Is God a Puppet Master?

Evil exists now

Because God gave us free will

Puppets in heaven

There’s too much tendency to attribute to God the evils that man does of his own free will.

Agatha Christie

If evil exists because of free will, will we have free will in heaven? And if we do have free will in heaven, will there again be evil? Will we worship, sing, and praise God all day long, for eternity, because we want to, or will we be puppets on a string?

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Hide-and-Seek God

Invisible God

If seeing is believing…

Why are you hiding?

 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

John 20:24-29 NRSV

Yes, I am a skeptic just like the Apostle Thomas. He doubted like I doubt now, but he got the proof he needed. I’m still waiting for God to show his face to me. I don’t necessarily wish to touch his wounds. Maybe having a beer or two with him would convince me.

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Weird Bible Verse #2

Do not sit where a

Menstruating woman has sat

Seven days unclean!

 When a woman has a discharge of blood that is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. Everything upon which she lies during her impurity shall be unclean; everything also upon which she sits shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening.

Leviticus 15:19-21 NRSV

Tampons weren’t invented yet so you gotta have rules for women on their periods. I kinda like the haiku version of this Levitical Law.

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Pastor Picked a Peck of Pesky Passages

Pick and choose verses

Pastors preaching buffet style

Pulpit imposters

You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.

James 2:10-11 MSG

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Veterans In Limbo

Weeping moms wonder

If suicide is a sin

A veteran son

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, getting professional help is the first and most important step.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

There is no explicit Bible passage about suicide.

Over 30,000 veterans have taken their own lives since 9/11 compared to 7,000 who died in combat. Of course, it is highly debated among Christians whether suicide is a sin or not. Some say that it is sinful and an act of blasphemy (an unforgivable sin). And others say suicide is not an unforgivable sin. Another one of those mysteries that we’ll probably never know.

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Tithing Your Way to Heaven

God needs your money

He will bless you with riches

Scratch my back doctrine

To develop enduring faith, an enduring commitment to be a full-tithe payer is essential.

Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do

Quid pro quo – something for something. The Prosperity Gospel has become a huge thing in the Protestant church over the years. This practice (is it a doctrine?) ensures that financial blessings and physical well-being are the will of God for those who participate in the financial and well-being of the church. My church stressed tithing, or giving at least 10% of your income to the church to be in good standing. The Catholic Church used to sell “indulgences” to reduce the amount of punishment for your sins.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Bumper Sticker Theology

Bumper sticker said

In case of rapture, I’m gone!

Please contact my wife

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The word “rapture” isn’t used in the Bible.

I’m ready to start the new year with a funny haiku. The rapture was never really taught in the church that I went to. I believe it’s mostly evangelical theology. There are a lot of books written and movies created on the subject of the rapture. Not interested.

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Fear and Shame In the Closet

Hurt, judgment, and pain,

That’s what the church means to me…

Rainbows in closets

Overwhelming scientific and medical knowledge exist today pointing to an inescapable conslusion. Sexual orientation is not a moral choice. It is something to which people awaken.

Bishop John Shelby Spong, The Sins of Scripture page 125

One thing the Christian religion has done successfully is categorizing, shaming, and excluding the LGBTQ community. Some denominations have come to their senses and have realized their misinterpretation of the Bible and have welcomed them with open arms. Some will say something stupid like, “Well, we hate the sin but love the sinner.” And then there are the fundamentalists who take the Bible literally and just hate the sin and the sinner. It’s a confusing religion and a complicated Bible.

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Nine and a Half Commandments

The Bible says to

Honor mom and dad or else!

Mom cries silently

i can’t tell if my mother is

terrified or in love with

my father it all

looks the same

i flinch when you touch me

i fear it is him

Rupi Kaur

I remember hearing the shouts and rumbling through the walls of my bedroom at night. And worst of all, I remember my mother crying, silently, as if she was holding back so she wouldn’t wake my brother and me. I remember never wanting to be like my father, at least the abusive part of him. He did have a loving side to him, but I’ll never forget the abuse my mother had to endure. If God insists on honoring a father who treats my mother the way he did, then I’ll be in line to go to hell.

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