Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Can you be pro-life and pro-choice? Maybe not, although the definition is not always black and white. At The Backyard Preacher Ministries, we are pro-choice, but in every way possible our pro-choice stance could be looked upon as pro-life. I took it upon myself to clarify my stance and write about the abortion from a progressive Christian perspective. I find it particularly ripe to bring about this topic once again as here in the state of Iowa the powers that be, governor Kim Reynolds took it upon herself to sign into law a very quickly pushed law spear headed by religious zealots without consideration of the ramifications. My friend Jon Alexander of the Quad City Times writes a more in-depth editorial here.
My purpose is to enlighten and explain the matter of life from a Christian perspective. A rational Christian perspective, which has long since been abandoned by Evangelicals in the United States. Do I like abortion? No, I do not like the act of abortion. After talking to several women and listening to views from both sides of the debate women do not like abortion either. I will also not overstep my bounds as a man and claim to know what is best. As a Christian do I believe that abortion is murder? Truthfully, I do not know. There is something called the transmigration of souls, this is a belief which the early church and religious scholars such as myself have wrestled with. When does the soul of a person enter the fetus? Many Evangelicals would say that life starts at conception. While biologically this is true life does start at conception; that is cells are alive. The question that more Evangelicals should ask is when do those cells become a human, and when does the spirit of a person, “their true self” enter into a fetus? No one knows, and when you do not know something, it is wise not to demand. While I do not support abortion, I would prefer that women choose life, but I am not walking in their shoes, I do not know their situation and will not speak for them. There are many complications that will come about from the new Iowa law. Alexander speaks to the financial, I am speaking more to the social. Will this result in women going out of state to have abortions? Will women have “back alley” abortions? Will women carry the baby even when they cannot afford another child pushing women and the new child into a greater cycle of poverty? I do not know, but these are things to think about.
As I said I am pro-life, in every sense. I am against the death penalty, against war, I support strong gun control. I desire for people to prosper and live life to the fullest. It amazes me that Evangelicals who have pushed the abortion law in Iowa have no problem sending young people to die in senseless wars, strap people into death chambers, and arm themselves with weapons of war which are responsible for children killing children in public schools. I want to remind my Evangelical friends that we do not know when the spirit enters the fetus, we do however know that existing people are alive in every way. There is also the cycle of poverty which is prevalent within the United States. The church conducts overseas mission’s trips but often neglects the people who live within their own borders. In the wealthiest country in the world many condemn the poor as weak and lazy, yet do nothing for them but call them murderers and fornicators. Women have abortions which more than likely would be prevented if she was financially capable of raising the child. The whole situation is sad. I preach life, a life in which all people have choice. I nor any other Christian knows when the spirit of a person enters a fetus. I nor any other Christian can walk in another’s shoes. The new abortion bill makes abortion essentially illegal before most women even know they are pregnant. Let me let you chew on these concluding thoughts.
Evangelicals stop worrying what a small percentage of women do with their bodies. If you want to stop abortion push laws that will lift people out of poverty. Pass laws providing affordable education, so people can find jobs which will pay for a family. Let us start teaching sex education not only in school but in our churches. Thinking that our kids are not having sex before marriage is absurd and not teaching about safe sex practices leads to possible abortions. Pass laws restricting weapons of war in the hands of citizens, I do not think that it is responsible to be able to possess the same weapons I used in the military, which only purpose was to kill another human. Speaking of the military let us stop getting into senseless conflicts and supporting the death of our children. I know that this message may not be popular with my Evangelical friends, yet it is a message which I felt compelled to bring as I have observed the recent cries of the people on both sides of this debate. Can we be both pro-life, and pro-choice? Maybe? I do not know but what I do know is it is more important to protect the lives of the already born, this includes the women who choose abortion.

 

Picture Credit: Nick Anderson

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Nate takes us on a journey out of the bondage of fundamental religion and into spiritual freedom. True Freedom is not found in what you do, true freedom is found within. Knowing God is something that is only grasped through the acknowledgment that you cannot know God.

 

Jesus said: “love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.”   
That is easily said, but in reality when a person becomes a Christian we assume that we know what to do.  Yet do we really?  
In my years of being a Christian, one of the most depressing questions that many face is, now what? 
It is said not knowing what is expected of you in the work place is the number one issue facing employers and employees.  Sounds like that should be a simple  fix. The fact is, it is not. The same goes for trying to figure out what is expected of us as Christians. 
Now you are probably wanting to know my insight.  Simple, stop trying!  The problem with  many organized religions is all the rules and dogma. They drain us both physically and emotionally. 
Many people leave the faith or are so disgusted with the hypocracy of Christianity they run from anything associated with religion.
You might be shocked to hear this, but it is time to stop worrying about sin.  Its time to stop worrying about right or wrong, along with how you must “act” as a Christian.  Because it is not an “act” it is real life.  The plan is to follow Jesus, but as Romans 4 points out, it is not your acting that does anything to please God.  
Christianity is a Journey, one that is most of the time unknown.  The supprising key to pleasing God is to understand this, and continue on even when we do not know where we will end up.  Why?  Because we are placing our trust in God.  We are not concerned with the dogma of our organized religions instead we follow the Spirit into all truth.  The “rules” did nothing but create disappointment and defeat. It is faith in the journey that pleases God!
Be blessed today!  Happy Friday!

Nate continues in his series of The New Aeon of Christianity.  In this episode Nate examines material possessions.  Also the old aeon method of tithing and giving out of psychological manipulation.  Nate desires to bring the body of Christ freedom from any abuse and bondage brought on by “leaders” within the body of Christ.

Many of my progressive Christian friends are probably use to seeing the many articles floating around denouncing nationalism within the church and for the most part I agree. For the most part. While I am not one on 4th of July church services, there is almost a natural link between church and state regardless of the constitution. From ancient times the King or Queen ruled by divine right called “The Divine Right of Kings.” If you go back to ancient Egypt we see the Pharaoh as the god-king, the high priest of the nation as well as political ruler. It just might be in our DNA to set off firecrackers and salute our nation’s flag, all the while saying a prayer to our deity for another day of freedom.

So while within the Christian faith I think it is important not to go so far as to force feed people a religious diet. We do live in the United States in which the founding fathers had a brilliant and beautiful idea of separation of church and state, we also do not want to leave God out of the government and act like he will not enter the chambers of congress because we will not invite him in, or within the courts because we take down the ten commandments or a statue of Baphomet, as if God was so inferior and able to be stopped by our human measures.

I believe a more centrist approach is needed. I personally think much of this backlash against celebration of the state within a religious context comes from the recent election of Donald Trump. I do not support Trump, but nonetheless I will not be one of those “He is not my President” people, because he is my president as a citizen of the United States. Both sides, liberal and conservative have an opportunity to allow what is going on in today’s government to bring us together. Let this be an opportunity to get back to the basics of Christianity. Let me remind you that Christianity is not a religion of any state, but rather faith in Jesus, unlike the religions of the ancients we do not allow the state control over us. Yet we kind of compromise as Jesus said, give unto Cesar what is Cesar’s.

I believe both liberal and conservative Christians are engaged in what amounts to rebellion. Conservatives want to create a government of the church and by the church, and liberals are moving so far away from the church into the realm of Unitarianism. As a progressive Christian I am not going to sell out my faith and bash everything churches around the country do. Just as I do not want them to bash me and my progressive theology. I believe we can unite once again and agree to disagree.

James says faith without works is dead. Yet what are these works? Is it right action? Religious ritual? Loving your neighbor? These are great, but in my understanding the human will always come up short. The fact is we cannot please God through right action. Being a “good” person; Jesus himself said “who is good?” Our problem is many of us strife so hard to please God through our actions, in life we become infatuated with our religious beliefs, ritual, deeds, it creates a religious OCD.  It causes anxiety, depression, and endless pushing of the rock up the hill only to have it fall back down on you. We place ourselves in our own form of purgatory trying to please God. Faith without works is dead, but what are these works? Trust, to trust in God as Abraham. Only faith can please God, the action of faith is trust. Let’s face it, many of us say we trust in God yet to be honest most things we have in life are created by our own hands. We get the job, the loan, and everything else that works out in life then we give praise to God.  When it doesn’t we say we are suffering with Christ or come up with any excuse to ease our spiritual suffering and disappointment. Trusting God is probably the hardest thing we can do as Christians, yet it is easier then trying to live our definition of morality. Trusting God does not require pushing the stone up the hill only to get rolled over, it involves knowing that God is, and we are not. A acknowledgement that everything will be okay regardless of the outcome because our trust, our hope, our faith is in God. This trust can motivate us, inspire us to great actions without the feelings of unworthiness. God did not create garbage, he created beautiful people which he knows can never meet our self- created standards. So today be kind to yourself, stay inspired. Love yourself, this will help you love others. Remember God loves you not for your works but just because you are his children. God bless and have a great day!

Be Kind-Stay Inspired

Happy St Patrick’s Day!  All you wannabe Irish people who just want another excuse to drink.  Please be safe out there!  OK, Nate takes on the division of flesh and Spirit, looking at the text from Luke chapter 8 which describes the transfiguration of Christ from an esoteric perspective.  Enjoy, and stay inspired!

Nate Sprott takes you on a no holds barred look into the madness of religion in this first comedy special.  If you get offended easy you might as well not listen!

Nate often introduces the podcast with his line “This is not your mother’s religious program we are not TBN, I will not ask for your money give it to someone who needs it.”  So today Nate talks a little bit about money and ministry.  Although the greater portion of the show is focused on the spiritual awakening of Jesus and an awakening that we must also have as his followers.  Listen up and be blessed.  Please share!

Today Nate talks about what the singularity of Christianity that can bring us all together in unity as Christians, no matter your flavor.  We currently live in a divided country with a divided church.  The time for unity is now.  Listen and receive the guidance you need to live out a life of love and unity.