her.

 And the list goes on: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the Obamas, Rosie O'Donell, and on and on. As long as the politician is from the opposite party that we are of, they are fair game.

   Of course I get it that these politicians need fought, and that when they are running for an office that the truth needs to be brought out so we know what kind of person we are voting for...... but must it be done in the way it has been done, and must we Christians jump on the bandwagon and do the same?

    If a person of logic thought on these things, they may conclude that politics, our freedoms, and our "rights" are too important to us. They may even conclude that these things are more important to us than the things of God and of being and doing what Jesus wants.  We have basically made politics into a god.

   I get it. We want to be free. We don't want liberal policies and ideologies crush us and forcing us to do things we believe is wrong. We don't want evil and sin to reign, and it seems that the Democratic party wants that.

   This is not an anti-Trump post, but the support, defense, and excusing of his actions and words by Christians is beyond comprehension. Just as anything was said or done to defeat Hillary Clinton, anything was said or done to keep his image intact (a huge job the way he acts)..... No Christian should have voted for the man in the primaries, and no Christian should have gone to the extremes so many did to get people to vote for him...... but defeating Hillary Clinton took precedence over everything...... including being Christian in word and deed..... and more important than values, morals, conviction, and common decency.

   There needs to be a big change among we Christians in regards to politics. Yeah, I know... I am one to talk. I have a lot of anger and resentment to deal with, that has as much to do with the reactions of Trump voters as they do with the man himself. It isn't easy to stand up and not cave to pressure to vote for the party candidate. Other Christians don't want you to have values and convictions at that time...... they want you to toss them aside so the other candidate doesn't win, and when you won't cave to that pressure.....you become a pariah, not a hero.

   I've been fairly quiet about politics lately. I have watched and observed a lot. I have watched a lot of the same over the top worship and adulation of DT by Republicans that I saw from Obama supporters. I have seen men and women turned into heroes that otherwise would not have been.......because they support Trump and are picked by him for a position. I have seen others demonized and had some nasty things said about them all because they oppose Trump and won't support him.

   The thought has come to me to not even vote anymore..... yet I am not sure that is a wise choice. Even if I never vote for a presidential candidate again, there are issues that need to be voted on.... and there may come a day when there is a presidential candidate I feel I can vote for. Regardless of what I do, I am making a resolution to back off from politics. It is hard, especially when I do intensely dislike the man in the White House. Oh, I know he has done some good things....... but I still see  the same things in him that didn't let me vote for him. No, I am not stubborn or proud as I have been accused of. That is not the case.

   Nowhere in the Bible will you find exceptions to living this Christian life the way we should. There is no exception for politics. We aren't given the blessing to call politicians names if they are of the opposite party that we are of, nor if they criticize our candidate and don't support them.

  Seriously, what makes us think that God is OK with what we say and how we act towards a person because they are a politician? Yet we seem to think it is OK to do just that. What we seem to forget, or would like to not think about, is God loves all of these politicians. He loves Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi......even Donald Trump. He loved Hitler, Stalin, and anyone else who has ever lived. How would He act towards these people? What would He say about them? Would He say anything bad about them? Most likely not, so why do we feel we can?

  Could it be that we Christians should all stop being so political? If it is affecting friendships and what we think of people, and taking precedence over our Christianity,  maybe that is necessary.

   I'll be honest, this election about destroyed my faith, and it has had a lot to do with the deep depression I am dealing with. I am not guiltless, and I am not going to claim I am. Were people the kind of Christians they should be, were they truly like Jesus....they would not have said the things they did to me. They would not have reacted the way they did to my criticisms of their candidate and my decision to not vote for him.

   And yes, if I were the kind of Christian that I should be, I wouldn't have reacted the way I did to what was said to me. I wouldn't have reacted in the ways I did to people voting for a candidate that I still have a lot of issues with and a man I still believe Christians shouldn't have voted for.

   But politics blinds us to everything except wining arguments, defending our candidate, putting down the ones we don't like, and wining an election, And Jesus weeps. Seriously, He probably does. While we were arguing about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and others, people were plunging into hell all around us. Friends and family were hurting..... but winning arguments about politicians was more important to us than showing God's love.

 What if all the world saw of Christians was our political arguments? I know of atheists who were horrified at Christians supporting Donald Trump because of his immoral lifestyle, but what also of the arguing and fighting among Christians during the election?

  We as Christians are to love everyone.....politicians or anyone else who disagrees with us politically are not exceptions. Yeah, easier said than done..... I truly get that. We cannot just love the people who support our candidate, or whatever else causes us to look distastefully at people.

   Back to George W Bush. I didn't agree with him on everything, but he is the most decent president we have had for a long time. He was - and is - a class act. It is not surprising he would say something nice about Michelle Obama, a woman who maligned him several times. Maybe he does this thing better than we do of being like Jesus to those who do us wrong or disagree with us. And how ironic Christians would take issue with that. It is indeed one of many signs we have given politics too high a place in our lives.

 As for me, I don't think I'll ever be able to acknowledge Donald Trump as my president, nor respect him...... but I will do my best to not hate him and speak my mind about him. That is a start :)