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Christian Arts Suck…..Just Kidding…..Sort of.

I hesitate to write blogs when I know that this blog will specifically offend people that I actually like and I don’t want to make them angry, upset, etc.  But usually when I write something like this it is because it is lodged in my brain and it will not leave me be.  So having said that, what I want to talk about the box that very sincere Christians have put themselves into and how it hurts the Christian culture as a whole.

I hate the word “secular”.  If you look up the definition of secular it means having no religious or spiritual basis.  Christians use this word as a way to denote the difference between their activities and the activities of those who are not involved in their Christian world.  I used to keep a sign taped to the wall above my computer and taped to my front door that said “It’s all spiritual”.  I did this because the truth of the matter is that whether something is done for God or not doesn’t make it less spiritual.  I’m not saying that it can’t be evil, but you can’t call something secular and act like someone farted in the room and then bolted.  But generally it is a word that people use to create a walls.  And while you’re free to create the walls if you like, you are doing yourself and those you want to help an incredible disservice.

What I am talking about in particular is in the arts of film and music.  I can’t bring myself to listen to Christian music because it sounds so neutered and bland like a bowl of orphanage gruel.  Christian movies to me are so boring and so poorly made that I can’t bare to watch them.  Now don’t get me wrong there are exceptions but the exceptions are just that…..exceptions.  Keep in mind that I love God, but if we’re talking about making a movie that is about God could we at least capture the essence of God that has a hint of the weight of his glory?  We fail to do that over and over.  Why?

The reason why we fail over and over again is because art imitates reality, and when we get in a Christian bubble we can often become removed from what it’s like to be real.  Our buzz words and lingo alienate people and so we end up clumped together with people that are like us, which is not necessarily bad because the bible says we’re supposed to fellowship and that lightness and darkness are not supposed to be yoked.  But you have to stop looking at people that don’t know God as the darkness.  They are lost but they are not this dirty disease that needs to be avoided so that they don’t contaminate your purity.  Be in the world but not of the world.  That tells me that we can spend time with unbelievers and collaborate with them on projects.  We can actually enjoy spending time with them.  When you restrict yourself to just working with, and spending time with, Christians you limit your ability to grow.  Don’t get me wrong there are tons of talented Christians but it’s like painting a picture and limiting yourself to a couple of colors.

I know that cinematic and musical tastes are subjective, but I want to watch something about God that does Him some kind of justice.

Can I be candid for just a moment without being excommunicated?  I get tired of saying the same thing over and over again.  You know…..”You’ve made me so happy”…or…”Thanks for saving me”…or the handful of themes that are in Christian music and film.  I am grateful for all of those things as well but as a human being I am subject to the same laws of the universe that everyone else is and I have diminishing marginal utility for saying and doing the same things over and over.  When I am in a worship service after a while I start getting a pounding migraine no matter how much I have felt God.  The point is that there is a multitude of different ingredients of being a human being other than what we have concocted as Christians.

Let me just give you an example of some of the stuff that is being put out by Christians right now.  This supposedly is supposed to be a ground breaking Christian movie.

It is loaded with inside jokes and Christian lingo/culture that makes it completely irrelevant.  It has a sickening amount of poor green screen usage.  The dialogue is clunky cheesy and at times unbelievably unbelievable.  This to me is a complete failure.  This isn’t a Christian movie to me.  This is a movie based on a religion I like to call churchianity or bibleanity.  I know that this all sounds harsh but I am just sick of seeing Christians produce garbage.  This is unacceptable to me.  Make a movie that really dives into the human condition and explores it.  How about a movie where a person doesn’t get saved?  Why is it that in every Christian movie that I’ve ever seen someone comes to renounce the error of their ways and gets saved.  Why can’t a Christian make a movie that involves the tragedy of never knowing God.  I want to see realistic movies.

I want music that sounds diverse.  When’s the last time you heard a Christian band that sounded like the eagles, Neil Young or blondie?  When’s the last time you heard a Christian group that sounded like Three Dog Night, CCR or Bob Dylan?  What about Heart, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, etc.?  To me it’s a result of an lack of diversification that is a result of intentionally cocooning ourselves so that we don’t get contaminated by those evil unsaved.

I have an incredibly talented friend who is an artist and was a talented writer.  He hasn’t written a book in a decade because he felt like anything he wrote had to be Christian based or he would anger God and felt condemned if he didn’t throw in Christian elements of dogma and talk about salvation.  He absolutely won’t write anymore.  This is an incredible shame to me because if you knew what I know, the world is missing out on some hard hitting insights into the very nature of existence.  But because of pressures from Churchianity we won’t get to see that.

Shame….For shame….

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Should Government Attempt to Preserve Dignity?

Geez there is so much to write about today that I kind of agonized over what I would write about first because there are a couple of subjects that are jumping out at me.  But you don’t need to get your violins out yet and start playing for me because I bit the bullet and I have decided to write today about whether or not it is the government’s responsibility to protect my dignity.

There is a lot of anger and vitriol over the recent religious freedom law in Indiana and since I have already blogged about this two or three times I won’t rehash those arguments.  What I want to discuss today is related to this law but it is not about the law itself.  It is about an abstract idea that it is the government’s responsibility to preserve the dignity of the gay and lesbian community or any of us frankly.

Many people believe that the primary reason that you shouldn’t allow business owners to refuse service to anyone on the basis of religious convictions because if you discriminate against them you are harming their dignity.  Which, I understand is probably the same way I would feel if someone wouldn’t serve me because they looked down upon me or my request.  I would feel like I wasn’t as important or valuable and it would make me angry or upset, etc.

Let’s say that I went to a restaurant today for lunch.  Let’s say that I am just minding my own business when the owner of the establishment came out and asked me to leave and proceeded to explain to me that because I am overweight that he couldn’t serve me.  I would ask him why and lets say that he/she said it’s because he/she felt like they would be either participating in my sin of gluttony or that he would somehow be demonstrating to people that gluttony was okay and it offended his conscience. I would probably be pissed off and my feelings would be hurt, but does this mean that the government should be trying to preserve my dignity?

Well, first what is dignity exactly?  Dignity is a state of being where something is worthy of quality and respect.  It is a sense of pride or self-respect.  Dignity is a good thing.  It produces a self respect that allows people to believe in themselves.  When people believe in themselves they are much more likely to have a more dynamic life.  People who don’t have dignity go through tremendous amounts of trouble and usually stay stuck in the same old depressing ruts.  But dignity is also subjective.

What I mean is should everybody have dignity?  Most people automatically want to say yes, but what about pedophiles?  I’m not comparing homosexuals to pedophiles, but I am trying to demonstrate that some people don’t deserve to have dignity.  Who we decide should have dignity is a gray area and because it exists as such nobody should make rash judgments.  You shouldn’t hurry to cast judgment on the gays or the religious business owners who have offended their sense of dignity.

But is it the government’s place to protect the dignity of people?  It seems to me that if there is such a gray area on who we decide should or shouldn’t have dignity how is that government bureaucrats suddenly can be trusted to make accurate decisions on dignity?  Just because you form a coalition of people that can sway them to vote one way or another doesn’t legitimize their decision.

How can a third party protect something that only exists to the end of your nose?  Dignity is a personal matter.  You can’t have dignity for someone else.  You can only yourself have dignity.  You yourself have to choose whether or not you relinquish that dignity.  The actions of another can’t take dignity away from you.  It is a conscious or unconscious act of the will to determine whether or not you have dignity.  A third party, such as the government, can never preserve or protect your dignity without creating an environment where the rights of someone are going to be infringed upon.  That’s what the government does.  They either make a law that discriminates against one party or a law that discriminates against the other party.

What should have been done was nothing.  The religious liberty laws, and laws like them are often times a response to other legislation, like the one about the florist in Arizona or New Mexico where she was forced to shut down her business because she wouldn’t provide floral arrangements for a gay wedding.  It’s okay to destroy a person’s livelihood and try to destroy their dignity so long as one party’s dignity is preserved.  This is what happens when the government gets involved.  But to some people that’s okay if they aren’t the one being harmed by the government.  It’s not a party on one side or the other.  It’s both sides that are a problem.  Both sides are generally bigoted and love government intervention so long as it favors them.

To conclude this little derby doo, the government or any third party ultimately cannot protect your dignity for you.  Any action against you can’t remove your dignity.  It has to be your own conscious act of deciding you have no dignity that causes the damage.  Don’t involve the government to try to force, coerce and destroy those that don’t acknowledge that you have dignity.

Please feel free to like, share, follow or re-blog if you like or agree or even if you disagree with me.  Thanks for viewing!

Where Do I Belong?

I was sitting there drinking a mixed drink with about 3 shots of tequila.  And I suddenly got the urge to listen to some worship music.  Strange combination no doubt and I understand that you don’t relate to it.  I packed it in on my homework, a project worth 10% of my grade.  Flushed it and decided to get drunk.  Drinking on a Wednesday night?  I never do that but this night I just didn’t feel well; mentally and emotionally.  I just felt sad.  Sad for myself.  But the urge to listen to some worship music came over me.

I started listening to a song called “You Deserve the Glory”.  It’s one of my favorite worship songs of all time.  I could just get completely lost in it thinking about the awesomeness of God.  As I was listening to it I asked myself this simple question “Where do I belong?”  I am not happy with anything that I do.  I got a college degree and yet I’m not happy with school.  I own race horses yet I don’t find satisfaction with them.  I do all kinds of things that bring satisfaction from time to time.  I have a family that I love and would die for and yet I find myself in a hole with a feeling of heaviness; a deep heavy gray fog keeping me from feeling anything but depressed.  But something inside me said to listen to this song.

Where do I belong?  As I watched the video of people worshiping God I recalled the time that I went with a group to the Toronto Airport church for a big conference.  I experienced some very powerful things and I wondered for a time whether or not it was all in my own head that I was experiencing these things because I saw a lot of stuff that I just didn’t feel like it was God.  There were a lot of things going on that felt like people were putting on a Holy Ghost magic show and we complied just so we didn’t look like the odd man out.  But, after a lot of thought I believe that it’s only partially true.  I believe that it was in my head, but isn’t that where you experience God is in your head?  Yeah sure, he might do things in the world around us but we meet God in our minds.  We meet God in the deep recesses of our being which we call our heart.  So I still believe that those feelings of being glued to the carpet weeping like a force was holding me to the earth were the Holy Spirit.

So upset with myself.  I think I drink because I miss feeling the overwhelming experience of God’s presence.  There’s some candidness for you.  I think that the reason why I go out on the weekends and get trashed is because I have tried to cope with having stepped out of the place that God made for me.  It’s beyond disturbing to me.  It has driven me to the point of getting ripped apart drunk to try to feel something more.  How much do I miss being in God’s presence?  Enough to experience the awfulness the next day of barely being able to walk, and vomiting and headaches that are the aftermath of the weekend.  It doesn’t stop me.  Because wanting to feel something more than this life of highs and lows that keep you searching for little moments of happiness and validation like a rat getting little pieces of cheese in a huge maze means that much to me.  The rat gets just enough to keep him going.  That’s what I’ve done to myself.  All of these little goals and hobbies give me just enough satisfaction to keep hunting down the next euphoric highs of adoration of people.

It’s amazing to me that I feel like God has never abandoned me.  I am not a man who’s mind has been seared with an iron.  Some people go into a world of denial and try to make excuses for their debauchery and lechery.  I don’t make up excuses I just wish things were different.  I know that it’s as easy as deciding to be different but I have always struggled with the strength to overcome my weaknesses.  I operate differently than most people, which is what causes me so much harm I think.  What I mean is that I don’t like people encouraging me.  When people encourage me it makes me want to quit.  I’m not saying that I respond positively to criticism either.  I don’t like being pushed whether it is positively or negatively.  I motivate myself better than anyone else can motivate me.  That’s a lonely place though.  Because if I don’t figure this stuff out or somehow magically get the strength to overcome then I am in serious trouble.  I have prayed so many times for strength and I have failed over and over again.  I believe Jesus, I just don’t understand some things.

One time at church I was walking through a hallway and I heard someone in a room in the hallway say my name.  I stood outside the door where they were standing and I heard them talking to one or two other people and they said “God has great things planned for Matt Sams”.  It tears me up to think of those words now.  Because I look at myself as an incredible failure.  A man with immense talent to be anything he wanted to be and he didn’t have the discipline to even sniff success.  I won’t say who the person was in my blog but if you ever ask me privately I’ll tell you who it was because I’m sure it’s not a big deal to them if people knew that they were saying good things about me.  I just don’t want to embarrass them by showing people how wrong they were.

Now I know that the game isn’t over and i wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t trying to sort it out in my mind.  If I wasn’t very dissatisfied with my life as it is I wouldn’t be having these thoughts and feelings.  As I watched the worship clip that I posted above I kept thinking about how much I just wanted to be back in the flow of being around people that worshiped God.  People who weren’t control mongers.  So many good, God thirsting people have been ruined by control mongers in the church.  Not that I was one of those people, this was just a little side note.  I got bored at church.  I got bored with teaching.  I got bored with routines.  I need things to be different.  But the way I handled it has put me in a position that I don’t like.  A guy getting drunk on a Wednesday night.

Here’s another song in my head.

“The One”

I have tried to write this blog several times already over the past month or so and any time I try to write it another idea will pop into my head and I feel it’s more timely to write about other things.  But now it is time to dice up and cook up one of the ideas that has annoyed me over the years.  This is the idea of “the one”.

The idea that I’m talking about is the idea that there is one person out there in the world that is the perfect romantic partner for you.  It is the person that God has specially set aside for you.  It is the commonly held idea of the person that is just perfect for you.  And Ol’ uncle Matt has come to tell you wonderful people today that it is one of the stupidest ideas of all time.  I don’t mean to offend you if you believe this because I know that it is a sincerely held belief by people who mean no harm.  It is a deeply held belief by people who have been hurt or are eager to have a spouse, etc. etc.

First I would just like to say for the record that if you’re waiting for the perfect guy or girl you will be waiting quite a long time.  Why?  Because in all of my 32 years I have never met a perfect person.  The perfect person just doesn’t exist.  It’s like trying to find a unicorn, or the hunt for Red October…..Okay or maybe just like finding a unicorn.  I’m pretty sure they found the Red October but it took a communist defection for that to happen.  But other than hoping that your future spouse comes from like North Korea or whatever, maybe you should give up the idea.

I think the main thing that bothers me about the idea of “the one” is that I have always felt that it means that one person is better than another.  And perhaps one person might be better for you than another, but that’s not the way it ever comes off in conversation.  What I mean is that when I read or hear about people who are waiting for “the one” it is almost always coming from a place of bitterness.  Even if the person saying or writing these things doesn’t realize it.  I’ll give you an example:  When a person is talking about how high their standards are and how many times it never worked out.  Now they are just waiting on “the one” that God has for them.  This to me is a slight against everyone else.  Because when I hear this, what I’m hearing is “You’re not good enough.  They’re worth more than you”.  Now I know that might be coming from my own issues, but you have to admit that this is something that can be insinuated when a person says that God made one person for them.  But that’s not the only reason I dislike hearing people say it.

First off you are sinning by objectifying people like they will belong to you when in all reality they will never belong to you.  In your association with them there is exclusivity, but don’t mistake exclusivity for ownership.  I think that’s a mistake that a lot of people make.  You don’t own the person.  You might want to own them or have “mutual ownership” (which makes no sense to me because nothing in life is static so there will always be someone that has more or less love and more or less control).  You don’t own the mental and emotional part of them that makes them unique.  How do I know that?  Because when you die they aren’t obligated to be with you, more over I don’t think that they are able to be bound to you in the afterlife.  Like Jesus said, “None will marry, and none will be given to marriage.  They will be like the angels in Heaven.”  This tells me that the most important part of a person doesn’t belong to people, it belongs to God.  That emotional, mental and spiritual aspect of a person that makes you love them isn’t for you to have.  I know that sounds a little harsh so let me offset it by telling you some more things you don’t want to hear.

If you aren’t the type of person that has bitterness and using pride and arrogance to fuel you idea of “the one” then it’s most likely because you have been hurt.  The idea of the one is a coping mechanism for you.  You do it to give you hope.  And I need you to hear my heart right now because you’re probably making up a lot of excuses in your head as you read this so that you can try to discredit it in your own mind.  But the truth of the matter is that the reason why you have this ideal about the one is because you’re not close enough to God.  I’m not judging you because I know that I have my own issues that distance me from God.  But you need to understand that this idea is not a result of wanting a husband or wife.  This idea about the one is an idol.  It’s idolatry.  Please don’t conflate two issues.  Marriage is good, but this idea of the one is the elevation of man (or woman for that matter) into places they aren’t supposed to be elevated to.  Anyway, I need to go before another good idea pops into my head.

You’re Getting Called Out Leaders

Today i was driving north on Route 23 between Circleville and Chillicothe Ohio.  As I was driving up the road something off to the right caught my eye.  Now, this is farm country so there really isn’t a whole lot between Chillicothe and Circleville.  I looked over and I saw a pasture containing a small herd of cattle maybe between 15-20 of them total.  Off to the left of this group of cattle I noticed something that kind of blew my mind at first.  The two cows walking up from the creek were following a well trodden path that had been covered in snow all night since some parts of Ross and Pickaway county got 6 or more inches of snow.

This wasn’t especially impressive except that there were no other hoof prints anywhere else in the snow.  That’s when this thought popped into my head.  All of those cows had been walking the same path without straying.  Every cow there had taken the same path to and from the creek and not one of them had split off until they got to the hay rack, or bin or whatever its technical name is.  This was pretty impressive to me.  But like God does to me he leads me from one thought to the next.

After watching these cows for a few seconds and being pretty impressed with what I just saw I then had this thought.  Sometime during the night one cow cut that path through the snow.  And everyone followed the lead of one cow.  This was even more impressive to me.  I pictured the alpha heifer or however you want to say it (I’m pretty sure that these were all females) having the courage to forge ahead in blinding snow and every cow in the herd following her lead.

It was then that I had this thought….which kind of made me wryly grin.  What if she led them to some place dangerous?  That’s when God lowered the boom on me and I realized that he had been speaking to me the whole time.  There is a tremendous amount of responsibility that falls onto the back of a leader.  The herd will follow the leader in lock step if they trust him.  They also depend on the leader for their safety and security.  Otherwise the cattle would have been wandering spread out during the snow storm.  But because there is a security as a group they choose to follow their leader.

There is a tremendous responsibility for God’s leaders to make decisions shrewdly and not shoot from the hip because the course they choose for their lives directly impacts the paths of others.  It doesn’t sort of impact the path of others.  It directly impacts the lives of those who have given you the title of leader.  And a leader that flippantly chooses a path for their group isn’t a leader at all.  If you want to be a leader you better flush the darkness out of your heart.  You won’t be able to flush it all out until you leave this world but the problem is that a lot of leaders have never started flushing the darkness out or they quit at one point.  This is just as bad because if you’re not going forward then you’re going backward.  We meet a lot of resistance in this world.  It’s almost like we’re walking up an escalator that’s heading the other direction.  If you quit walking then you’re going backward.  Period.

I’m not trying to be preachy because this message is as much for me as anyone else.  It’s a message to say that you better care about the people who are following you.  You better have their best interest at heart and not lie to God and yourself by saying your motives are pure when they aren’t.  I’m calling out leaders.  You better love your people and be very careful about the path you cut in the storm for their sake because I can tell you this…..God will hold you responsible and that’s a promise.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”  James 3:1

50 Shades of Putting a Noose Around My Neck

Caution:  If you are easily offended you might want to go read something else.

You know…..One time I tried to watch some of the Twilight series.  I heard from so many people that it was so great and that if I watched it I would be hooked, etc.  So I figure “Hey, why not?  I’m always looking for something to be addicted to.”  So I popped the tape in my vcr……hahaha kidding.  I started watching the movie and about 20 or 30 minutes into it I shut it off and swore that I would never, ever, ever watch that heap of garbage again.

They tried to suck me in with vampires.  They tried to suck me in with werewolves.  But they couldn’t overcome one simple problem.  I can only handle so many seconds of locking eyes.  There was so much eye locking and staring in that movie.  Do people really do that?  I mean would anyone really just want to spend that much time staring into someone’s eyes.  I don’t think so.  And I had a little theory about why this bugged me so much.

You see (to me) the gazes locking thing is good sometimes.  It’s a very romantic and passionate thing.  It’s a lot like icing on a cake.  I don’t really want to eat a cake without icing.  I mean, cake without icing would be alright if I was slamming it with a cold glass of milk but that sweet addition can make cake addictive.  Everyone I know likes their cake with icing.  Here’s the problem though.  I don’t know very many people that sit down with a can of icing and eat it with a spoon until it’s gone.  And why stop at one can?  Let’s just have a whole dinner dedicated, mostly, to icing.  It’s disgusting and frankly if you’re eating cans of icing at a time you have a problem so don’t get salty and indignant.  You gots da issues.

There are a group of people that will eat icing straight from the can like it was going out of style.  That group of people are known as “children”.  I remember as a kid I would love to pop open some icing and eat it with a spoon until I was ready to puke.  Maybe I just wasn’t mature to know any better, but I just knew that icing tasted the best.  Children have a much higher point of diminishing marginal utility than adults seem to.  If a child likes something or is interested in something they can do that activity over and over again until you’re ready to pull your hair out.  How many times did I have frozen playing in my house after that thing came out on DVD?  It was a lot.  I felt like I was sitting in an appliance store watching the same movie play over and over again.  The point is that I believe that Uber-Passion and it’s consumption is a sign of some things.

First, just so that I complete an earlier point, the reason why I started talking about Twilight when the title of this article is about 50 Shades of Grey is because 50 Shades is actually inspired directly by Twilight.  It was fan fiction dedicated to the relationship between the two main characters of the Twilight series.  The 50 Shades movie is an extension of the passion laden Twilight series and it has been very successful among one certain demographic, women.  Why is it that women tend to love this movie.  Not all women love it, but a lot of women just go crazy for this stuff.

Like I was saying about the consumption of “Uber-Passion”, why is it that women go crazy for this stuff?  I read an article on Yahoo! yesterday that said that this movie was breaking some records and the overwhelming majority of moviegoers were women.  I mean, they didn’t give a percentage, but the article said that it wasn’t even close.  Women attended far more than men.  What’s the old quote about once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend?  I mean that to say that when you have a several movies (such as the twilight movies and the 50 Shades movie) that are massively successful and you have one demographic over populating the theaters that is the making of a trend my friend.

I believe that the kind of people that throw themselves into the movie are people that have a deficit of sorts.  You can be in denial about it and that’s fine.  But to me when you have a high tolerance, or a high amount of diminishing marginal utility for the consumption of something, no matter what it is, it can be attributed to a deficit in that thing or one of its components.  Now I’m not saying that the 50 Shades movie or Twilight is all passion.  I know from studying a little bit about screen writing that you can’t have a movie or a book without conflict and resolution, but I think in these cases there is a disproportionate amount of passion to the conflict and resolution.  It’s a little cake with a lot of icing.  It just seems to me that a lot of women who immerse themselves in this book might be lacking in the passion department.

It’s not a bad thing to want romance and passion.  But I think the reason why women love this movie is because women operate in the world of emotion more than men do.  A man, at his core, wants honor, power, victory, combat, etc.  Most women aren’t really wired to prioritize these things very highly.  It’s the same thing for women.  Most women want passion, emotional intimacy, to connect on a deeper level, security, etc.  Now I’m not saying that men won’t want what women want and women won’t want what men want.  But to a large degree we just prioritize these things differently and it affects the way we look at things.  Women want or need things from men that men are not naturally good at producing.  I think that another reason why these movies and books have been successful is because they are written by women, which in its own way is kind of creepy.  What I mean is that women are essentially getting what they need from another woman.  It’s like some kind of 3rd party homosexual relationship that you aren’t even aware that you’re having.  Take that with a grain of salt please, because i’m sort of joking.

Another thing that bugs me about it is that I believe that sex is highly personal.  I don’t take it lightly.  Even before I was married I wasn’t the kind of person that slept around.  I mean I wasn’t an angel but I didn’t like the idea of sleeping around.  It made me feel kind of dirty and I felt bad about myself.  So it kind of makes me feel weird to think that I would be in a room full of a hundred people or more watching people have sex on a screen.  It makes me feel weird if I am at my own home watching a movie with friends and an adult scene comes on.  I feel like jumping up and grabbing the remote to fast forward because it makes me feel uncomfortable when people are included in the reality of sex.  I have made jokes before about it, but the reality of sex is that deep down at my core it is personal to me.  It’s a spiritual thing.

I think this is a good lesson for men too.  Whether you’re a father, husband or boyfriend;  If you give them love, passion and emotional intimacy more often then they won’t feel the need to get it from somewhere else.  You don’t want them to be so desperate for these things that they will immerse themselves in a movie that exalts sexual violence just so they can experience the passion that they need.

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Say Something Brilliant and You’ll be Hated

Over the years since my childhood I remember my dad would periodically tell me “If you say something brilliant people will secretly hate you”.  I always kind of dismissed it because I’m not the kind of guy that believes in absolutes outside of God.  But as I’ve gotten older I have become pretty suspicious of my dad’s proverb.  I am now willing to make a concession.  If you say something that is brilliant some people will secretly hate you.  I would even add the caveat that if you say something brilliant that conflicts with a person’s deeply held convictions they will secretly hate. you.

What is my basis for this?  I don’t like to blindly believe in anything or believe something just for the sake of believing it.  I remember reading in the bible in the book of proverbs about the fear of God being the beginning of wisdom.  As great a verse as that is and as popular as that verse is among Christians most people do not know the verses that precede it.

“Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;  Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;  Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”  -Proverbs 9:8-9

You see the reason why I am beginning to believe in my dad’s proverb is because we live in a world of people that are so wrapped up in themselves that they have no use for wisdom.  Unless that wisdom serves their self interest it is offensive to them.  It causes people to become “scoffers”.  In the Hebrew the word used for scoffer is lewts which means to be arrogant, scornful, to be inflated with pride.  There is something about saying something intelligent that touches another person’s ego.  Not all people, but a lot of people.

I think that it is good to know in advance that you are really going to ruffle some feathers if you give revelation to people.  But the people who are ready to hear the truth will be doubly strong for it.  It can actually be a sign that you’re doing something right when you have people mocking you and talking about you behind your back when you’ve done nothing wrong.  Jesus said “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake”.  Jesus spoke the truth and it caused a tremendous amount of hard feelings and it ultimately led to him being murdered.  But look at how many people were better off because of his sacrifices and the brilliant things that he said that came straight from God.