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Complete Introductions Collection 2: 13-End

Ben Huot

July 1, 2018

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Religion

My Approach to Religion

Christians seem to combine an older way of looking at the world with passion, they are mostly honest and direct, seem to be motivated by entirely altruistic means, and the very base of their arguments and identity is humility and compassion. So if the content and methods of evangelism are sincere and even highly logical, why are people so often argumentative or dismissive of Christians and their values?

Many Christians expressions of their faith may come across as formulaic, using common terms in esoteric ways, overly technical, assume basic background knowledge, emphasize old school ways of teaching and learning rituals like memorization and daily devotions, and seem uninterested in modern kinds of celebrations. Christians are not very good at controlling their branding, networking effectively, adopting technology in a timely fashion, and utilizing contemporary vocabulary.

In short, they have a great message and are they are very concerned with actually making a real difference and go to great lengths to not be offensive, they are extremely generous, and only persistent, because they want to help others. They just have an image problem. They are intellectual in a nerdy fashion: they are nerdy to everyone.

They are most known for the most controversial and least popular aspects of their message, which are not even fundamental to their beliefs: gender issues and being too pro-business, which are mostly not true for the average Christian. Christians need to work on their presentation, not their content.

Some of the biggest criticisms of Christians that are often true is they are very conservative politically (the financial side) and they ask for money. Christians are also very organized in some very visual ways. Many people see the common problem with religion to be when it is organized. Also, feminism (depending on how extreme) is not really ever going to be compatible with Christianity as they don't want a male God or men to have authority over women in any way.

The way in which I approach religion is by using plain simple words, natural conversation, personal experiences, I explain things in an intellectual way by comparing religions, and I try to be subtle about calling out non-Christians for unbiblical behavior. I hold Christians to a much higher standard than non-Christians. Just like being overweight, it does not matter how you got there: I just want to promote being healthier spiritually so we can live happier lives. God didn't make a set of rules for us to follow for His sake: immorality/sin is bad because it hurts us.

Christians need to understand how different their worldview is from the typical American point of view. Most Americans don't know even the most basic things about Christianity, but the good part is that we don't have to fight against subversive theology anymore. The Catholic Church and Protestant churches ran some of the greatest educational institutions all over the world for centuries. But today, the Church is considered anti-intellectual. The universities embraced several things that made it hard for Christians to coexist in the universities: the rise of feminism and evolution.

Sadly, it is still true that many Christians do not prioritize the global catastrophes so innocently called Global Climate Change and are heavily involved in politics. Political involvement is hard to justify scripturally and climate change related destruction is described in detail in Biblical prophecy. Most of the judgements of God on corrupt Christians and non-believers in prophecy are one in the same as what we now call environmental disasters.

Many people around the world see American Christians as joining together the ideas of Capitalism/Imperialism with Christianity, but the Chinese government has seen this to not be true as it is legal in China to be a Christian if you register your church or with no registration for a Bible study group. The Orthodox Church is coming back in Eastern Europe and Russia after being violently forced out for many years under Soviet communism.

One of the biggest overlooked part of Christianity today by other Christians is their demographics. Most Christians live in the third world, are some of the poorest people in the world, and they are often persecuted by wealthy Muslims. Christians also outnumber Muslims 2 to 1 and are the fastest growing and most cross cultural belief system in the world.

Islam has been in most parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia between 1000-1500 years and Christianity only penetrated most of these areas in the last 100 years. Most white people are not Christians. Christians are outcasts in Europe and there are more Muslims in Europe than Christians.

Also, the center of Christianity up until the time of the Crusades was in Iraq and Iran, centered near Baghdad. Christianity did not penetrate all of Europe until the Renaissance. Atheism had little traction in Europe before the 19th Century, before Napoleon. As late as they time of the Crusades, Vikings were torturing Christians to force them to convert to paganism. America has always had a huge amount of unbelievers as were most of the founding fathers (what we now would call terrorists or anarchists).

Even at the start of the 20th Century, 1/2 of the Ottoman Empire was still Christian (and at that time the Ottoman Empire had no territory in Europe or Africa). The status of Christians in the Muslim world was like that of Jews in Europe. They were educated because they needed to be literate in order to keep their faith and in a world of illiteracy became the scholars and were influential despite their persecution. 2/3s of a native Middle Eastern ethnic, religious, and linguistic group called the Assyrians/Nestorians were massacred in the early 20th century as were 1/3 of the Armenian people (another native Christian civilization near the Middle East) by local muslims.

What Christians Shouldn't Do

For Christians wanting to know if a subject or area of study or practice is compatible with Scripture, there are several concepts that should hold true fairly independently of time and place. First of all you can safely assume that anything you feel might be wrong or illegal is off limits.

Some others signs that should send up red flags is anything done in secret, anything you wouldn't mind acknowledging in public or in writing, or anything that would make any group you associate with think less of you. Any sexual activity outside sex between a married man and woman is not Scriptural.

Anything that involves being irresponsible or greedy in regards to money or resources is not compatible with Christianity. Saying negative things about other people except when necessary to protect someone is wrong. Almost anything online that is online, especially the things that are free are highly subject, until proven otherwise.

Deceiving or misleading people in any way, or rushing someone into a big decision, or lying about your qualifications are all obviously forbidden. Keeping two different records of money or other reporting methods is obviously wrong as well. You should always follow through with your commitments to God, family, country, and everyone else.

Be kind, gentle, and patient and be especially careful and compassionate with animals. Don't talk about things that are someone else's personal business in public, don't spread rumors about other people, and encourage people and stay positive. When you make criticisms, be constructive and try to be consistent in your judgements.

Be a team player and volunteer to help make the world better and improve your own mood by changing your perspective. Pray for help in maturing in wisdom and decision making and commit yourself to a life of learning and self improvement. Put everything into your work, stay employed and be loyal to your boss. Do your best in anything you do, especially things directly involving God.

Read the Bible, attend church services, pray, and continue choosing to follow God everyday. Make glorifying God your biggest goal in life along with complete submission to God, inner peace, and doing all you can to eliminate unnecessary suffering. Be careful what and who you read, watch, and listen to. Focus on those things that are good and positive and don't hurt yourself or others.

Reach out to others by serving as a role model both formal and informal as well as find a role model for yourself. When you make major life decisions, do prayer but don't rush. Think about how everything that you do effects others. Stay physically and mentally healthy so you can live longer so you can help more people and animals.

Anything that you do habitually, that you are not proud of, is something you should stop immediately. Anything that is addictive should be avoided as well. Seek outside help when you run into physical, mental, and spiritual problems. Putting more money, time, and effort into some physical object than you do for God and those suffering is a form of idolatry.

Anything similar to these activities should be considered off limits as well. Finally, anything you are unsure about, ask several people you respect if it is a good idea. If that is not an option or they have no opinion on the matter, I would recommend not doing it.

Above all, follow Christ's example and the Bible. Remember that spiritually it matters most what your intention was, but physically even being hurt by someone you love hurts as much as being maliciously hurt by a stranger. In other words, do good not evil and follow your conscience. God made these guidelines to help us have happier lives, not to control us. Continue to be creative and unique, just be a good person as well.

Christians, Critical Thinking, and Evangelism

Many times Christians are confronted with anti-Christian rhetoric in their daily lives. So many arguments against Christians are now cliches but Christians fail to recognize these things as being just elaborate excuses to not deal with the responsibility to be moral, have respect for spiritual things, and obey God.

First of all, you should never feel the need to justify or explain yourself and your beliefs. If you feel lead or feel for whatever other reason to state your beliefs in public or private, feel totally free to do so. You never have to accept anyone else's worldview or assumptions about life. Feel free to challenge anyone else's statements about religion or morality.

Realize though that everything we do spiritually significant has a cost. The person may be alienated by that or you may lose your job because of it. This is not fair or right but it might happen as a result of your statements.

This isn't much different then being fired because you are in poor health or getting older. For anyone who really believes in diversity, this is a completely contradictory position to get rid of someone because of religious beliefs. The kind of person who would respond that way would not be someone I would want to be friends with nor are they open to changing their beliefs.

The goal here is not to convince anyone of anything but just to encourage you to think critically about everything. Christians thinking critically about the Bible and God can actually lead to spiritual and emotional growth and the Bible actually encourages a lot of creativity, in areas it is not very clear about or doesn't cover directly. Thinking critically does not require you to ever argue with anyone about anything. It does sometimes challenge beliefs but most of the time it will merely reenforce them.

I gave up trying to change anyone's mind on anything about 20 years ago after my experiencing living where I do now and going to public schools, community college, public university, and enlisted in the Army. Most people change their minds due to two factors: repetition and life experiences. Some of my most enduring and shaping life experiences besides my own intuition were the military and my mental illness.

First thing to remember about witnessing to a person is to realize that God brings people to Himself. We may be used by God to help a person realize this, but are seldom the only one God calls or serves in that role. You really don't want someone who is so easily convinced about religion to be your focus of evangelism, because they will be convinced by the next religious person they meet to change to that religion.

Do not change doctrine to make evangelism easier, but you should make Christian doctrine penetrate as deeply as possible into the current local culture and sub cultures. Most things outside the basic character and attributes of God in the Old Testament were done that way solely because they were culturally relevant practices. Sacrificing animals was done because it cost money, worked as an important metaphor, and communicated obedience and repentance to God.

Spiritually it was only their obedience to God's command that we believe in Him alone that connected from the faith of the Israelites through Jesus Christ to allow us to reconcile with God the Father. The Holy Spirit now serves as what scripture describes as God writing the law of the Old Testament on our hearts. We are saved by making the conscious choice to believe in obedience to God's command to do so.

The most important thing we can do when we don't know what to do or need something from God is to pray. God will likely grant it if you are clear and resolved about it and you pray for something you genuinely need that is in keeping with Scripture. If you lack faith, scripture says you should pray for it.

Use this in evangelism too - offer to pray for others and pray to God to learn how to help bring this person to Christ. Remember just like in counseling the first step is to begin a relationship with the person you are trying to help and the best thing you can do for them is to listen to them and genuinely show you care about them unconditionally.

You won't have an answer to every question they might ask and don't need one either. You are changing their mind by being a good example by being honest, caring about them beyond just their salvation, and making moral choices in your own life. The point isn't to win a debate, but rather by just caring about the other person and showing them God cares about them by your example.

Remember faith is believing when you cannot explain everything and people do many things on faith. When you sign a contract, do you always read everything in great detail? Before you take a job, do you do a background check on the company and every other employee? Do you record everything everyone says to you on the phone? Do you know everything about someone before you date them?

You probably should do all these things. This is the hardest part of evangelism today. There have been way to many people trying to scam others by convincing them of things. Do not try to change someone's mind. That sounds to many like a scam. Instead, care for them and pray for them. Communicate to them by what you do not by what you say.

Do not speak in cliches and do not sound like someone selling you a car. They are not someone to sell things to. They are a lost and hurt member of the family you are helping bring home. Make your methods match your beliefs.

Christ and Literature

What does I mean to be a Christian and a thinker, a writer, or another creative? How and where do you innovate in theology or symbolism? To some it might be comforting to put Jesus into a simple and literal expression that challenges neither the Christian nor the unbeliever.

Unfortunately, just like for the Pharisees and the people of Israel as a whole, Jesus Christ, although very specifically described in prophecy, was not at all, what was considered appropriate by the establishment. Many Christians in the US would call a contemporary Christ living today a hippy and not let him in the country. What would Jesus think of how little His "followers" are willing to risk for Him today?

Christians today are really afraid of the spiritual world, but at the same time don't make time to pray and read the Bible. If you are worried about the fate of our society and slippery slope making Christianity less acceptable to younger people, start with your own mind and then fix the problems in the Church. If in this kind of fantasy, you can only see literally and you have little imagination then yes it might be disturbing for you, but you will have a very limited ability to turn others to Christ as well.

A lot of the ideas of these knee jerk reactionary interpretations of Christian doctrine are not bad or theologically incorrect. They just fail to inspire most people to whom their life and their relationship with God are not so simple and easy to explain to begin with. Think about how God has written the Bible in a literary way and did not even talk about salvation and Christ or even have the any of the Bible written down for maybe most of history.

God does not shy away from difficult to resolve philosophical issues. He seems to both defy our attempts at putting Him in a box. The weirder things get in our scientific discoveries and social movements, we continue to find in the Bible that the less understood verses leave hints to a much larger and complex reality than we can imagine. The Bible goes even farther into the fantastic and unbelievable, for those with a simplistic understanding of God.

There is a place for everyone in Christianity and it is healthy to have these kind of debates. Christianity can be both correct theologically but still not the same for everyone in how they express it. For some people, the fantastic nature of some aspect of theology scares them and rightly so for some with certain experiences and temperaments. We have to accept though that no matter how we try to understand the Bible, much of it like prophecy is not meant to be understood even symbolically by us or even angels.

God is not afraid of opening a can of worms. Consider how God will have to deal with each person individually, who has never heard the Gospel, or has been alive before Christ was born into the world. There area few things that are unchallengeable and the Bible is very clear about those. But remember, we do not worship theology but a living God and our theology is only there to make sure people don't get too crazy with the basics.

When we look to have entertainment or fantasy that is family friendly and promotes the Gospel and really effective at both we have to accept that there are more ways to express faith than through quoting Scripture or giving sermons. There is a time and a place for everything good. If God wanted us to experience Him in the same way for everyone, then the Bible would be nothing more than a list of rules.

We are called to worship God with all our mind, heart, and soul and that includes our emotions and imagination. Be careful of what you condemn, and look at what the Bible really says and doesn't say and be willing to get uncomfortable with some expressions of it, if it brings others to faith in Christ. The most effective way to evangelize is to be real with unbelievers and reach out to them in a way they can understand. If something makes you feel as if it is bothering your spirit, you will know and be upfront with unbelievers with this as well.

Some fantasies we see today might be scary literally, like any fairy tale should in the same way. But fantasy has traditionally been a way to explain morality symbolically throughout many different cultures and historical periods. If you can separate fantasy from reality and be able to accept that although the vehicle (the mythology) for the message is not perfect, the message is the most important and only vital part.

The reason why it is so important and so Biblical to put the Bible and theology of God into our current culture is this formed the basis for how God revealed and related to Israel and the prophets throughout the Old Testament. The problem with being too narrow in our understanding of God is that we may miss His return or His voice in our lives, if we cannot let God be more than what we can fully understand and explain.

Remember

The most important thing spiritually is to spend time with God. Spending time with God is spiritual warfare.

Me

Background

I have had a roadblock in my faith in Christ, because I was afraid God would have me do something very painful, but recently it has become apparent (I have been convinced) that I need God in all aspects of my life, being, decisions, and actions without caveat (without conditions). I have been aware for a long time that repetition of anything is one of the most effective way to change someone's mind, but only recently realized how effective and quickly that can work (both good and bad). When I was taking classes in college (I never graduated) in graphic design for journalists, I learned that it is very important what things you put into your head. Be very careful what you read or watch online.

When I was first writing my books, I used to try to find others with similar views as I online, but ended up finding some really creative but very dark theological ideas. The Internet and our world culture in general is a place where you cannot believe what you see or depend on something being what it claims to be. There is no more (if there ever was) integrity of data (there is no way to verify if something is true or if someone changed something in any publication or bit of information). We really need to default to not trusting anyone and need to put our own salvation above that of others, at any cost.

At this point, my number one interest in bringing people to God is keeping myself near God as I think it is enough of a challenge to save myself. And the only one who I can really control and make decisions for is myself. There will likely be more Bible verses on my site in the future and for those who that bothers, my website is only one among billions of others, so exercise your free choice by finding something else to read.

Stepping Forward

Chained to myself

One hand tied to another

My left against my right

My enemy is my conjoined twin

How can I wrestle out?

What is within me?

I can feel the subtle compromises

I cannot run away fast enough

I fight even in my sleep

Who can help me from myself?

Calling out to God in the middle of the night

I can barely stay above the dark waters

It is so cold that all I can feel is my heart

What do I do after I emerge?

Like taking off a suit of armor

That has transformed from protective gear

To a hazard and a danger

Each step is still painful

I can still feel the weight of the cold steel

But the weight lessons as I walk away

What counts as a useful life?

How do we find purpose

When there is no freedom in our hearts?

Like swatting at a mosquito

While we die of food poisoning

We cannot see 2 feet directly in front of us

Maybe it is time to bring God back

How can we do the right thing

When none of us is good?

If we cannot agree on the existence of God

And accept responsibility for our choices

Who do we think we are

Preaching to the older citizens of this world?

When we can barely survive

Having too much to eat

And our only thought is how do I make my life easier

Maybe we are on the internet too much

The Road Untravelled

Less knowledge is a blessing

Conflict is a great sign

We think too much

And act too little

The things that seem little

Are often the most significant

Sometimes it is not the outcome

But the process that brings significance

Unresolved conflict is not just a lesson

It is a purpose in itself

Knowing which direction to go

Does not always provide meaning

You have to step forward in your mind

Before your body will follow

Changing your own mind

Has greater significance

Than bringing new people to Christ

It is within our own church

That we face the greatest threats

Faith is acting without full knowledge

Wisdom sometimes gives more questions

When we often prefer definite answers

There is freedom in Christ to make different choices

What is most important is The Who

What we need to know is obvious to us

The rest we will understand at the right time

You cannot travel back or forward in time

You have to live your life chronologically

But your mind and spirit are more free

What if you could return your mind

To an earlier state

So many things we battle are mostly mental

The actual events are less important

Your decisions are often spiritually significant

Everything you need to know you will know

Your mind may be weak

But your spirit is still strong

Sometimes we face uncertainty

The choice is ours

Sometimes going in any direction

Is the truly important decision

We need not remember the commandments or verses

We have the law written in our hearts

People were making spiritual decisions long before

Anything was written down

Only the simplest questions have step by step directions

When it is not clear what to do

It is your choice

God is very clear when it is important

Gods voice grows louder when it is more important

When you are making bad decisions it is obvious

Unbelievers are often very confident without faith

We can be confident too if we want to

Makes Me Weaker

Whatever doesn't kill me, makes me stronger -- Russian proverb famously attributed to Nietzsche.

Many people go through life learning and growing and getting stronger through wisdom as their body often becomes worn down. I am experiencing the opposite. I seem to be in good health but sometimes I think my mind is getting worse. I see more and more weak I am over time.

I doubt more and more things I was so sure of in the past. One of the things that keeps surprising me is how people feel intimidated by me. I just can't comprehend is how they see me as so strong.

I am having more trouble with my paranoia and voices. It feels like there will be big changes in the world and my life this year. I am finishing up on a 20 year project and can think of many things to do, but I am still way more ambitious than I have the energy to do.

I feel I need God even more than ever before. I have put so much in my 20 year long project that I am now doubting much about it. Who am I to give advice on anything?

I have tried to stay away from things I know nothing about like relationships. Unless you include my stuffed toys and the voices in my head. I am realizing more and more now about God. Did you know that "merely" spending time with God is the secret to spiritual warfare?

I always thought that going to church was about strengthening your faith and I was stubborn enough that I knew I would never change that about myself. I guess I thought low enough of myself that I would never even be tempted to be arrogant in any way.

I have realized now that why I like to talk about world problems is not because I have a unique perspective or that I have studied a different part of history or that I am good at teaching but because it is easier than dealing with my own problems.

I have so much on my plate now dealing just with my symptoms but one of the best ways I know how to cope with them is to keep busy. Maybe I am still too ambitious.

I just look at all the volunteer jobs and am not qualified for most of them or I don't think I have the energy to go through all the steps to be considered. I find writing very fulfilling but only do that well when inspired.

I am so burned out with my website after 20 years. I seem to spend half the time backing things up and the other half fixing simple errors and trying to get thing to work. And most people want to make everything even more complicated.

All I can say for it is the tools and support have improved a lot over the years and I have learned how to avoid a lot of the complexity. I know the history of web design and so can appreciate that it is actually better than before. I can spot things that are unlikely to be supported a few years from now.

In tech you have to time things right. If the infrastructure in our country is ever updated, it will be literally 1,000 or more simple to do later updates. It comes from how stupid and literal computers are and that things that make computers easier for us to use tend to be much more complicated and error prone for the computer to do.

A computer is very fast but does not know the difference between photos and drawings or spoken audio and music. On a certain level all it does is turn off and on different parts like Morse code or putting down a zero or a one.

Since computer security also known as malicious creativity plus too much time has gotten so bad, I do not trust the integrity of any data. Even the most responsible group usually has at least one irresponsible, cheap, or clueless person who making a seemingly simple and obvious decision opens everyone else's stuff to hackers. Even the best software has enough holes in it to make it easy for someone to break in with enough time and motivation.

We are so afraid of China sending a fleet over to attack us or get shot by a shooter at a school, which are both very unlikely but are not afraid of losing our savings or be sent to prison for someone else's crime. Just like the Church or an individual, the greatest enemy is your neighbor and yourself.

So how does one create now and share it with others without the risk? I guess one has to choose. Most people don't even think about this but most people haven't created anything they value on computers. Or at least I hope they don't.

At least we can still buy ink and printers. Imagine going online to buy a pen and paying extra to get it without advertisements and tracking.

And I remember watching a film the other day about Winston Churchill. Churchill reminded me of Trump and he took huge risks that lost the British their empire. How would he respond to his own countries recent decisions on spying on its citizens?

It is so much simpler to solve problems for someone else, then to solve your own problems.

Words of Encouragement

The world we live in today is a discouraging place and many of our problems are global. Our world is a result of us having way too much power long before we had gained the maturity and self knowledge to use our resources responsibly. Things can not expand indefinitely. Even if we reached a solution to our energy needs, we would use more. And we are all part of the problem by just living in this society.

At the same time, we have big problems with religion and self control as well. Americans are turned on each other, both having some wisdom and nuttiness on both sides. Unfortunately we cannot agree to disagree. And our differences with some of the more religious parts of the world we are renewing a conflict of more than a millennia and the other side is shocked at why the other parts of the world want to wage war against us. In many ways, life is so good to us here that we actually fear death as a society, but we are less happy than those with much less money and power.

Our understanding of each other is poor, but our understanding of ourselves is worse. We even have it documented now that there are groups in the world trying to increase our conflict. The interesting thing is that the division was created within and only enhanced due to outside involvement. This is very much how evil forces manipulate us is to find our biggest problems and magnify them as we make bad choices.

In my life, I am trying to get closer to God but for some reason I still seem to see spending time with God a chore rather than a joy to look forward to. Some of the ideas talked about in the sermons some of the greatest pastors of our time give are spot on but maybe long beyond our reach. Just like the media who has to make the news interesting each week, I think some pastors feel a need to challenge their members way beyond where they are at with their spiritual life.

There are a lot of positive things going on in the world today and my life. There have been a number of decades long conflicts that have been peacefully resolved in the last few years. There has actually been a drop in global violence lately. Americans are afraid of the Chinese, Russians, and ISIS but most of their power over us is fear. You hear about them, on the news so much because they want to be covered.

They are not anywhere near as powerful as they claim. China is not anywhere near as wealthy as us and the Russians have a military that could only fight one small war across the globe. The US was able to wage two giant wars across the edge of the world in some of the most violent places on earth both weather and conflict wise. Also the Russians and Chinese hate each other and have nuclear misses pointed at each other for decades.

The only obstacle the US is facing in the military is to continue to use software in place of people as it gets less and less recruits. It is good people in America do not rush out to join the military in great numbers. They feel they have greater opportunities elsewhere. This automation is not far fetched at all factoring in what the general commercial technology available on the consumer market alone.

The major reason why the military computers look antiquated is because they have to be much more reliable and they are interested in how to do their job best in how they design software. Consumer software has to look pretty but the military has serious things to do. Also, what you see on TV about future weapons of the US military, they are currently being used. The government goes to great lengths to hid its exact capabilities.

Some of the best security experts in the world and looked at the virus sent by the US and Israel against Iran nuclear efforts and estimated this technology which they allowed the world to see is 20 years ahead of the rest of the worlds technology. It sounds like they can scan software and find any security problems in it just be software based analysis. This would totally change the security of information and computers. They are likely much farther ahead than that but just needed that level of software innovation to solve the immediate problem.

So I have written about 20 collections of about 3 books each totaling at least 1,000-1,500 pages over the last 20 years. I have developed my own unique combination of Christian Existentialism and Philosophical Taoism, talked about my experiences being in the military and being mentally ill for many years, my paradoxical look at biblical theology, world history between ancient and modern times, future trends including disaster survival and global warming, and technology books about general computing, web design, and tech people sociology.

I have found a way to be happy and feel I am changing the world that anyone can follow and is not risky in any way, not costly or complicated, and is more effective than anything else you can do. Before you try to change the world, try changing yourself. You might find you can do both at the same time.

Jesus said that people need physical healing but a more important need we have is the forgiveness of sins. The small decisions no one else sees are usually more important. The spiritual world is much bigger and more important than the physical world but operates on different laws just like comparing economics to psychology, even though they are tightly related.

Faith is the key to understanding spiritual things and forgiveness is the key to understanding God.

On Buying a Printer

How does a person create

Without fear of loss

How does a person lose their creation

Without losing their heart

Each page I write

Each design I code

Every step and everyday

I must fight my own mistakes

And make a thousand copies

It is great to send things around the world

Instantly sending out the latest updates

Within a few seconds

What is not so great is someway finding

Someone locked you out of your own creations

Sometimes a tool that has less capabilities

Is a blessing

And sometimes the instantaneousness

can feed an addiction

Is is better having been seen less

Across the world

Or risk the loss of a lifetime of work

Sometimes the most profound choice

Is to do nothing or simply wait

Maybe there is just too much to do

And maybe I am just too tired

I want to help others

But maybe I could do something

That requires less housework

Maybe I could be creative

Without piling up a stack of work

Maybe I will just buy a printer

While they still make them

Society

God and Spiritual Warfare

The critical difference between Christianity and all other religions is that the Christian God is the one, true, all-powerful God. He has the power which He will give you freely that will permanently kill all your demons for you. It is not a matter of trying harder. It is about surrendering your entire life and choices to Christ.

You are the only thing blocking your recovery and your victory over death. Christ has already won the entire war against death and immorality (sin). You need not fight your battles alone. You need to not engage evil at battle at all.

Flee from evil (bad situations) and use the Bible as your only weapon. No one can force you to do evil. You have to believe that you are fully responsible for the bad choices in your life. If you didn't have the strength to make those choices, how are you going to have the strength to choose not to do those bad things (when you are tempted again)?

Do not fight evil! Surrender to God, flee from evil, and let God change your mind, so that you can make better choices. Then make better choices. The devil is not your enemy: you are your own greatest enemy.

How do you get stronger and let God change your mind? Accept Christ as your God and Savior, read the Bible, go to church, and pray. The answers are not difficult to understand. Spiritual things just work according to different laws than those in the physical, legal, and economic worlds.

Faith is the key to understanding God. Choose to believe that you will overcome, thank Him for the good things in your life, and pray for spiritual things that are consistent with the Bible. Then keep praying, listening, and waiting. God will do things in His own timing and way. Be careful what you pray for, because it is likely God will make it so, if you ask for the right things.

Prayer is simply talking to God. You need to listen and thank as well as ask. God wants more for you then just experiencing His intervention when you are in an emergency. Prayer is not a punishment. It is a great honor that He who created the universe chooses to talk to us, who we can all agree screwed up a literal paradise God carefully and generously set up for us into a world full of suffering.

Paradox of Fighting without an Enemy

Many people ask how can I fight evil by just allowing God to do all the fighting for me? It is a struggle, just not an outward one and not one we should fight via psychological or physical means. We all depend on God whether we acknowledge it or not. This does mean we should give up. We are always responsible for our own actions and our relationship with God.

Most of the spiritual battle takes place in the mind, so accept Christ as your God and Savior, read the Bible, go to church, and pray. You will learn in church to pray and read the Bible, learn to pray and go to church in the Bible, and learn in prayer to read the Bible and go to church. This is a kind of Zen concept where you are in a continual repeating cycle and the process being the result.

Christianity is about getting close to God and that happens by making Christ your habit or anti-addiction. This process is not for you to comprehend concepts you never heard of. These tools are there for you to transform your mind and strengthen you spiritually. People do not change their minds based on argument, but rather on repetition and major life experiences.

That is why we practice Christianity the way we do. It is like the ads we see on TV or the logos we see on everything we buy. The fight for peace is less about fighting the devil and more like surrendering to Christ. Any fighting against external spiritual evil should only be done with the Bible as a weapon.

The "battle" is the combination of your surrendering your will to God while accepting complete responsibility for your immoral decisions, and then resisting temptation. God is always beside us and will provide the necessary difference in strength necessary to overcome our spiritual problems, once we choose to work with Him and on His side. God is always helping us - it is only that we either resist God or do not cooperate that causes us to get over our heads in immorality.

If you are at a boring time in your life in general or specifically spiritual one, this is probably because you need the rest and/or you are already on the right path. I have generally felt closest to God during crisis in my life. I actually hope for a boring life for the rest of my natural life on earth as exciting is generally painful.

The Key to Living Christianity

Christianity is like a reverse or counter addiction. That is why many recovering addicts have turned to Christ and Christianity for help. The point of Christianity is not just to avoid Hell, but to avoid it on earth as well. Do you really want to be counter culture and resist the mainstream world? This is why living Christianity involves submitting your will to God, reading the Bible, praying, going to Church, and giving to the needy. This is similar to the five pillars (basic commands) of Islam (although totally different in theology).

You need to spend a lot of time and effort, to avoid being truly a passive consumer/follower, as your primary role in life. But this is not a chore, like going to the bathroom. It is to be a joy, like eating. The way bad Christians act, that turns people off to Christianity, is not part of any denomination of Christianity's doctrine and is directly and specifically forbidden in the Bible. You will find that in being a Christian, you will have aspects of your life and attitude that turns others off to Christ.

The frustrating part is that the people who create the most problems in the Church tend to be the least critical of themselves, and you have the nicest people constantly beating themselves up and getting discouraged over minor mistakes. Remember, Church is not a building, organization, or network. The Church is the spiritual entity that is the female counterpart to Jesus Christ. We serve Jesus Christ, and should be loyal to Him (personally), Who is there to help return us to think like we did as children and undo what the mainstream culture has taken away.

No matter how many books you read, you will never find wisdom or joy, until you find the Christian God and make Him the first part of your daily routine. It is ok to question God and still believe in Him. One of the things that bothers me about Christianity is suffering. It makes it hard to fully trust God. But God did not create suffering, did not promise to rid us of it, and very often intervenes to stop it. So it is unfair to hold it against Him, but the emotions are not very rational.

The answer is just like the most common answers to teachers questions in Sunday school: Jesus, go to Church, read the Bible, and pray. None of these is essential to being Christian, but going to Heaven and being happy in life are not essential either. Do you want to be judged by what you have done or by God's free and unconditional gift of forgiveness (always available to all)? Living your life for God and spending time with Him is a privilege, not a duty and is for us, not God. Remember, He made us to be in constant connection with Him and without this connection, we suffer.

The Key to Being Spiritually Healthy

In addition to being physical and emotional life forms, people are also spiritual and just like your mind and body must be taken care of to live a happy life, so your soul needs care as well. Not staying close to God and hearing His message continually can make you weak spiritually. The world is getting darker and darker, so we as Christians should stand out more and more from the general population.

One of the things you need to keep your spirit healthy is to continue to follow your conscience and not dismiss it or ignore it. Feeling fear or repulsion to things that appear good is a sign that they are not. One of the biggest signs something is bad for you is that someone offers you an easy shortcut to solving a difficult problem. Another sign is when you find a loophole or parallel way to ignore your inner voice instead of really avoiding the entire category of the problem.

An example of this situation is studying in school. It is hard to discipline yourself to study and so many people have resorted to taking a pill, to help them focus. It can still be legal and not show any bad side effects, but later you realize that it has prematurely aged your brain (you have increased your chance of dementia, as you age).

Another example is that people take a medicine for pain relief from their doctor but later on they realize they are now addicted to it. Then, when they need the pain medicine for something temporary like a surgery, it may not work as well and they have to choose between being in a huge amount of pain or in having to re fight their addiction.

Some medicines must be taken and if they are not, then that is the reason for a greatly worsened condition. If you don't take your heart, cholesterol, or high blood pressure medicine, you can die without warning. Many mentally ill people feel so much better after taking their medicine for a long time that they then decide they don't need it anymore. Then they end up back in the hospital.

No matter who you are or how strong your faith is or how well you know scripture, you need support that you can only get through hearing scripture. There is no substitute or good enough reason to not take the time and effort to keep close to God by hearing His Word daily. There are also many ways to do this with modern technology, so not being able to go to church is not a good enough reason.

On Problems in the Church

I think the Church is like the Army or any large group of people is that it is a reflection of the greater society it is in. I think most Bible believing Christian organizations as a whole have and continue to do as much as they can think of to appeal to every demographic. We have to at some point accept that the Church will never be perfect and one organization cannot alone be all things to all people (only Christ and Scripture can).

We are spoiled in America so much that many people are more worried about their future after death than dealing with problems in life. We don't need Christian versions of everything and to keep pursuing a perfect Church community and perfect theology. We continue to try to change our world socially, but what goes on in the Church is much more important prophetically, as it is one of the biggest targets spiritually.

But there is always more we can do and we should not get discouraged to the point of giving up, because society as a whole has rejected Christianity. Every person (and animal) is worth fighting for. The good part is the war on doctrine has been won conclusively as most young people in America know little about the Bible at all.

God will never give up on us and so we should never give up on others. We need to just keep following the voice of God and our conscience. The rest God will work out. Keeping to the faith, while patiently waiting for deliverance is what faith is about. Faith in Christ does not often provide very visual or immediate feedback.

Glamorizing Dangerous Behavior

Hollywood is well known for glamorizing sex and violence. This means that they minimize the negative consequences and portray this behavior as having good outcomes. Why does the church constantly talk about money and sex almost exclusively? These are the two biggest things that cause life changing problems in most people's lives.

Although I would argue that Hollywood is conservative not liberal because it is a giant business motivated by money, it is definitely corrupt. Are violence and sexual immorality made worse by Hollywood or are they merely a reflection of society? Both are probably true. It goes in a unvirtuous cycle.

I think many people believe that the way we think does not affect the way we act and what other people do in their private lives is not our business. We make this huge distinction between action and thought although the one directly affects the other. This brings us to what have historically been called deviant behavior and vice.

Gambling, sex outside marriage, drug use, aggressive pan handling, traffic violations, bullying, gossip, dirty words and jokes, and the like are slowly being legalized and this can and does affect others. I think it is great that we do not discriminate or bully people who have made different life choices like different choice of religion, political views, spoken or written language, subculture or ways people are born. The thing is though that we have to agree on some basic moral standards or society will slowly get worse and worse by all measures.

I see how the media and military recruiters glamorize the military. They only show the exciting parts and not the terrifying, painful, risky, stressful, difficult and monotonous parts. The military basically has a price on your head and you are not worth a cent more to them. From a Marine's perspective, combat is 80% boredom and 20% terror.

You are exposed to toxic chemicals in one way or another in almost any job in the military. You also do not get most of the education, financial, and vacation benefits they claim you get. If you leave early which usually takes the intervention of a US senator, you are almost guaranteed a discharge that although not dishonorable will not qualify you for any VA benefits when you get out.

You are paid so little that as most soldiers now have families, it is common to be on food stamps in the military. The military justice system is truly brutal as you always get a civilian penalty in addition to a military penalty. You can get fined 1/3 your monthly salary and get 2-4 hours extra duty a night for 2 weeks for very minor infractions that wouldn't be a crime in any other jurisdiction.

If you fail out of your chosen career in the military, they reassign you in the Army to another career that is the job that is hardest to fill, and in the Navy you lose your rate so you have n guarantee of what you will be doing. If your kids ever do anything bad or you miss a payment on your car, God help you. Most people do not stay in for another enlistment because they try to get out as soon as possible as few people in the military would stay in if they could leave.

This is why I think bible believing Christians tend to be conservative socially.