22 January 2007

Tolerance and free will

I watched a fairly disturbing video revealing activities in mosques in Great Britain. Link to it here. The video was done by an undercover reporter, so the "preachers," that is imams were saying things to what they believed were just their own people. Some of the things they said are troubling, but I knew much of it was occurring anyway. It's just that seeing it live in a "religious" setting made it more real.

So disturbing thing number one is just their harsh view of democracy, women, and freedoms that we take for granted. But we sort of knew that too. I think a big difference here is we believe in tolerance even if we don't believe something is right or good for a person. We don't abhor the person but perhaps the act they do. At least ideally we tolerate.

Disturbing thing number two is that I know some of the harsh things get said because they think it is a private group. I sort of wondered if it isn't like we don't say everyone is going to miss the rapture who does X sin in front of a mixed group of people, or that we believe X is a sin, unless we think we were among friends. I've heard preachers say sort of politically incorrect things and then say, oh I'm not suppose to say that and everyone laughs. In this respect, I found the their meetings similar to ours. I found that odd to see something I recognize in a way. Though I have to follow this closely and quickly with the fact that we don't believe that people who do these sins should be tortured or brutally murdered.

One imam spoke out against homosexuality and one against watching western television. Oddly, those are issues I've heard brought up in the church too. But the difference here is we, meaning my friends who read this blog, my church, and for the most part the denomination I participate in, we believe in a free will that God respects. If God is willing to let a person choose whatever destructive lifestyle choices, I am not meant to dictate better ones to them under punishment of death. I'm also not meant to dictate what your belief in God will look like. Here we are drastically different. I think free will may be the biggest distinction we can make in our philosophical structures. Obviously, our theological structures are on different planets they are so different. We are to express the truth of God, the love of Christ and then ultimately each individual decides.

Another disturbing fact I observed was that when the news program asked people for a response to their under cover report, they simply said no it's not true. That's not the way it is at all. I'm amazed in this day of video and literature and the internet, that any group can just blatantly deny things that can be proven fact so easily. It's as though you can just spout off the politically correct jargon in a press release and that negates all the actual teachings or actions of any group.

I’m not sure where all this knowledge is taking me. How will God use this in me? I do know today I'm especially thankful for free will and what that means to our beliefs.

05 January 2007

Holidays 2006

After an extended absence from the keyboard...The trip to KC for the holidays was great. We were at a phase of life here in Espana that it was nice to be home without making us sick at the idea of coming back. I totally didn't expect the sensation that home is in Spain right now. It's comfortable and that's a very pleasant sensation that I think has taken a lot of work to get to that point.

So enjoyed getting to hang out with you bloggers and blurkers at different times. Thanks to Golden for throwing a girls night opportunity at her house. I needed that. I'm positive I talked entirely too much! Thanks for including us in the Love's Command party. It was wonderful to feel at ease and just have fun. I miss that here. Special kudos go out to Dash and Dirt for the use of their coche. My first thought was that is so nice, but I'd feel bad to use it. Then our transport option broke down and I saw it as a God thing. It took a lot of pressure off the too-ing and fro-ing that we needed to do. Thanks to Vernal, Forrest and Doc for a great night out for Mexican...even if we couldn't find anywhere open for late night stuff, that's funny knowing the way it is here. I always feel like a party pooper when I go home before midnight. LL & co, as well as our families fed us good ole KC barbeque. Makes me salivate thinking of it. yum. We missed BB and family but wish them well in their new endeavors.

In interesting news for those that don't know, my brother got engaged while we were home. Congrats to him. The newsworthy thing is that the big day is looking like the coming New Year's Eve, so we will likely be home for Christmas again. So put us on the calendar for more fun later in 2007!