A Secular Christmas

Christmastime is near

When kids in grade school pageants

Pray for Santa’s toys!

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

Norman Vincent Peale

I was asked one time, “How do non-Christians celebrate Christmas?” I said that we buy gifts for each other, put our gifts under a Christmas tree, put out lights on our houses and maybe some reindeer on the lawns, bake cookies, have family dinners, and celebrate love and community.” They pretty much agreed that we all get into the Secular Christmas Spirit.

Eternal Hope

Believe, faith, and hope

Words uttered by the godly

Unsure of their fate

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.

Friedrich Nietzche

A Christian is always praying and never knowing for sure. The life of a Christian is always wondering if you’re good enough for God. I always thought that I was never good enough. I often wondered if God ever forgave me for hating my father for beating my mother. After all, that commandment made the top ten. When Jesus said that only a “few” will enter the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), I knew for certain of my fate. How long is eternity? Forever!

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.

Image by justraveling from Pixabay

Praying For All Mankind

God answers prayer

Why pray for your own disease

And not the whole world

If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

John 14:14 NKJV

Why waste a prayer just for yourself when you can cure the entire world – in one stroke? Or maybe you don’t want to cure the world. That’s the question I have for God. The advocates and fundamentalists of the Bible claim that God is omniscient and omnipotent (knows everything and is able to do anything), so why won’t He cure all disease, hunger, and suffering in the world? If he can and won’t, what does that say about God? I’m not here to judge God or any religion. I’m just a critical-thinking human being with lots of flaws enjoying the mysteries of the world. I know not much but love asking the question.

Image by Ajay kumar Singh from Pixabay

Playing Chess With An Ape

Mysterious ways

Theists favorite phrase when

God doesn’t answer

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.

William Cowper

The phrase “God works in mysterious ways” is not found in the Bible.

God, if there is one, is unknowable. We humans cannot know God. We will never know God’s will. Praying is one of those rituals that has never worked for me. A prayer for my dying child went unanswered even though the entire congregation prayed for him. My pastor, who was an intelligent man, had a set of cliched answers such as, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “God has other plans that we just don’t know about.” Jesus says that as long as we believe, our prayers will be answered. No qualifications, except to believe (and maybe locking yourself in your room and not babbling). Maybe I didn’t believe correctly. Maybe God didn’t want to answer my prayer, which makes him a cruel God in my mind. Unanswered questions. Unanswered prayers. He is indeed mysterious.

Image by Reinhold Silbermann from Pixabay

Weird Bible Verse #1

Paul said, “I wish that

Those who are upsetting you…

Would castrate themselves.”

 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!

Galatians 5:12 NRSV

The original New Testament of the Bible (which doesn’t exist) was written in Koine Greek (not English) and some Aramaic. The Greek copies that have been found over the years were translated into many other languages: Coptic, Latin, Syriac, Ethiopic, and a whole slew of others. The English translation didn’t happen until the 16th Century. Today, we have many, many versions of the English Bible. You may have grown up with one particular version thinking that it’s the true translation of the original. But, who really knows. So, try reading one of your favorite passages in different versions of the Bible. BibleGateway.com is where I go to quickly change the versions. It’s a treat for me! But, I’m weird that way!

 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. King James Version

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! New International Version

I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! New King James Version

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Chances Are the Same Whether You Play (Pray) or Not

Lottery ticket

What are the odds of winning?

Unanswered prayers

 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11:24 NRSV

If you tell a Christian that your prayer wasn’t answered, they’ll have a reason as to why it wasn’t. Just take a look at this list of “20 Biblical Reasons For Unanswered Prayers” and you’ll see what I mean. I wonder how many followers carry a Prayer Checklist with them to see if they might qualify to be answered? Just a thought. But, if you look at Mark 11:24, Jesus did not have any qualifications or reasons why your prayers won’t be answered. He simply says that all you have to do is “believe” that you have received it, and it will be yours. Ahh, that mystical word that I have a hard time comprehending – “believe.”

Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay