Posts Tagged ‘change’

Religious Freedom or Discrimination?

April 23, 2015

Things change.

Not that many years ago, homosexual sex was against the law.  It was listed as a mental illness.  It was a sin.  Gay marriage was unthinkable.

Now, those laws have been either rescinded or forgotten.  They certainly are not enforced.  It has been taken off the list of mental illnesses.  Some churches have embraced it as an alternative lifestyle.  Many states have legalized marriage of same sex couples.

There are still a few holdouts.

Some people of religious faith continue to hold to their view that it is a sin, that gay marriage is a sin.  They want no part of it.  They base their beliefs on a few scriptures.

Leviticus 18:22

 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13

 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

I Corinthians 6:9-10

 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

I Timothy 1:8-11

But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

Romans 1:18-32

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

There are actually still quite a few people who believe that homosexual activity is sinful.  Some of these people are in business.  They believe that it is wrong for them to support a gay marriage by providing services such as photography, baking, or catering.

Is the refusal of these services criminal discrimination, or an exercise in religious freedom?  Should the people newly in power force compliance upon those who have been slow to change?  Or who will not change?

Recently Indiana had a law passed that was meant to protect people of conservative religious views.  It was poorly written, being far too broad in scope. There was an uproar of protest.  The law was quickly changed.  I would like to suggest something more specific to be considered.  Something like:

“Business people who have strong religious convictions against gay marriage will not be forced to provide services to support a gay marriage ceremony so long as those services are available by another business within a fifty mile radius.” 

This type of law would protect the right of the individual’s religious conviction while still allowing the desired services to be obtained.

Of course, maybe we have become a society that will not tolerate disagreement or noncompliance.

 

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Adjusting

January 31, 2012

Yesterday I ran three miles. .. I was supposed to run six.

When I was considering going back to school Gloria asked me what I would be giving up.  My initial reply was “Sleep”.  However, that was meant to be a joke.  Since my heart issues of over a year ago, I have been more conscious of my need to rest, and not to overdo it.

That can be challenging.

I have decided that I am going to take each day as it comes.  I will do what has to be done on that day, and then I will try to work in as much of the things that should or could be done, for which I have the time and energy.

It means making judgement calls about what is important.  Like yesterday, it is important that I continue an exercise routine.  My health, possibly my life, does depend on it.  However, I did not have time to run the six miles, and do other things that I felt should be done.  So I compromised.  I ran three miles, and got some others tasks accomplished.

What have I given up?  Hopefully, I am giving up the idea of a rigid schedule.  Day by day, I will try to adjust as needed.

Lame Duck?

December 20, 2010

In the closing days of this years congress the politicians are busy.

The tax deal has been passed.

Another large spending bill was defeated.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed.

And there is more to come before the end of this lame duck session.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this flurry of activity at the end of the year.  I do know that I regularly pray that God will help our political leaders to make good decisions.

I think that I may need to pray harder.

January is coming, and it will be a different congress.

I hope that is a good thing.

 

 

 

Transformers

October 21, 2010

Romans 12:2 says  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  (NKJ)

As Christians we are in an ongoing state of transformation.  God is helping us to move from what we were, to what we can be in Christ.  It is the Spirit of God, working together with the Word of God that helps us to recognize what is right and what is wrong.  We work together with God as He seeks to transform our lives.  Our spirit, will and reason should be open to the direction that God will give us by His Word, and His Spirit.

Philippians 1:6 says “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

God’s transforming work continues both in us, and through us.

Time to Begin

July 1, 2010

I have now been blogging for two years.  This will be my 375th post, there have been over 1000 comments.  For the most part, I have written something every morning Monday-Thursday.  It has simply become a part of my morning routine.

That is about to change. 

I will still blog on those morning when I wake up with something on my mind that I want to share with those in cyber-space.  On those morning when I do not have something to write about, instead of sitting at the computer until some idea strikes me, I am going to use that time to begin writing a book expounding on my philosophical views.  I have been thinking about doing this for over ten years and I am not getting any younger. 

It should be done in about ten more years.

If  you want to be notified of when I do post a new article you can subscribe by email and you will be contacted by the site.  

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you less often.

Wrongful Protest

June 28, 2010

I understand the desire to protest.  In fact, I would encourage people who feel strongly about an issue to protest actions that are in conflict with their beliefs.  I very much appreciate the freedom that we have in America to freely voice our opinions.  I do not, however, think that protests should be conducted in a way that is illegal, destructive, or violent.  When protests get out of control, they do more harm than good.  The energy that is wasted could be put to a more productive activity.  The individuals who organize protests should strongly encourage the participants to exercise self-control and to remain with the boundaries of the law.   After all, are they working for a change for the common good, or just the adrenaline rush of a fight?

Live the Dream

April 1, 2010

I believe that we are given the freedom to choose our actions within the natural limits of our circumstances.  If we are not happy with our lives we have the ability to dream, to think,  to choose, and to act.

We dream about what we would like to see different in our lives.  What do we want to see different in our future in comparison with our present?  Dreams have no boundaries.  We can dream about whatever we would like to be true.  It’s our dream, and we can dream about anything that is real, or unreal, possible or impossible.   Our dreams are limited only by our imagination.  Dreaming can be a good thing.  It can provide motivation to propel us into action.  Dreaming can also be a bad thing because we do not live in a dream world but in a world of reality.   Are we living the dream?  Or are we dreaming about living?

If we want to live the dream we must sort out our dreams and determine what dreams are achievable in our real world of limitations.  Now, if we do not want to stay in our current situation, if we want to change, we must think of a way to make our dreams become our reality.

We must choose what we truly want, and what we are willing to do to make those desires become a reality.  It is important to think clearly and to choose well.  This process can, and should be, reviewed regularly.

It is also important that we recognize that the only factors that we can truly control are our own actions and attitudes.  If our dreams are dependent on the actions of others, then we must recognize that we do not have that ability. (Although many try, and to some degree, are successful in controlling others, that is not the point of this article.)   We must learn to control our own lives if we wish to see change.

This process does not have to be done by ourselves.  If we ask God to guide our dreams, thoughts, choices and actions, then God will help us by the presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives.  If we are seeking to be conformed to His will, then His power will work in, and through us, and we can be much, much more than we could possibly be on our own.

 So we dream, think, choose, and act; to make our dreams become our reality.

Things Change

February 22, 2010

I recently shared our churches story about how we went to two services on Sunday mornings years ago, and then how we discontinued our evening services about a year ago.

Things change.

Only God remains the same.

Our boys are now young men.  They are in the process of building their lives.  They currently both live in Minnesota, hundreds of miles away. 

Things change.

Only God remains the same.

Each day is a new day.  It is filled with possibilities.  We have the opportunity to make decisions that will change the course of our lives.  We can also choose to continue on the course that we have been following. 

Even when things remain the same…

Things change.

Only God remains the same.

With each passing day, even each moment, small changes take place.  At the very least, things age, sometimes for better, sometimes not. 

Things change.

Only God remains the same.

Since we cannot stop things from changing, perhaps we can influence that change, so that it is positive in nature.

Change is inevitable.

Only God remains the same.

The Burden of Unemployment

November 24, 2009

The burden of unemployment could be considered from multiple views, society, the family, the individual and the workplace.  This post addresses the burden placed upon the employer.  You see, when congress decided to extend the unemployment benefits, they did not talk very much about the price tag.  The fees that each business must pay to the state for every employee is calculated by the cost of the program.  Extending the benefits meant higher costs.  Higher costs are then passed on to the business.  This year those costs have skyrocketed. 

I thought the goal was to create jobs, not destroy them.

The current unemployment policies are creating a tougher climate in which to survive in business.  How many small businesses will not survive?  How many jobs will be cut to pay for the higher cost? 

Higher minimum wage, higher taxes, higher unemployment costs, tougher, more expensive, environmental guidelines; and soon, if Democrats have their way, forced health insurance or penalties are all combining together to make it very difficult on businesses.  We are creating a very bad climate for the small business. 

What will the future bring?  What are the repercussions of the decisions of our government on the economy?  Where will we be in a few years?  Did America really want this kind of change?

Need versus Want

October 20, 2009

Early in our married life, my wife and I often had conversations about the difference between “need” and “want”.  There are some things that we need, there are many things that we want.

Our government could learn from this simple life lesson.  There are many things that our government is spending money on that are not needs.  When our deficit for a single year tops a trillion dollars, as it has this year, we need to make changes. Change is going to be painful for some, but our governmental leaders should really take a hard look at where our money is going, and they should greatly reduce or completely eliminate things in the budget that are not needed. 

It’s painful, but necessary.  Whether it is personal finance, corporate finance or government finance, the basic principle is still the same.  You need to have more money coming in, than you have going out, or you are in trouble.

As a country, we are in trouble.