Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Happy Reformation Day!

As you may know, today is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I won’t go into all the history and details of the reformation, as there are many other knowledgeable sites with good information if you’re so inclined.

Today’s topic is actually better suited to John Wycliffe than Martin Luther, but I think they would share the same sentiment, along with a bit of Aldous Huxley.

Luther (and Wycliffe) was fighting against church officials and the rules they imposed. Not because they rules per se, but because they were not part of the Bible. Luther’s cause was to obey God, and if man’s rules didn’t comply with God’s then it was man’s rules that lost out.

The reformation started by Luther and continued by Wycliffe included putting God’s words in the hands of the people. Rather than needing a priest to tell the people what God thought, the people should read the scripture for themselves. The main point being that people should read the Bible for themselves, pray to God themselves, and generally interact with God directly rather than through a middleman.

Luther was known for writing songs that were to be sung by the congregation, rather than sung by a choir and heard by the congregation. Wycliffe was known for translating the Bible into the common language of the people, rather than keeping it in the fancy academic languages of Latin/Greek/Hebrew.

What do we see happening today? Rather than church leaders forbidding people to sing themselves or read their own Bibles for themselves, we have the Brave New World approach: have an entertaining worship band that is so loud that it doesn’t matter if the congregation sings or not, and put the Bible verses on the screen so the congregation doesn’t need to look in their own Bibles.

I don’t think it’s being done on purpose to make lazy/uninformed Christians, but it can get there pretty easily. Make things so convenient that congregants don’t need to practice any individual disciplines.

To throw a little bit of Orwell here (more Animal Farm than 1984), what’s to keep the pastor from rephrasing the verse he puts on the screen, to better make his point? What’s to keep him from dropping Bible verses from the slides after a while? Put something on a giant screen, and people will pay attention to it.

We’re coming full circle from the start of the reformation in that people are happy to have a middleman do the work of reading, singing, and praying for them so they don’t have to.

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Acts 5:29

Three More Weeks

Only three more weeks until Reformation Day. This is the big one, being the 500th anniversary of Luther’s uprising. Start planning your festivities now.

So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.'”

Jeremiah 18:11

Independence Day

This post is a repeat – I’m phoning it in today because I’m enjoying the holiday.

Happy Birthday


Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

Psalm 33:12

Happy Midsummer Day!

Happy Midsummer Day!

That’s right – it’s the middle of summer. I know it feels like the beginning of summer because school just finished, but the days are getting shorter now, so summer is really half over.

The time is just flying by now. We haven’t taken our 2017 summer vacation yet, and I’m about to book our 2018 vacation. Having a high schooler involved in extracurricular activities means we can’t travel in August anymore. Note for those who don’t have kids in high school yet: plan your biggest/longest vacation for the summer between your oldest’s 7th and 8th grade years. Your flexibility in scheduling dramatically decreases after that.

Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near

Matthew 24:32

Happy New Year

So long, 2016.

When that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands.

Genesis 47:18

Rogue One

Mini movie review here. Went and saw Rogue One, or – as I like to call it – Star Wars episode 3.5.

Not a full review, because it’s Christmas break and I don’t feel like spending much time writing here.

Summary: It’s Star Wars-y. It has a lot of lasers shooting things and people. A bunch of people (and other beings) die, but without gore (as in true Star Wars fashion).

It is a better story than some other Star Wars movies, and it is told better than some other Star Wars movies. I liked it better than the recent Episode 7, as that had nothing really original whereas Episode 3.5 has an actual plot and good characters to go with it.

Of course, there were some parts that were hard to believe, even within the Star Wars universe. And that one near the end was particularly grating on one’s brain. But overall, it was much better to watch than Episode 7 and Episode 3 and Episode 2. Plus, it explains a number of things in Episode 4, which I won’t list here so as not to spoil anything.

As for a rogue, his weapons are evil; He devises wicked schemes To destroy the afflicted with slander, Even though the needy one speaks what is right.

Isaiah 32:7

Life as a Simulation

I’ve noticed a number of news items or recent articles highlighting the belief that our lives as humans here on planet Earth are merely part of a giant computer simulation.

While many have wondered how we got here and what is the purpose of life, this particular answer does not really fulfill any of life’s great questions.

There are a number of ways one could go about analyzing the meaning of all that, but the main point that I see is that it is pointless. If life is a simulation, then someone is running (or has setup) the simulation. To say that our life is a giant computer simulation gets us nowhere. There is still a reality outside the simulation.

So one cannot cause reality not to exist by claiming that we are just part of a simulation. And if one is inside a simulation, there is no way to break out of it. Again, it’s pointless to believe this. It does make for an interesting diversion, and some entertaining movies have been made on that or a similar premise, but I think that belief is bad for us. Morally, socially, physically, spiritually – the negative implications of that belief outweigh the positive outcomes. Especially for those of us who live in reality.

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7