The Least of These











{September 9, 2009}   Servolution

Servolution: “a movement of people who believe that the church should be known what it’s for. A revolution that is fueled by serving, by showing, sharing God’s love intentionally. To display God’s love by serving them” (Devin Hudson – Servolution, 2009).

Severolution occured over three days, September 5th, 6th, and 7th – and was incredible. Volunteers served eight different locations and put in something crazy like 1800 service hours and served 9000 people.

Service has always been my “heart throb” to use Protestant verabage for a moment. Was it deeply ingrained in me as a Latter Day Saint or is it something that God gifted me with? Whatever the reason, service is passion. Not always to serve with others, but simply to serve others. And I prefer to remain invisible whenever possible.

For a little while now, I’ve remained at Grace Point out of comfort and complacity, while I don’t always agree with the theologly presented at Grace Point, overall I really enjoy the people. My husband has a huge heart for kids and feels really called to serve the children at GP, so I stay, neither being passionate for or against the church, but with my heart elsewhere.

This weekend however, really reminded me why we felt so called, pulled even, by God to Grace Point church again. Service. It is the one act, the one componet of Grace Point that has always set it distinctly apart from every other Protestant church, service is what makes this church so different. Having studied LDS apologetics for years before coming to Grace Point, I had a certain – idea of what “Christians” were. Yes, that does mean I seperated “Christians” from myself as a Latter Day Saint, this doesn’t mean that every LDS does this, but I did. I honestly think it was the apologetics that did it, that stuff takes a toll on you after awhile. It was only through the amazing living example of the Sager family that Steve and I began to know real Christians who didn’t care that we were Mormons and still accepted us just the way we were. However, coming into Grace Point, knowing no one, I held my own ideas of what Protestant churches looked like, taught, and so forth.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that Steve and I were not impressed with Grace Point spiritually, we felt it was too showy, too much on the entertainment side, and were not really interested in returning. It was only through a dream that I had, that we realized that God was pulling us to Grace Point, even though we had already made the decision to attend Discovery Church with our friends from the Sager small group. Yet, we knew that God was calling, so back to Grace Point we went. To be honest, I don’t remember how many sermons I had attended or if this was one of the first ones, but I do vividly recall the first time I heard Devin speak about Grace Point’s call to service. In my heart, I felt like I was home – a church that served with no strings attatched was certainly something I could get behind.

This past Sunday Devin spoke again about service, which he often does. He was not any more passionate than any other time speaking about service, he was not louder, or more persuasive -but something caught my attention and I found myself remembering why I loved Grace Point church. It serves without any agenda. Servolution is not a weekend, it’s not time carved out of your schedule, it’s a way of living, the same as breathing, and walking, and eating.

Service happens every moment of everyday – from seeing a mother and child walk in the blazing sun to school and offering them a ride instead, to buying a bottle of water for a homeless man laying under a dirty pipe outside a Rebel store trying to get a drink. There are opportunities everywhere and what really sets people apart from “Christians” and truly, converted Christ followers (or Saints) are no-agenda-acts-of-kindness. I’ve had plenty of Christians offer me things as a Mormon, however they always wanted to talk with me about their church. I loved that the team leaders of each Servolution location specifically instructed volunteers to not evangelize these people, but just serve them, the only PR these volunteers were equipped with were business cards for Grace Point and specifically instructed only to give them out if the opportunity arouse in conversation, but not to shove them into everyone’s hands. I cannot say how much I loved that.

Servolution was so healthy for me spiritually, I was totally exhausted afterwards, but I feel so spiritually revived it’s awesome. For a long time, I’ve been carrying a very heavy weight around me of a percieption of Christians, and Servolution reminded me that those who are “sold out to Jesus” as people like to say, do not always have to be rude, overbearing, insensitive, arragont, prideful, cruel, thoughtless, and unaccountable as sadly my closest examples have been for awhile now. That as passionate followers, we don’t always have to be running our mouths in order to win some war waged by the enemy and in fact, the most powerful weapon we have is service. Service without the sermon, service without the opinions and judgements, just service – as Jesus who cleaned Judas’ feet knowing he would betray Him, so should we serve others, even those who we do not agree with and cannot support, we should serve.

BE A SERVOLUTIONARY!

 

 

 

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{July 8, 2009}   The Ultimate Gift Basket
This Sucker is PACKED with good stuff!
This Sucker is PACKED with good stuff!

I am so excited to be introducing this amazing gift basket to all my Lia Sophia customers and hostesses this month! This is just amazing! I am so super excited! I have been talking about this basket for two days nonstop now and have just finished putting everything together. I want to take a super proud moment and say that I personally wrapped this basket myself. For anyone who knows me, they know that is a super huge accomplishment since I wrap like someone wraps with their feet. It’s just not a pretty picture – Steve has forever banned me from wrapping any birthday or Christmas gifts. My contributions for wrapping include bagging it. I’m just that bad. So I’m excited that this came out so pretty!

 
However, I am even more excited about what is on the inside of my very first ultimate gift basket! Are you ready for more than $300 in goodies!!!
 
First, I have $200 in Lia Sophia Jewelry in this basket! No joke ladies! This includes FOUR PIECES! I want you ladies to feel super special, so what I have included is two current pieces of jewelry, one of which is a top seller nation wide and the second a top seller at every one of my party’s! The other two are especially popular past line piece’s that I always have special requests for, however since they are retired past line pieces, these pieces re not for sale – so ladies, that means you cannot get them anymore.
 
This basket doesn’t stop there, I wanted to really make sure my customers were pampered – it’s hot out there! We need some time to relax! To really pamper ourselves! As women, we spend a lot of time taking care of other people, but we haven’t been taking care of ourselves! That’s where Passion Parties has come into play. They have a wonderful Romanta Therapy line that is designed to help women move from the business of the day, into relaxation. If you are interested in learning more, please let me know, so I can get you in touch with the consultant I know! In this fabolous basket, is a full sized bottle of their brand new summer product (read: JUST RELEASED!!!) Alluring Body Lotion: Green Tea (zin). I got a chance to take a sample of this home and it is DIVINE! I got to try it with their massage mittens and I thought I had died and gone to heaven – I was wondering where my pizza trees were… 😉 Seriously though, this is a $19 value – totally FREE! But it doesn’t stop there! Also, included in this is a travel size of the original Alluring Lotion in Plumeria and a sample of their bath salts in plumeria – which is the original scent I fell in love with.
 
 So we’ve got the four amazing pieces of free jewelry; we’ve got the full size, the travel size, and the samples from Passion Parties – and we’re still not done! We also have a full size, quality, and highly popular bottle of wine! That’s right Charles Shaw wine! And some adorable accessories to go with it! We’re talking super cute wine cap (not a wine person so I’m not sure of the correct terms here!), some wine dangles, coasters, and a whole barrel of other things that I’m sure I’m forgetting about. I’ve stuffed this basket with chocolates, candles, and more!
Here’s the prescription that comes with the basket (and don’t worry – just about everything you need comes with this basket):
1. Lock the kids out of the bathroom
2. Run bath
3. Use bath salts
4. Pour self glass of wine
5. Turn on favorite music
6. Light candles
7. Enjoy wine and bath
8. After bath, use Green Tea Alluring Lotion to relax or use Alluring Lotion with Plumeria (it has a natural sexual attractant in it if perhaps you want some special time with your husband later that night)
9. Put on one of your new FREE jewelry pieces, dress yourself up! Even if you’re just staying at home! Use your SURPRISE *100 FREE DATES list that you recieved with your gift basket and have a date night with your husband
*These dates can be in your house or out. Either way, it’s always nice to dress up, it helps you feel good about yourself! So dress up, just because!*
Every gift basket will recieve a list of 100 Free Date Ideas and THREE themed recipes to get you started. I’ll forwarn you – they’re corny, but you know what? Sometimes, that’s what romance needs. 🙂
Want to know how to get one of these gift baskets? They will be at every one of my July parties up for grabs! Don’t have a July party yet? Better book now! The monthly sale is SO GOOD I can’t even put it in writing! So get in touch with me now to book today!
*I did want to add that if you do not drink wine – then of course I can alway take out the bottle of wine and put something else in it’s place. 🙂 *
 
 


{June 26, 2009}   Legalism
Believing Christ

Believing Christ

This past week Grace Point discussed legalism. Since this is a Protestant concept, for those of you who may be wondering what this is, let me explain:

strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than it’s spirit (Onelook.com)

Now, personally, I can find simiular teaching (minus the label) in LDS teachings – that God likes a cheerful giver (rather than one who gives with expectations). Since I know Barbie reads my blogs – I’ll toss the question out – does the Catholic Church have a teaching regarding legalism? Is this truly something unique to Protestants?

Regardless of what name it goes by – the basic teaching, that God wants us to respond to Him in love and obediance rather than grudingly or to measure oneself with God is the same. I know that I have battled legalism before – inside the LDS church and inside Grace Point. Legalism is not defined by the church, but by it’s adherents.

I disagree with those who oppose church’s with rules – regardless if those opposed view those rules as silly or un-needed. For this blog, even though I do not personally take the Bible as inerrant, let’s do so for the sake of equal discussion. God is a god of order, not of choas – Jesus Himself stated, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25, Luke 11:17, Mark 3:25). Further, Jesus Himself stated, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments,” (Matthew 19:17).

Here’s the deal – sure there are Protestant churches that have some strict rules, having never been apart of them, I cannot speak to their reasoning. However, having been LDS and having a dear friend who is Catholic, I can speak to churches claiming authority – something Protestant churches lack. Sure, Protestants can and do claim “Christ in me” and that is clear enough authority given certain passages of scripture. I understand that, I will respect it – I do not agree with it.

In contrast, churches such as the Catholic church, LDS church, and possibly even the SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) church claim authority from God. As such, when rules as passed down from the Prophet (LDS) or the Pope (Catholic) these rules are directly from God. This isn’t silly, “Wear purple on Thursdays or go to hell,” this is, “Because alcohol in great quanities is bad for the body, this covenant is for the weakest of the Saints and therefore do not drink alcohol.” There is a vast difference. One is for the betterment of the entire body or congregation of that church whereas the other obviously has no temporal or eternal benefits.

When the LDS church passes something down from the Prophet, it is directly coming from God for the betterment of His people. It is up to us then, to decide whether or not to obey. We do not have to obey, we have agency to choose to obey or not. This raises the question – why would anyone join the LDS or Catholic church and not want to obey, not believe the Prophet, not adhere to the beliefs of the Church?

Legalism comes into play when someone follows only the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. However, I have to sit and ask myself, at what point is this a bad thing? For example, Steve and I did not want to pay tithing when we first became LDS, however we finally obeyed because it was a commmandment of God’s even though we really did not want to, from this obediance came a testimony of tithing. Should obediance only be when we want to obey? Isn’t obediance even more profound when we don’t want to obey?

At the end of the day, it isn’t Grace Point or the LDS church’s faults if I become legalistic while attending their services, it is only my own fault. I strongly dislike (to put it mildly) when people describe whole churches as legalistic – what makes the church legalistic? The church or the body of that church? A church cannot exist without members.

When I was LDS, I obeyed the laws of God passed down through the scriptures and through the prophets because of the great sacrifice of my Savior. I often recalled the night when the great sacrifice that Jesus had laid down for me – and everyone – and how broken I was, how humbled I was, how I longed to live a life of obediance and love to Him.

For those who question legalism within churches claiming authority – I strongly recommend The Parable of the Bicycle by Stephen Robinson. It is an amazing, yet simple story explaining through a parable of a father and daughter why people choose to live a life in obediance to God. It’s not legalism – it’s broken humility wanting to serve the Savior. And it’s beautiful.

 

 

 



{June 4, 2009}   Mid Week Thursday
Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

– It’s almost Friday – which leads into a very busy weekend for us here at the Hommel house. Tomorrow, I have my very meeting with Cee and possibly some other ladies from Grace Point, we are going to start reading Beth Moore’s study, Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality which I am super excited about! I started this study almost two years ago, got about three weeks into it, and then somewhere along the line, stopped and did not return. I know right now, more than ever – I most certainly need to remember that liberty in Christ.

– I am so super excited to be fellowshipping with people from Grace Point again, I’ve felt all out of sorts with people lately. Perhaps it’s been because I’ve been working, perhaps it’s been because I’ve been so critical of the Bible, scriptures, Protestantism (is that even a word?), and everything else religious lately (please no smart comments about relationship over religion – I won’t even publish them – seriously).

– These last few weeks, I have become more and more dependent on God. As some of you might know, I recently lost my job – which was incredibly difficult for me, but as I’ve worked through it with God (and am still doing so) I am coming to terms with the deep dissappointment and other assortment of feelings that came with that and those involved. It is difficult to lose one’s job, to lose one’s friends associated with that job – all this when you really needed that job, creates such a dependence on God. That or bitterness. It’s a choice and since I struggle with bitterness I decided to for once choose not to be bitter, even with those who unknowingly hurt my feelings over and over.

– I am so grateful for my best friend Barbie, she has been my pillar of strength through these last few weeks, when I’ve broken down from the stress and cried on the phone, she’s been there; when I didn’t know what to do – she’s been there. I am so blessed by God to have her in my life and so grateful for her. Thank you Dr. Barbie for being there for me!

– I am so grateful that God has been pouring out some amazing and godly women into life recently through Grace Point! I know God is sending the most amazing people into my life right now, He is so good to me – when I need it the most and deserve it the least.

– I am so excited that our friends the Youngs are coming up from Utah this weekend! We haven’t seen them since before Anya was walking! We had a blast when we went to Utah to visit them for Pioneer Day weekend in 2006 – Isaac made some amazing homemade ice cream, we did karoke, went to the temple’s vistors center – just a ton of fun. And since Veronica was my MySpaz friend – we MySpaced together. Since we’re both photographers – I am really hoping that we get a chance to go out and take some pictures together. She helped me choose my very first camera together.

Anya and Andrew riding along together. Ahhh how cute. 😉 I wonder if they’ll remember each other.
Paul watching the Pioneer Day parade

Paul watching the Pioneer Day parade

– Sunday begins a brand new series at Grace Point – which has me super excited (from a photography point of view) and of course I’m excited to see what Devin will be teaching too. 🙂

– We’ll be hosting our small group at our house on Tuesday – it makes me very excited and nervous at the same time. Why? I love hosting things but I am very particular about it. I want everything to be very clean and tidy – so I’ll shampoo my carpets and clean all my baseboards and all the doors and just go a little nuts with the cleaning. However, we have a small and modest home, I’m not quite the decorator, we don’t have a lot of space – so I’m a little worried about how it’ll all go over. I suppose I’m worried about my pride. However, I’m learning humility through God right now and I guess I’ll just have to get over it.

– Finally I want to take a leap of total faith and share something with you all that I’m totally nervous to share. In August, Grace Point is going to San Fran for a missions trip. Now here’s the deal – I’m not really interested, I cannot even remotly afford it, I don’t have time to save up for it, I don’t have child care, there’s no way I can go, last Sunday when they played the demo – I really did not want to go. BUT I feel totally, two hundred percent called to go – without even talking to Steve about it (because there is no way we can afford it so I didn’t want to discuss it with him) HE felt that I am called to go – so we both feel confirmed that I need to go on this. So I’m putting this out there. Please pray about this for us. Because honestly – if end up going on this – it’s 100% God, it’s not us. There’s no possible way we can make this happen.

In the end – God is refining me through this experience. He is placing some amazing, uplifting, and praise worthy people in my life who all point back to Him. I’m struggling right now – struggling with my dissappointment right now, struggling with wanting to be bitter, wanting to be upset – but He’s surprising me at each turn, and knowing that He’s there for me, even when He shouldn’t be, is keeping calm.



 Titus may or may not be an authentic writing of Paul’s – however, whoever wrote it, certainly had some good advice to share. I have to say, that having a mentor in the faith has certainly always been a help to me in my walk with Christ. I may sometimes be a very frustrating person to deal with, but Lord knows she is indeed a very special person to be my mentor and very best friend for so very long.

Today, we talked for a very long time about my earlier blog – the importance of raising children. I look to her in a lot of things – and a lot of time, she is quite the inspiration on how she well organized she keeps her own children, family, and household. She’ll soon have three little ones under the age of three. Having had two children under the age of two – I can tell you, that is quite the feat. So we talked about inspiration, motivation, organization, and priorities. And of course – God, sacrifice, and daily living. It was an hour well spent.

So I pulled out some of my favorite reads on the topic:

Family Intergrated Church by J. Mark Fox

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, Jr. (a mover and a shaker in the Southern Baptist Convention!)

The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartin

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Disiplines of Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey & Stacey McDonald

Created to be His Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl

Now I can tell you, a lot of these books are not popular – they discuss words like disipline and submission within marriage and gender roles which has fallen out of favor within our society. But these are great books and I plan to take time to read them all over again – or for the first time in some cases, this summer.

For those of you in Vegas – or even online, you are more than welcome to read along with me. I would welcome the company and any discussion that comes with it. I’m more than happy to open up my home once a week to anyone who wants to come over, have a snack, and discuss the book at hand.

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt a call this strong from God to really focus on something – and right now I feel that it’s time to really focus on being a God driven family. There’s not many of them in the world right now, and therefore, we are called to be lights in the darkness. To be centered around Christ and to shine Christ.

The first book I’ll be starting with will be J. Mark Fox’s Family Intergrated Church and moving down the list from there. Hope some of you will join me!

 

 



DSC05243When Steve and I were pregnant with our first born, Paul, I can vividly remember one of our oldest friends, Kevin Gene telling us about the little girls on the Reservation who could do laundry and help with the baking and simple cleaning by the age of five. I remember being slightly put off by that image as Kevin described small children – little boys and girls who knew how to work hard side by side wth their parents by the age of five. Who not only began attending school at this age, but also had already begun learning their gender roles in their society.

Even though as a Latter Day Saint (or Mormon) I had always been brought up with an idea as a woman, what my role was in the home, it had never really been laid out before me. This is because of a variety of reasons which I do not blame my own parents for. The model was there – my parents had their own garden and I was encouraged and often did get dragged to the garden to help pick the corn, and squash, and peas, they did can their own fruits and veggies, my Mamau did keep the home and cook the meals – so my model was there, I simply never took the time to learn it.

I was primarly at home with my children for the first four years, and then was working in some capacity – either part or full time outside of the home for almost the last two years. Now, back in the home full time again, I am concerned about my children being able to work side by side with Steve and myself. In a world that caters to children, being outside of the home in a working environment and seeing parents of other children – I have realized how important it is to instill these hard working values. Of course, children are princes and princesses in the eyes of God. As joint heirs to all that the Father has in Christ, their Father is a King and therefor, they must certainly should be treasured as the Princes and Princesses that they are, the treasures from heaven that we are entrusted with. However, I think in this world of materialism, that the line between knowing our children’s great and priceless value in God has been crossed with treating them as real royality.

I know that when I tell my Anya, that she is a Princess – that I can identify who she is – a daughter of the Most High God, known intimatly by Jesus and the Father. But how to rear an Esther, a Proverbs 31 daughter, a woman who seeks God, who seeks to serve others and not herself first? A woman by the well? At the tender age of four, how do I teach her to work side by side with me when I never took the time as a child to learn how to run a home myself?

I suppose over the next few weeks, I will be investigating this. It is important to me that my children become God’s children – skeptic that I am, at the end of the day – I want my children to understand that God’s ways are perfect. Man’s ways are not. This is something that being Mormon is pretty much known for – little girls and little boys being reared to be Priesthood and Relief Society from the getgo. And to me, that’s something good – knowing your role in God’s plan from a young age and being prepared to follow it. Parents are supposed to prepare their children from a young age to follow the Lord so that when they are older, they do not depart from Him.



In school this past week, I made a comment that it is easy to judge that which we are ignorant about – and all hell broke loose. Literally. People became so offended that I dare suggest we make poor judgements in ignorance. Oh my …

Onelook.com defines ignorance as “lacking information” or “lacking knowledge” – nowhere is ignorance defined as “stupid” or “dumbass” – ignorance is simply lacking information or knowledge on a specific topic.

I freely admitt – I am ignorant about the Catholic church, I am ignorant about Scientologists, I am ignorant about cars, I am ignorant about knitting with needles and even a large portion of loom knitting, I am ignorant about the details of jewlery. I feel no shame in openly admitting that I lack knowledge about something.

Being offended – it is a choice. Done venting now. Must return to the world of the easily offended and “we must all agree” known as school. Grrr…. 😛



{March 23, 2009}   What a weekend…..

General Blurb About my crazzzyyy weekend…

1. Working 15 hours really sucks. I missed being away from my family, I felt useless all weekend at home, and have been exhausted for three days now. Whew!

2. However, feeling like I was actually helping out my parents and their employees (one guy was on an 11 day run!) really helped. I love my family and their crew at the store is pretty great, so I was glad to be able to help out (my cranky demeanour not withstanding of course…)

3. My 4.0 GPA run has come to an end. I want to cry. I have three really high A’s (lowest one is 97%) and then one B in my favorite class. I could have totally gotten an “A” except the last nine weeks have been crazy and I kept forgetting to turn in assignments – in fact, I missed three assignments over the course of nine weeks – two of which occured during the last two weeks. Yikes!

4. Finally got to watch my new Twilight DVD. Cannot wait for New Moon!

5. Having my Ladies’ Night Luau tonight. Very excited! The kids are super excited about it too. Will post (hopefully) pics later. 🙂

6. Currently listening to Bart Ehrman’s Jesus Interrupted which is excellent. And I am reading (via Kindle on my lovely iPhone) Reinventing Jesus which has been quite interesting itself.

7. Have decided on a final project topic for the research writing class – I’ll be writing about the apostle Paul – specifically his manuscripts (the geniune Pauline epistles, the Duetropualine epistles, and the Pastoral Letters), his doctrine compared to the direct teachings of Jesus as recorded in the NT specifically focusing on works (Jesus) vs faith (Paul), and finally who taught the Trinity – Jesus or Paul?

8. Speaking of final projects – I got high “A”s on both of mine for the last set of classes!

9. Love my new job. Great place to work and fun people. 🙂



{March 18, 2009}   100 Words or Less…

In small group we discussed writing down our stories and sharing them in 100 words of less. (Long winded me stay under 100 words? Pfftt…) Also, not to use church-talk or theology vocab – more challenges…. But I like a challenge so here goes….

Before Jesus, I was a sexual deviant – a stripper who did pornographic pictures on the Internet and a very mean person. Upon the advice of my Bishop, I read about Jesus in the Garden. It really got to me – the sins of the world pressed upon Him so intensly that He bled from every pore. I don’t know why, but it did. My journey has been up and down, but through it all I have learned that God’s grace – His forgiveness and love for me, is always there. No matter what I have done or will do.



For my COM 150 essay (regarding the Trinity) I have been listening to a series of lectures by Professor Bart Ehrman, one of my all time favorite Early Christianity historians. I enjoy Dr. Ehrman’s lectures and books, but I must admit that I particularly enjoy his writing because he is not attached to any particular Christian denomination (honestly I do not even know if he considers himself a Christian since the Christian historians came out with their smear campiegns against him after Misquoting Jesus). The reason I enjoy his lack of affiliation is that I do not feel he is attempting to apologetically hammer home a particular theological idea, belief, or opinion – rather he simply presents the facts and everything surrounding these facts and let’s his students or readers draw their own conclusions.

As I read more about Early Christianity and the various beliefs, movements, and people both within this group and around it, I find myself questioning my faith more and more. This is not to say that I lack faith or disbelieve that Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Rather, I find myself wanting to define my beliefs regarding who He was, what He taught, and what Early Christians actually believed based on better sources than today’s Bible.

For example, Dr. Ehrman outlines what sources are acceptable (and why) for as accuratly as we can, understanding Early Christianity, specifically the historical Jesus. I was not surprised when Dr. Ehrman stated that historians would limit the time line of accepting sources (ie earlier is better and there is a cut off date) but was surprised by the actual timeline – no later than 120 AD. Of course, the New Testament is included in this time line, but some books are under suspecion of being altered to fit a theological point that the author wanted to make (the Gospel of John is a great example).

Currently I am halfway through the course and wanted to take a moment to write down my beliefs, ideas, opinions, etc.

I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world for lots of reasons. For non-logical ones, I believe that the Spirit has revealed this to me (gosh that sounds hokey) and for logical ones every accepted source for the historical Jesus discusses this point (ie that the followers of Christ believe that He was the Savior – the gospels and their sources Q, L, and M also state this, Jophesus, and Pliny the Younger also briefly wrote about this).

I believe that Jesus was crucified and that He was resurrected. What I don’t believe:

  • In docetism – I believe Jesus suffered, although currently have no logical reason for doing so except to take the Bible, in it’s current form, at it’s word.
  • That as Paulus argued, that Jesus survived the crucification (um, hello he was supposedly stabbed with a spear – again no logic behind believing this except face value belief) and awoke in the tomb then walked out.
  • In the defination or application of Strauss’ “myth” regarding the Bible. Illogically, I lean more towards the pre-Enlightened period of “supernatural histories” than the other options presented.
  • I suspect John of altering his account of the resurrection since it contradicts Mark’s (the earliest manuscript we have – sadly we do not have Q) and John has a motive to change his account – to make a theological point, whereas Mark does not. Therefor, I am undecided if Jesus was crucified before Passover at 9 am or on the Passover at noon.
  • That Jesus walked out of the tomb with a talking cross behind Him.

I believe that Christians are documented as having changed or invented scriptures in order to fit their own point of view. Otherwise, we would all believe Jesus made clay sparrows come to life, as a child cursed small children, struke people dead on the street, was resurrected with an extended head and talking cross, and so forth. Not to mention the suspecion scholars have regarding non-Christian texts like the Jewish Antiquities by Josephus being altered by Christians.

I believe that Jesus created the world, but do not believe He created our spirits.

As far as sin goes – I believe that God has outlined in His standard in the scriptures, and acknowledge that I will never be able to live up that standard. As such, I do need a Savior, that is clearly identified as Jesus. I believe that as a Christian, I am accountable for myself and should live my life in unity with Christ’s teachings HOWEVER I do not believe in forcing those views upon others. I believe, that just as Jesus was the ultimate example within His mortal life, I should strive to live my life by example, not attempts in how to limit the decisions of others in hopes of restraining them from sin. I mean c’mon – if we begin outlawing things based upon our personal morals, then how far away are we from outlawing, say coffee, which is also harmful for you since it contains an addictive DRUG or alcohol or tabacco and so on? For me, this is utterly demonic and I do not wish to engage in this behavior.

I believe the Bible to contain the Truth but to have been changed and altered by authors and scribes. Again, John being a primary example. Within John’s gospel comes the strongest arguements for the Trinity which so far, I haven’t seen any historical (no later than 120 AD) documentation for. Rather, in Mark’s gospel (again the earliest manuscript that we have) Jesus is not portrayed as divine, but in John’s gospel He is. It appears that John alters his gospel to make a point and to attract pagan converts by the conception of a demi-god like the popular Appolonius.

I’m sure my opinions are not popular, and I don’t mind that. Honestly, I would rather do my homework now on what Early Christianity (all forms, all groups, all traditions) consisted of and logically sort out my questions now, than simply go along with what’s popular.



et cetera