How does adding 8 cents to the price of a Red Bull or 20 cents to a Mountain Dew change anything? Soda was no more than 50 cents just a few years ago, now kids hardly balk at $2+ per energy drink. That tax will only take more money from poor and/or unsuspecting or unconcerned citizens, enslaved to their desires, and line the pockets of political groups to fund more useless studies, while paying fat salaries of a bunch of clueless and overpaid researchers who couldn’t care less about the kids in my neighborhood. Used to be the parents would tell kids no. Well, those days are gone. The unspoken law is “I’m an American and dammit, I have the right to any pleasure or desire I have, and no one can tell me no.” The companies are happy to feed off this weakness. Nature has a way of regulating this nonsense. The unhealthy will die off, the econmic ability to live this way will evaporate, and we will again be forced to live off of natural food. The mediterainian diet wasn’t chosen by wealthy elites; it was the natural diet of poor people. If it’s wealth that allows the indulgence of desire then maybe the real problem is the desire of the heart. If you want to fix the world, change your heart.
It tears me down to hear story after story of unprecedented and unthinkable violence in Mexico, our neighbor. What’s most saddening is the reluctance and outright denial from US citizens of acknowledging any responsibility. We are all responsible for contributing to this social cancer. I’ll be happy to debate that statement with anyone who disagrees. It’s time for us to start loving our neighbor. Our neighbor is suffering; our neighbor is being beaten and left for dead. How dare we stigmatize Mexican-Americans as lesser humans. There is no greater shame, NO greater shame than to turn your back on your hurting neighbor. Especially after prostituing their hard work. Using them to cook for you, to clean your hotel rooms, to build your f—-ing swimming pools. Shame, only shame. You’re an immigrant too…
“What will Americans make of their country if they lose their conviction of an exalted destiny? …relinquishing empire as a way of life, giving up the delusion that the world will fall apart without the ordering of our money and armaments, presents a moment of possibility: we could embrace the decline of our global supremacy with a joyful sense of emancipation. If we are weaker and poorer, we’ll also be freer to arrange our common life by wiser and saner standards- perhaps by standards that reflect our professed belief that the poor are blessed, and that the meek, not the strong, will inherit the earth.” - Eugene McCarraher
Do you have to love yourself to love another?
I would say no, not at first. Loving others can lead to loving oneself, and loving oneself can lead to loving others. But the source of either love must be greater than both. If there is a God and if God is love, then God is the highest form of love and would then be the source of authentic love. Any other motivation for love is self-serving and self-serving love corrupts. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” - Jesus
“Love is never satisfied in the destruction of a sinner, but in the saving of a sinner. Love never finds its rest with holiness and righteousness vindicated by the annihilation of the things that oppose. Love will find its rest only when those who have been swept from righteousness and holiness are restored thereto and are remade in the image of the Father, God.” - G. Campbell Morgan
“We should not fool ourselves thinking the house church movement is harmless. Any religious expression can be equally dangerous and/or transformative. Left uneducated in critical biblical scholarship, house church gatherings can be the seedbed of continued ignorance, and worse. But the message of dying to self, to be raised up to new life, is a message both the institutional church and its alternative would do well to heed.” - from a comment given in response to a USAToday article about home churches.
Each society throughout history has demonstrated what it values by way of its collective law, in the same way that a family’s priorities are demonstrated by how it spends its money. A society will reap the fruit of sin and evil if it chooses to be lenient with it’s law towards both morality and economy. We saw this in the housing market crash and are sure to reap the consequences of legalized abortion.
The issue of a woman claiming the right to an abortion should be seen as a battle between the sovereignty of mankind vs the sovereignty of God. In the way that the abortion rights argument places the desires of the individual above God, many in the American Christian church are also guilty of the same sin. A quick example of this is the idea that “if I work hard then I deserve and should be awarded ‘success’, and if I am ‘successful’ then I have the right to determine what I treat myself to materially”. We’ve bought into this lie that we have the “right” to bask in the glory of our self-made material success while the rest of the world starves and suffers. We feel that the rest of the world deserves their suffering in the same way we deserve or success. We believe this wrongly because of “radical individualism”, the phrase I referenced of Keller’s. Both sins place self above God, the original sin.
That said, I want to emphasize that the solution lies in first realizing that God is sovereign and if we each got what we deserved it would be no less than annihilation for all. Only after we realize this can we forgive as we have been forgiven.
My emphasis with the band-aid analogy was to propose that if the church truly wants to attack the social cancer of abortion it needs to redirect its efforts toward social restoration and redemption. That can only come by way of a heart changed by grace. A Christianity built on “individualism” can only result in condemnation.
The law banning abortion, while ‘right’ and necessary, does very little to combat the social ill of unwanted pregnancy or individual problem of wanting to be sovereign over God. It’s much easier to campaign for one simple law than it is to attack the complex and pervasive cause, and I would add that laziness is also a symptom of individualism. Show me a Christian that loves God over self and loves neighbor as self and I’ll show you a transformed self, a restored family, a revitalized community and a changed world.