Real Men Love Jesus
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"Some put off God until the 11th hour. They don't realize their time could be 10:30." - Anonymous

I've tried to write a blurb about Christianity here and finally decided that it wasn't going anywhere no matter how hard I tried. I then decided that it was because it's hard to come up with a good explanation without some sort of launching point, in other words if I don't know you and we aren't talking, anything I state about my faith may or may not have meaning to you. Seems strange, considering that I can talk about it with people for hours on end if they want to. I can say that I'm happy to be a born-again Christian and that I attribute all the good things in my life to Christ's blessings. No, I'm not perfect at all, but I feel Christ with me every day and can't imagine life without Him... I've been there and done that and it pretty much sucks. Hopefully those who know me will agree that I'm not really a "stereotypical" Christian as some people see it... you know, a superstitious right-wing nutball that sandwiches in bombing abortion clinics between condemning everyone around them to go to Hell and trying to burn books in the local library. Well if you ask me, that is about as far away from a true expression of Christian belief as you can get. Christ never advocated personal animosity, self-righteous condemnation or wanton oppression of dissenting views, and a true Christian shouldn't either. I am somewhat conservative in some areas but I sure as hell am not a Republican nor do I particularly agree with many self-serving conservative leaders like Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Newt Gingrich, and Adoph Hitler (OK, technically Hitler was a socialist. But most racist Nazis I know of tend to be closer to today's extreme conservative leaders than the liberals!) I also don't align myself with liberals like Bill Clinton, Tipper Gore, Jesse Jackson, or the Pope. At heart I'm a libertarian and try to judge people by their words and actions, not stupid group labels. My spiritual role models include Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr., and a few other non-famous people that have helped me to grow spiritually. And as for the superstitious part, I think that people who just won't be happy until they can reduce God down to a mathematical formula are failing to see the forest for the trees. It has become popular to claim that the Bible is some sort of conspiracy, yet there is more corroborated, eyewitness evidence of the truth of the Bible than there is that many other ancient historical events ever occured. This "conspiracy" involved 66 different books written over a span of 1600 years by 30 different authors, writing generations apart and speaking many different languages, yet it all translates into complete agreement - and all of this done well before the days of instant communications?? How anyone can really believe that the Bible is some sort of hoax is beyond me... yet people are so set on doing whatever they want that they actually convince themselves that it is so. That's a choice God gave them to make, but it's sad that people will reject the one thing that can really give them the answers and rely on their own human judgement instead. Even the scientific world is filled with proven facts that are known to be statistical impossibilities, which can only be explained by acknowledging a higher, purposeful power at work. Good science is not in conflict with the Bible, and personally I don't even find conflict between evolution and Biblical creation (both of which I believe in)... but that's a topic for another day. As for charges of moronic superstition, well that's not found in the Bible either, in fact God warns against it... you might want to call up your local psychic friends hotline or read a book on astrology for some good examples of that, however.

I don't consider myself to be aligned with any specific denomination, although you could say I'm a Protestant since I believe that Catholic doctrine is in direct contradiction the word of God. Before you start sending me hate mail, let me clarify. I know Catholics that are very good people and I truly believe them to be saved in the Lord, so don't get me wrong - I am NOT prejudiced against anybody because they are Catholic. However, I do strongly believe that the Catholic church itself is an eco-political organization in the guise of a religion that teaches a great number of things which are specifically condemned by the word of God [for example, idolatry is promoted constantly while a direct and personal relationship with God as well as the equality of all men in the eyes of the Lord seem to both be strongly condemned by the Catholic doctrine... the worship of Mary, saints, the Pope, and the idea that priests can mete out punishments to clear sins is Biblically wrong, wrong, wrong!!!] I also have come to believe more and more that Catholicism has probably been the largest singular influence in turning people AWAY from Christ in all of recorded history. Therefore, I really have a big problem with the doctrine of the Catholic church. I do NOT hate Catholic people, Jesus taught that there is only one church and that includes believers in Him of all faiths - Catholic, Protestant, whatever... and there is no place in a Christian's beliefs for hatred for fellow true believers. It is however important to evaluate any doctrine, even your own... no, ESPECIALLY your own... for things that may bring it out of line with the Bible, for these things are not of God... and so far, the Catholic church hasn't met this critical test, in too many ways to overlook.) Anyway... that's why I'm a Protestant. J


Since I don't have a real personalized starting point for any more discussion here, I've decided (for now at least) just to link to some other resources that you may find interesting.




Rev. Billy Graham Rev. Billy Graham
Billy Graham has perhaps brought more people to be saved by Christ than any other man in history. His message is simple, his integrity unquestionable, his honesty intense, his dedication ceaseless, and his true Christ-inspired love for those in need is unparalleled. In an age where televangelism has become a kind of sick parody of evil exploitation and feel-good, anything-goes false religions abound, Dr. Graham has unfailingly remained focused on the true meaning of God's word and worked tirelessly to share it with literally millions of people. I went to his 1994 Atlanta crusade, and it's almost indescribably amazing to see 80,000+ people of every religion, race, and cultural background, both believers and nonbelievers alike, gather together for five nights in a row - just to hear a man tell them about Christ's love. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his Crusades, I will promise you that you will come away better for it. Anyone with a spiritual need, anyone who wonders what Christ is really about, or anyone who is simply curious about it all should listen to what Billy Graham has to say. Dr. Graham has written a number of books, all the ones I've read have been excellent.

Men In Motion
Every Tuesday at noon, I and a bunch of other guys attend the Men In Motion lunch at the Central Baptist Church in Melbourne (it's behind Florida Tech, at 2503 S. Country Club Road.) This is a low-key, positive, non-judgemental lunch meeting of local Christian men who get together for some good food and to share in God's love for all people. It is simply a chance to get together once a week with guys of widely differing backgrounds, religious denominations, and experiences and hear a short lesson from Dr. David Linger (a truly riveting speaker) to learn more about God's love for us - not to mention we have a very good homestyle meal for only $2.50. If you are interested, email me for directions, all men are welcome to attend. For you ladies, well there isn't (to my knowledge anyway) a similar women's group right now, but there really should be (just in case anyone wants to get something started!) Don't worry, we don't have any dancing girls or anything so it's not like we're trying to hide anything from you gals or anything like that... and we aren't going to do any more live goldfish eating for another few weeks :-)

Has anybody seen John Horton's Bible At A Glance website?
...if so, please let us know... it seems to have disappeared!

Former President Jimmy Carter Former President Jimmy Carter
"Jimmy Carter? President Jimmy Carter!!??" you may be wondering. Yes, that Jimmy Carter. Perhaps it could fairly be said that his term as president wasn't remarkable... but the real problem was just that he was and is too honest and decent a man to do the dirty and immoral things that people seem to want of their elected officials nowadays. I have been reading Mr. Carter's book Living Faith, a spiritual autobiography covering his life from a kid in rural Georgia through today. As I read this book, I have realized that we share many, if not most, of the same views in terms of spiritual and religious matters, and my respect for him has grown. In this book, Mr. Carter explores not only his own beliefs as a born-again Christian, but takes a very honest look at both the good side and the practical problems that can stem from being born again Christian in a world that often places more stock in its own material values. He also extensively discusses how to put faith into action in order to serve Christ, with examples of the role of spirituality in such projects as The Carter Center (a nonpartisan public policy institute founded to fight disease, hunger, poverty, conflict, and oppression, which is most well-known for playing a critical role in mediating international political stalemates and also for monitoring fair elections.) The Carters are also well known for their involvement in Habitat For Humanity, another Christian-based ministry that is taking action for the benefit of those in need. Mr. Carter is a strong proponent of the ethic of Christian love, and is not afraid to point out the practical problems and moral dilemmas inherent in living this ethic... from taking a stand against segregation in the south to nearly losing an election over a comment printed totally out of context and even including his disagreements with his own denomination and other Christians (which are right on target.) He is also very frank about his own failures and self-doubts during certain points in his life, and relates how he has dealt with them from a spiritual perspective. Still teaching Sunday School at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, he often includes Bible verses and even his own poetry to help get his points across. Living Faith is a fascinating view into the life of someone that has used his unique success to foster the spreading of the Gospel in a practical and effective way, and shows that the depth and impact of spiritual faith can reach far beyond such things as political views and societal status quo and become an immensely powerful force for good. Highly recommended.



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