Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Snow and the Tea Party


In case you haven't been paying attention, today was the Tax Day Tea Party. People all over the country demonstrated to protest the out of control spending by our government. I happened to be on vacation in Utah, so I looked up where the nearest "party" was. When I told my family that I wanted to go to the Tea Party, they thought I was joking. When they found out I was serious, they weren't very excited. When it started to snow, we didn't think anyone would come. On the way there, I asked them to guess how many people would be there. The guesses ranged from 40 people down to zero. I guessed above 40. As we got closer to the Federal Building on 125 S. State St., we didn't see many pedestrians. Then we finally saw four people with signs crossing the street, my son laughed "Ha, Ha. I won. There are only four people." Half a block later we saw the crowd. About 1000 people.
video
We found a parking spot and headed over to the rally. For an angry bunch of revolting tax payers, I felt very safe. There were people of all ages and they were all well behaved. I was surprised to find only a couple of anti-tea party demonstrators, but they were very quite. Also, Salt Lake wouldn't be the same without a couple of end-of-the-world demonstrators.



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Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Church of “Happily Ever After”

No story ever told truly comes to an end, however we all like closure to our stories. We ask, “So! What happens next?” A classic ending to many stories is “…and they lived happily ever after”.

Imaging inserting this ending “…and they lived happily ever after” in alternative positions in the Holy Bible:

In Genesis, “IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. In five days He created the stars, moon, earth, plants, and animals. On the sixth day, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the dearth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Genesis 2:8 “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed….and…made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

…and they lived happily ever after?

No! They broke a commandment, got kicked out of the beautiful garden. But then, they had children, Cain and Abel.

…and they lived happily ever after?

No! “Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”. But then Adam and Eve had Seth, “For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel”. And Seth had children, and they had children, etc.

…and they lived happily ever after
?

No! Along came Noah. Man became wicked, so God told Noah he was going to destroy man. Noah built an Ark and save his family from the flood. “And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground.” After 40 days, “Noah opened the window of the ark … he sent forth a dove”. The dove came back with a olive leaf. “…and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake;” As a covenant, God put a rainbow in the sky.

…and they lived happily ever after?

No. There was the tower of Babel. Abraham had from flee the land of his father, etc. etc. Let’s skip ahead to Moses. Abraham’s seed were now slaves in Egypt, Moses comes in and saves them, parts the Red Sea and delivers the house of Israel out of Egypt.

…and they lived happily ever after
?

No. They got hungry, so God gave them manna. They were thirsty, so Moses smote a rock and God gave them water. They got wicked, so God gave them the Ten Commandments. They were plagued by serpents, so Moses used a staff to heal them. They got grumpy, so God made them stay in the wilderness for 70 years. Then, God finally brought them to Canaan, a “land flowing with milk and honey”.

…and they lived happily ever after
?

I’m getting tired of this. Let’s skip to the good part. God sends his son, the Savior. He teaches amazing things: sermon on the mount, countless parables, etc. He performs miracles: feeds the multitude, heals the sick, casts out devils, walks on water, raises the dead.

…and they lived happily ever after
?

No! They take him prisoner, falsely accuse him, publicly ridicule him and they crucify him. But, three days later he rises from the dead, a resurrected being, visits his friends, goes into the heavens. His church thrives and his apostles and disciples spread the Gospel throughout the land. It’s revealed to Peter that they should open the Gospel to the non-Jew or gentile. Even more converts!

…and they lived happily ever after
?

Again the answer is “No!”.

Remember, the New Testament is not chronological. The order of Paul’s Epistles in our modern Bible is by size, not date.

The Apostles continue to perform amazing works and miracles.

The Apostles and disciples of Christ are rejected, persecuted, arrested, beaten and murdered (Acts 4:3; 5:18; 6:1; 16:20; 17:8,13; 18:5-6, 21:27, 25:4), (Acts 12:2).

The saints (early Christians) are mislead, blinded, start falling away and perverting the gospel (Galatians 1:6-7; 2:4; 3:1; 5:15; Hebrews 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Thesselonians 2:1-7; I got tired of looking). Wide spread persecution of Christians starts about 60-70 A.D.

The Bible is compiled somewhere between 60 and 200 A.D. closely resembling its current form today

…and they lived happily ever after
?
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