Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Natural Act

I respect the right of people to chose to be in homosexual relationships. I accept that most of those relationships are no more or less committed and genuine than de-facto relationships or marriages. I believe genuine relationships should be recognized by law and the people in those relationships given rights and protections within those laws.To not do that is plainly discriminatory. However, I entirely support the governments decision not to legalize homosexual marriages.

A man called Adrian said this about the government's decision to not legalize gay marriage, 'Please don't call on nature to justify bigotry.The animal kingdom contains many instances of homosexuality.'

The animal kingdom also contains many instances of cannibalism. Should we also say that is natural and not only allow it on our society, but promote and legitimize it?

According to Heather, because we are now in the 21st century, we shouldn't be denying the basic human right of marriage. Other advocates of legalising homosexual unions talk about the fact that no religion holds a monopoly on marriage. Sally goes further to say that no religion is necessary for marriage.

Firstly, the suggestion that because we have been on earth longer means that we should be more intelligent, wiser, more compassionate, and have learned our lessons from history and done away with all prejudice is a naive denial of basic human nature.

Secondly, marriage is actually a part of religion. God invented the concept. As it is his idea and He says that it is between a man and a woman, I think we should leave it at that.

Those who want to pretend they are married: de facto couples and homosexual couples should be satisfied with a civil union. Even those hypocrites who get married in churches, by ministers, and make promises to a God they don't love , know or even believe in, should also be satisfied with civil unions. Marriage should be reserved for those who accept it as God's perfect plan for a man and a woman. The use of the word marriage by homosexual couples is another attempt to legitimize what is in fact illegitimate. The word 'gay' used to mean happy but it was subverted by homosexuals to try to normalize homosexuality. The attempted theft of the word 'marriage' is in the same category.

'Gay marriage' is an oxymoron: A contradiction in terms. Marriage is between a man and a woman united in the sight, and under the authority, of God.

The comments by Adrian, Heather and Sally in this blog were taken from comments in an article called Gay Marriage Bill Fails in the Senate on SBS World News online.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why Should the Devil Have all the Good Music?

This is actually the title of a Larry Norman song. I don't know if you remember him. A christian folk/rock singer songwriter who was prominent in the 1970's especially. Norman was an eccentric visionary whose songs drew controversy from both the conservative religious establishment and the secular music press for his lyrical mix of radical religious, political, and social themes.He is known as the father of Christian rock and in 1972 released a record called Only Visiting This Planet which is widely regarded as one of the best of its genre.

A song from that record posed the question, Why should the devil have all the good music? It was Norman's protest against the belief which was common in conservative Christendom that rock and roll was Satanic.

Here's a sample of this anti rock sentiment:The demonic source of rock and roll music with its adverse emotional, physical and spiritual effect upon people is all too evident. The erotic, sensual effect of the rock and roll beat is purposely calculated to arouse lust, the revolutionary theme of rock music often advocates violence, the repetitious beat of rock and roll produces an ecstatic state akin to a trance and there is a close relationship between drug use and rock and roll. Get the picture? The man who wrote these statements, Hobart E. Freeman plainly doesn't like rock and roll. As a Christian, I am embarrassed by his comments. But it gets worse. According to Freeman, Christian rock music is simply a tool of Satan to corrupt and destroy today's youth. It is a compromising alliance with the world against the Kingdom of God.

I wonder if there are still narrow minded Christians who think like this. God forbid the existence of ministers who ban their congregation from watching non Christian movies, listening to non Christian music and reading non Christian books. The sacred/secular divide is a contrivance of graceless men. It is a totally false dichotomy. And to suggest that Christians and even non Christians cannot express truth and give glory to God through rock music is ridiculous. God is not limited by legalistic labels.

It is hard for some people to believe that I could enjoy listening to a band like Lamb of God. Even the name is an insult to Jesus, isn't it? Lamb of God sing songs which are anti-religion, not anti-Christ. Jesus himself is anti-religion so surely its okay for a man to sing/scream about the hypocrisy that he has experienced in the church probably from preachers like Hobart E. Freeman. There are countless other examples but the point is that Larry Norman's question must be answered with the words: he shouldn't have all the good music and in fact, he doesn't.

God invented music. It is an amoral tool which is used for a variety of purposes in our society. Some good, some bad. If rock music can be used to proclaim good news, rescue the lost, open the eyes of the blind, and set prisoners free, then how can it be labelled Satanic? Right minded, grace filled people know this to be true.

As Larry said, "I want the people to know that He saved my soul but I still like to listen to the radio."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Great Pretenders

On their most recent CD, When Angels and Serpents Dance, POD have a track called Rise Against. Here's a few lines from the song which got me thinking.

"What's the point in living?
What's the use in moving on?
If you keep pretending like there's nothing wrong."

2010 Australian of the Year, Dr Patrick McGorry is a mental health expert: a researcher, clinician and advocate for youth mental health reform agenda. He gave an interview on the radio last week and in it he mentioned some disturbing statistics.

In Australia, there is a death by suicide every 4 hours. Every 15 minutes, someone attempts to kill themselves.

These numbers make a absolute lie of the great Australian laid back attitude to life: she'll be right mate. We live in the Lucky Country. We have a few problems but nothing compared to other nations. We survived the GFC, didn't we? Life is great. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else? Rich, affluent, well educated. No worries. Have another beer! Blah! Blah! Blah!

If things are so good here, why is someone, a human being, somebody's husband, wife, brother, sister, son or daughter, trying to kill themselves every 15 minutes. Think about it? One person takes their own life every four hours. That's just here in Australia. And guess what, its getting worse.

We all have problems and we know that problems don't get solved by ignoring them. We know that but we "keep pretending like there's nothing wrong" I'm with POD on this one, "What's the use in living, what's the point in knowing, if all you do is nothing?" Let's stop pretending.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Positively Negative

Nobody likes negative people. Spending time with a negative person is like an hour at the bloodbank where you sit there and a nurse inserts a needle in your arm and they drain your blood. Your lifeforce slowly ebbs away into a plastic bag and when it's over you feel a little weary and fuzzy in the head.

Super positive people can be just as bad for your health. Spending time with them is more like running 10 kilometres in 40 degree heat. It's hard to keep going, it's painful and it's exhausting. At some point you feel like staggering off the course and calling it quits because you feel like you can't go on.

I prefer to focus on the positive. A wise man has suggested that we should let our minds dwell on whatever is lovely, beautiful, noble, praiseworthy or excellent, and that we should be thankful for what we have rather than moan about what we don't have.

This theory can be difficult to put into practice.For one thing it is easier to find fault and to complain. Especially in some circumstances. It requires great effort of will to remain positive and yet avoid a complete denial of reality.

Earlier this week I flew to Melbourne for business. It was a great opportunity for me to further my career and in the wash up will provide me with some more work and some invaluable experience. However it wasn't long into my six and half hour journey home that the shine started to fade.The return trip involved two taxi rides, two train rides and the flight. The actual flight takes less than an hour. You barely hit cruising speed and altitude when the captain announces it's time to land.If the plane had picked me up from the meeting and delivered me home to my front door, it really would have been a quick trip.

You see how easy it is. I could have kept that last paragraph rolling on. I could have turned it into two or three paragraphs of woe about my long road home. It really sucked. I had good trip overall and I'm really glad I went but when I walked in the front door after six and a half hours of travelling, I felt flatter than a pancake.

How can I tell the tale of my voyage to Melbourne without the bad stuff? If I just talk about what was good, then I'm not presenting the whole picture. How can I talk about what was bad without sounding like a whinger? I probably already do.

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