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  • ivanildotrindade 10:13 pm on March 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anwar el sadat, easter, friend of sinners, , izaq rabin, Jesus, jesus drunkard, jesus glutton, jfk, john lennon, martin luther king jr, pope francisco, , ronald reagan, tax collectors   

    Jesus, John Lennon & Other Martyrs 

    I haven’t posted here in ages but it is Easter weekend, how can I not speak of something I feel so passionate about?

    I met a couple from a western European country in my local Starbucks here in Lititz today. We had a delightful conversation which lasted a little over 30 minutes. During that time we talked about a variety of subjects, among which the newly elected Pope. These folks are not religious people but they both expressed a certain degree of fascination with Pope Francisco, and especially how he comes across as a common man who is passionate about the poor and so far has said no to some of the luxuries of the good life afforded the “Prince” of the Roman Church.

    The lady made a comment that I thought was very intriguing. She said, “If other Popes and religious men had been that way, it would probably have impacted my life differently. I think I would have gone to church then.” Interesting.

    I guess few people dwell on the fact that contrary to many of the religious leaders of today, Jesus Christ was meek, compassionate, and irrevocably drawn to the poor and downcast. He was accused of being a “glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners,” a libel leveled against Him by the religious leaders of the day, who felt threatened by the fact that Jesus was radically different from them. Many of today’s religious leaders, by the way, don’t stand a chance of being even falsely accused of such things, because they endeavor not to be seen anywhere near such people or things (or, if they do, they make sure it is in secret…).

    Think about this: Jesus loved the poor and those who were considered “the least, the lost, the last” were attracted to Him like a magnet. He was killed. Gandhi was in favor of non-violent protest. He was killed. Martin Luther King Jr. was willing to dialogue with his “enemies.” He was killed. JFK was a Catholic President. He was killed. John Lennon imagined a world without class or war. He was killed. Ronald Reagan dared to talk to the leader of the Soviet Union about ending the Cold War. Someone tried to kill him. Izaq Rabin was willing to hold direct talks with the PLO. He was killed. Anwar el Sadat achieved an armistice with Israel. He was killed. And the list goes on and on…

    One has to wonder what might happen to this Pope… It seems like every time someone of prominence establishes himself against the status quo, they come gunning for him.

    But back to Jesus Christ. All the other men listed above died for a political cause (except maybe John Lennon?). Jesus died for a cause that was outside Himself. In biblical terms, He died a substitutionary death — His body and blood in exchange for the sins of the world to satisfy God’s justice. Jesus said that nobody took His life from Him, He voluntary gave it. Jesus didn’t die just because He was different; He died so YOU could be different.

    And most of all, all the other men above are revered today for what they did while living and maybe their heroic death. But there is a tomb somewhere where you can honor their memory. Jesus, on the other hand, though revered for His divine words and deft miracles is revered primarily for what happened AFTER He died. According to Scriptures, He rose again on the third day, and thus accomplished the greatest feat against the greatest enemy of mankind — death itself. And that is why we celebrate Easter this Sunday.

    “But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died… Death is swallowed up in victory. ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (Paul in 1 Corinthians 15).

    Happy Easter, everyone!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    PS.: I am blogging more often here.

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  • ivanildotrindade 10:51 pm on May 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anti-gay preaching, Baptist, bible and homosexuality, fence against gays, fence the gays, gay bashing, gay sermon, , homosexual lifestyle, Jesus, jesus and homosexuality   

    "Pastors" Who Hate 

    I have little patience for people who promote hate. I don’t care whether it’s in the name of religion or politics. I don’t care if they claim to be speaking for God or for Satan. But when they pretend to be ministers of the Gospel, that tends to put me over the edge.

    Case in point: Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C. , who preached a sermon on May 13 calling for gays, lesbians and transvestites to be gathered and dropped off in an area 50-100 miles long, fenced in, and left there to die — by natural causes, of course, since he did advocate that food be delivered to them by a plane from time to time (how nice of him!). The video is a big hit on YouTube and once more evangelicals end up with more than a black eye over the issue of homosexuality.

    I think this sort of outrageous preaching is an affront for the Gospel. Somehow, when I look at the New Testament, I don’t see Jesus making these kinds of pronouncements. Yes, Jesus did speak harsh words at times against those who had abused the power given them by way of their ecclesiastical position. Jesus did speak against sin and he was not afraid to confront merchants who had transformed God’s house into a “den of thieves.” He even picked up a whip and scared them away!

    But some preachers take that too far. They seem to live by the philosophy of the “word of the day,” only in their case it is the “hate of the day.” Whether they have an actual “hate list” or not, judging by the explosive nature of what comes out of their mouths, you would think they have put some thought into it or maybe they are just naturally stupid.

    Had Jesus heard the sermon by Rev. Worley, he would more than likely walk out in disgust. He would then draw a crowd and explain why he left. He would say that he didn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle but he was more appalled at the way one who claims to speak for God handled the issue. Then he would more than likely seek to dialogue with those who held a different view from His own.

    He would be firm in his position but he would not raise his voice. And for those who would ridicule his views, he would plead with them to come to God on His terms. He wouldn’t compromise on what He believed His Father wanted, but He would never make anyone feel inferior or unworthy of His grace. He would remind all of us that everyone was made in the image of God and as such deserve love and respect. And love is what Jesus did best, even love to the ones who hated Him — a high calling He passed on to all His followers.

    Just about the only ones Jesus had no patience with were the religious leaders who acted like they had it all together but were only putting on a show. Those, he called “hypocrites,” “oppressors of widowers,” “brood of vipers,” “like a cup and dish clean on the outside, full of greed and self-indulgence on the inside, “white washed tombs — beautiful on the outside and rotten on the inside,” etc., etc., etc.

    On behalf of all the evangelicals who despise this kind of misguided, misconstrued, pseudo-Christian sermon, I would like to express my utter embarrassment and say sorry to all those who may have been offended by Mr. Worley’s remarks. I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I don’t hate you. Jesus would never give me that option.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Julie 8:13 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It amazes me the license too many pastors take in promoting and spreading hate. I think that the number one reason that people stay away from church is hateful, judgmental, self-righteous pastors and church-goers. I believe that Jesus’ principles of love contrasted with hate in the Christian community, especially in leadership, is what keeps so many people away from church. Jesus preached love and too many churches sow or passively accept hate and condemnation. It’s so incredibly sad to me how many people I’ve spoken with who, at the mention of God, get a horribly hurt face and begin to comment on their experience of church. Then they just get mad. They equate God with church and because they have had such disappointing, non-loving experiences with church and church leaders and church attenders, they don’t want anything to do with God. And that means they reject everything that is Bible too. I often feel that one of Satan’s greatest allies is the dysfunctional Christian church and it makes me very sad.

      • ivanildotrindade 11:48 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Jesus was tough on sin, no question about it, but he always was gentle with people who sinned, except the religious leaders — he was more than rough with them! he confronted people for focusing on the outside only while the inside was rotten. He was willing to challenge the status quo — like healing on the Sabbath, because he cared about people’s needs first. of course, this didn’t mean that he was an “anything goes” person, as He always sought to obey His heavenly Father. But some Christians have missed the point — they want to focus on cultural wars and forget that the real war is the one being waged inside the person — fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear of loneliness, and ultimately, fear of death. Jesus offered Himself as the solution to all of this, but when many Christian offer Jesus to the world today he has little resemblance with the Jesus of the New Testament.And that is sad. Thanks for your words, julie!

  • ivanildotrindade 9:40 am on February 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adolf Hitler, bad thingsGod's name, , hitler, hitler's religious ideas, Inquisition, Jesus, love your enemies, Mein Kampf, stupid things   

    God didn’t tell you to do that! 

    People have done bad things in the name of God. But that doesn’t mean that they were instructed by God to do such things. My God, for example, would not approve of the Crusades, the Inquisition, all the burning at the stakes, blowing up abortion clinics, protesting at the funerals of gay people, etc.

    So just because someone says he is acting in the Name of God, that doesn’t mean that his license to kill came from the Almighty. It may surprise you, but even Hitler thought he was acting in the service of God. His words about the importance of religious beliefs are famous:

    “This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life. The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us in thinking that they might usefully replace the existing denominations. …There may be a few hundreds of thousands of superior men who can live wisely and intelligently without depending on the general standards that prevail in everyday life, but the millions of others cannot do so.”

    • Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 10

    This, however, does not mean that Hitler was a Christian, as many have claimed. His actions definitely didn’t illustrate the teachings of Christ. But if he was not a Christian, what was he? I think he was simply someone who used religion to advance his political causes. He was not deranged. He was very conscious of what he was doing. He was not crazy, he was crazy with power.

    And that is one way to test one’s religious claims, isn’t it? How do them stack against the teachings of the founder? Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. That means that anyone who hates anyone is not advancing God’s causes.

    Christ loved the last, the least, the lost of this world. He was a friend of the poor, the sick, the tax collectors and prostitutes. That means that anyone who hates the poor and is not reaching out to the destitute is not on God’s side. In fact, the book of Proverbs says, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31).

    Yes, Jesus said “go and sin no more” to the woman caught in adultery, but many Christians seem to say “sin no more, then go.” I think the order is important. Jesus didn’t expect perfection before he releases us into the world. That is a huge difference and one that probably assumes many bumps on the road. But I am glad that Jesus also lay down what the standard to live by.

    Maybe I should write about great things people have done in God’s name. The list is also endless. We will see what comes next.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
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