The Wonder Wander


Subjective Faith vs Objective Faith

Filed under: Religion,Uncategorized — Tom Malley @ 10:23 pm

I can almost guarantee that anyone reading the title of this post will get the wrong idea about it.

When most people hear the words “subjective” and “objective”, they think of the terms in relation to logic and reason.  That is, something that is subjective is prone to interpretation and judgment, while objective is observably true or false. It’s not where I’m going at all.

I am speaking grammatically.

The simplest sentences in the English language consist of a subject, a verb, and an object. As you know, the subject is the one who does the action. The object is the one who receives the action.

What does this have to do with your faith?  Well, let me ask you if you are going to Heaven. If you say yes, then I will ask you why. The way you answer that question could reveal something about your faith, no matter what you say.

If you say, “Because I believe in Jesus”, that might be a good answer. However, the subject of that sentence is “I”. I say that there is nothing that you can do that will get you into Heaven.  It’s what He does. If you always answer that question by stating what you have done, you should really think about it.

Why am I going to Heaven? Because Jesus died, was buried, and rose again and has forgiven me for my sin. It’s all about Him, not me.





A Fundamental View on Homosexuality

Filed under: Politics,Religion — Tom Malley @ 4:31 pm

How should a Christian respond to homosexuality in today’s world?  If you believe in following what the Bible says, then I think this is the plan:

God’s original plan for human sexuality first appears in Genesis 2:24.  It establishes a relationship between and man and his wife: one man and one woman.  This is what God established as best for the man, the woman, and society.  Of course, people have deviated from this plan in many ways.

Romans 1:22-32 talks about people not following God’s plan.  Homosexuality is mentioned in this passage, although the word “homosexuality” is not used.  Verse 27 cites “men committing shameless acts with men.”  However, this passage is not about homosexuality, it is about all the ways people depart from God’s plan (disobedient to parents, for example).

The book of 1 Corinthians tells how Christians should respond.  In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, the apostle Paul says (my paraphrase):

When I told you not to associate with sexually immoral people or those who are greedy or swindlers, I wasn’t talking about people in the world.  I was talking about people who claim to follow Christ.  We have no business judging those outside the church.  But don’t associate with people who claim to follow Christ and are sexually immoral, greedy, swindlers, or drunkards.

The next chapter (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) reinforces this teaching, and includes homosexuality among the list of unrighteous practices.  Another list of unrighteous acts appears in Galatians 6:19-21.  This list does not mention homosexuality explicitly, but does include sexual immorality, fits of anger, jealousy, drunkenness, and more.  Both of these passages are aimed at how Christians should live, not at people outside of the Church.

Finally, Hebrews 13:4 says that the marriage bed should be undefiled, for God judges the sexually immoral and adulterous.  This reinforces God’s original plan of sexual relationship as lifetime commitment between one man and one woman.

So here are the points that I want to make:

  1. There is nothing in the Bible that justifies any form of hostility or acting out toward homosexuals who are unbelievers.  In fact, however you choose to treat homosexuals, you should feel obligated to act the same way to people who have any sexual relations outside of marriage, who gossip, who disobey their parents, etc.  If you are hostile and demonstrate against all these people you will be a very disagreeable person and will not at all reflect Christ’s love for people.
  2. A homosexual lifestyle, along with all other forms of sexual immorality, is incompatible with being a follower of Christ.  So is a lifestyle of greed, anger, drunkenness, etc.
  3. While Christians may accept (tolerate) homosexuality in society, even civil marriage among homosexuals, they should not be expected to approve of it, to agree that it is a normal alternative life style, or to participate in ceremonies or events that celebrate the gay lifestyle.
  4. Likewise, Christians should vote according to what they believe is best for society.  Since God established marriage between a man and a woman as the best plan for sexual relationships, Christians should not feel reluctant to vote that way.


Religious Fundamentalists

Filed under: Politics,Religion — Tom Malley @ 2:12 pm

I have a simple view of religious fundamentalism and fundamentalists.

Every religion has writings that form the basis for that religion. If you adhere to the tenets of those writings, then you are a fundamentalist. If you choose not to follow some of these basic tenets, then you are not a fundamentalist.

If the writings of a religion say that followers should live at peace with those around them, then a fundamentalist will try to live at peace. If the writings of a religion say that unbelievers should be executed, then a fundamentalist is obligated to either convert or execute people.

Unfortunately, the term Christian Fundamentalist is often used in the same way as the term Muslim Fundamentalist.


The Christian Gospel Explained

Filed under: Religion — Tom Malley @ 4:42 pm

We went through 1 Corinthians 15 on Easter Sunday.  This chapter has a great summary of what Christian belief is all about.

Verse 3-4:  Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day.

That’s pretty much what you have to believe to be a Christian.  Chapter 15 offers more for us to think about, though.  For example, the apostles saw Christ.  Some will say that they made this up.  However, if you look in the Gospels, you will see that the apostles were devastated by Christ’s death, and did not believe that he was resurrected.  It was only after they saw him in person that they were willing to believe.

As if it were not enough that the apostles saw Christ and verified that he had risen, Christ appeared to more than 500 other people, most of whom were alive when 1 Corinthians was written and could have denied the report and called Paul a liar (verse 6).

Finally,  lays it on the line for those who want to call themselves Christian, but don’t believe in the resurrection:  He says if Christ was not raised, then you are still in your sin and you are to be pitied more than anyone (verses 13-17).

So if anyone wants to debate what Christianity is about in its most basic essence, point them to 1 Corinthians 15.




N.Y. Schools Can Ban Church Worship Services, Court Rules, Christian News

Filed under: Government,Politics,Religion — Tom Malley @ 12:47 pm

N.Y. Schools Can Ban Church Worship Services, Court Rules, Christian News.

In short, the court said banning an event that includes protected speech is not the same thing as banning protected speech.  Therefore, the school board can refuse to rent space that will be used for worship services.  One of the justifications for this rationale is that people who see worship services being held in a public school building will be led to think that the public school is supporting the event, and therefore the government is promoting religion.

Very well.  I don’t agree that people will draw this conclusion.  But if that’s the way the schools and courts want to play this, then the schools had better not rent their facilities out for any event unless the school is supporting it.

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