Thursday, February 19, 2015

And Now You Know!

Some months back, when I called Rob Bell a heretic, I got a ton of hate mail calling me unloving, intolerant, a knuckle dragger unwilling to see beyond my own legalistic dogma, jealous, envious of another man’s success, and a few other choice things that I cannot repeat here lest children happen upon my blog.

Recently, Mister Bell pulled the mask off altogether and spewed a few more nuggets of worldly wisdom that has all of Christendom apoplectic, wondering why they couldn’t see the man for what he was sooner.

I’m not much for ‘I told you so’. Not to toot my own horn, but if I were a fan of the ‘I told you so’ fad, I’d spend half my waking hours telling people, ‘I told you so’.

That this man is still called a pastor is an outrage to reason and sensibility. That this man is still touted as a man of God is beyond the pale, and anyone calling themselves a Christian still defending his teaching should really consider visiting a mental health specialist sooner rather than later.

To answer the question that is on so many a mind, the question being how exactly Mister Bell could come to the conclusion that the church is a hair’s breadth away from embracing every vile and wicked act as being the embodiment of love, one must look at what he thinks of the Word of God, then look no further than that.

Since I do not want to be accused of putting words in Mister Bell’s mouth, I will quote verbatim his response to a question posed by yet another luminary of the modern day American Church and Spiritual movement, Oprah Winfrey, regarding what seems to be the gotcha topic of the moment, homosexual unions.

“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”

Bravo, well done, hip hip, you virtuous and brave defender of the faith, you. To call this man a pastor is like calling someone who mutilates cats in their basement a doctor. I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore. Seriously! How much more idiocy must we put up with until there is a resounding chorus of ‘enough’ from the household of faith? Does anyone even care anymore? If no one else does, why should I?

As I said, one need only look at Mister Bell’s reply to understand how little he thinks of the God of the Bible, and the Bible itself. Rather than calling it the inerrant, infallible, absolute Word of God, Mister Bell refers to the Bible as simply letters from 2,000 years ago, chiding those who would quote it as less than intelligent individuals who are waging a losing battle. In his not so humble opinion, if your only defense for the position you hold is the Bible, then you are a fool, an imbecile, a clueless troglodyte who deserves to be segregated to some desert somewhere, where you can live out the rest of your days quoting 2,000 year old letters to others of your ilk. This man still calls himself a pastor and others refers to him as a pastor! I’m sorry I feel the need to reiterate this, but it’s just beyond me.

It is because he thinks of the Bible as nothing more than a collection of letters that he can spout the idiocies he spouts without an iota of apprehension or fear.

These are the men you have chosen to lead you to green pastures and pure waters. These are the men to whom you’ve entrusted your spiritual wellbeing. These are the men who are held in high esteem, and seen as forward thinking luminaries of the new spirituality. These are the men who are supposed to introduce you to Jesus. Good luck with that.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Consequence of Everything

There are consequences to everything in life. There are consequences to action, as well as to inaction, to ignorance as well as to knowledge, to foolishness as well as to wisdom. Nothing we choose to do or not do, say or not say, embrace or shun, is absent consequence both in the instant we’ve made said choice, as well as from that point forward throughout your existence, and oftentimes far beyond.

I believe we’ve lost sight of this all important fact as a society, and it is one of a handful of reasons we are in the condition we are in, circling the drain ever so precipitously, clinging to anything whether it be a straw or a clump of earth just as long as we can keep alive the flicker of hope that we can return to former glory, and rediscover the righteous path we’ve long abandoned.

The problem as I see it is that all most of us do is hope. We don’t act, we don’t speak, we don’t exhibit righteous anger as the grossest of perversions befouls what ought to be the most sacred of places, we keep silent, keep our head down, go about our daily labors, and hope.

While we’re doing all the hoping, they’re doing all the acting, and in case you haven’t looked at the scorecard lately, we’re down by a lot more points than we’d like to admit.

Even our prayers are a cross between resignation and acquiescence, no longer praying for God’s will to be done, no longer praying for His justice to shine forth, no longer praying that He judge righteously, but rather just praying that the disease stops short of our doorstep though it may engulf the rest of our town.

We tell each other our tales of sorrow, and even then in hushed tones, because we fear reprisal, we fear the spotlight, we fear being singled out by the machine,  we fear being thoroughly chewed up, spat out, and left for dead, and this fear is what the darkness is betting on to keep us silent. The silence of the righteous is like catnip for the devil, and with each silenced voice he grows all the more emboldened.

Given what we’ve seen of late, this fear is completely justified, and the fact that Christians, and men of substance are being targeted is not just your jangly nerves working overtime, but a present reality. As children of God, however, we must move beyond the fear, and by faith override the inherent need for self-preservation, for only then will we have the wherewithal to stand boldly and declare sin for what it is, knowing that reprisal is a given.

We are seeing the consequences of silence and acquiescence all too vividly in our society, and the longer we remain silent, the worse it will become.

When the bell tolls, and the bill comes due, we will likely be in a mad rush to find someone to blame, someone to pass the buck to, but will ultimately realize that though the blame can likely be spread around a bit, by and large the brunt of it must be appropriated by those who chose silence over vocal opposition to the darkness, and who having done the math realized that going along to get along would ensure their comfort and ease far longer than standing up for the truth would have.

Every man values one thing above another. We either value truth more than we value our flesh, or we value our flesh more than we value truth. Our actions will speak the truth of it even if our lips might not.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Almost Funny

‘I will not eat you,’ said the wolf to the lamb. ‘Just climb into my mouth for warmth.’

I have been relishing peace of late. I have been watching my daughter grow, enjoying the calmness of the world, at least calm compared to what is about to descend like a thunderclap, and spending quiet time with God. Simplicity is good for me. Simplicity works.

It’s not that I’ve willed myself not to write anything the last few weeks, it just hasn’t happened. Between feedings, naps, diaper changes, walks, and other mundane things that bring me great joy for some inexplicable reason, I go to bed exhausted each night, only to get up and do it all over again. This morning I finally gave in and checked to see what’s happening in this world of ours, and although it came as no surprise, I found it sad that things are continuing to escalate.

I am still fascinated by some men’s willingness to believe their sworn enemies at their word. I am still unable to process how some actually believe that advice given by another who intends to do them harm is in their own best interest.

Some world leaders are not amateurs, and they know exactly what they are doing. Some of them have big plans, big dreams, big aspirations, and what’s more they are ruthless enough to succeed given the right opportunity and set of global circumstances.

One of the first things any form of combat teaches you – whether it be boxing, judo, karate, or the dozens upon dozens of martial arts disciplines – is to never telegraph your next move. Telegraphing your next punch, means that your enemy will be able to defend himself against it, then retaliate to such an extent as his abilities will allow.

If your opponent is truly skilled, then if he feigns left, usually the next blow will come from the right, and if he telegraphs his next move, knowing his skill level, you dismiss it outright because you know it’s a feign.

Another golden rule of battlefield strategy is to know your enemy. Only once you have come to know your enemy can you understand what motivates him, what drives him, and what his endgame is.

The moment someone with an undeniably strategic mind moves the first piece on the chess board, your question must be, ‘what is his endgame?’

Once you’ve identified what the endgame is, you can rightly predict your opponent’s next move, even if he tells you his intent is the complete opposite.

If not for the outright incompetence on display regarding Russia and their strategy, this entire situation would be almost funny. If not for the imminent danger the world is in, one might just shrug their shoulders and go on to the next story.

Contrary to their recent statement, Russia has big plans, and annexing what they perceive to be prodigal children of the old Soviet empire is just the beginning.

Some are breathing a sigh of relief thinking that the entire drama in the region has reached its apex, and is ready to die down, not realizing that the unpleasantness with Ukraine was the first calculated move, soon to be followed by many others, and with each move that goes unopposed they grow all the more emboldened in their pursuits.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.