Monday, July 30, 2012

Duplicity

The other day I blogged about hypocrisy.  Today, I want to share about duplicity in my own life.

Overall, I am a pacifist.  I believe that most wars are wrong.  I believe most fighting and violence is wrong.  I do believe there are exceptions to that rule.  It does not bother me to live in a country that has a military to protect its citizens, though I do think that most instance of fighting an offensive war run contradictory to the Word of God.  How you tell which wars are okay and which ones aren't?  Good question to which I have no answer other than look back in 30 years.  I honestly don't know how to answer that.  It's something I struggle with.

But where this applies to me the most involves my personal hobbies and interests.  Anyone who knows me knows my penchant for all things medieval.  I have a collection of over twenty such weapons.  I love history, especially the violent and bloody parts.  With interests like that, how can I have such pacifist tendencies?

I haven't always had such Anabaptist leanings.  It wasn't until reading the works Shane Claiborne, Gregory Boyd and others challenged me to read the Bible through the way God intended it, not through a narrow "America is always right" mindset.  Challenging those preconceived notions has also caused me to rethink what it really means to be pro-life.

So, how can my interests be so diametrically opposed to my views?  I don't know.  I'm still trying to figure it out.  Any thoughts?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy.  I can't stand it.  Yet it's so prevalent in life.  We're all victims and perpetrators of it at some point in life.  Where hypocrisy makes me the maddest is in the arena of Christianity--specifically when it comes to homosexuality.


I think the question of homosexuality will be the defining debate in Christianity over the coming decades.  Christianity has had its share of hot-button issues.  At one time it was the question of whether or not the Earth was the center of the universe.  Another time it was the debate over the age of the Earth, and how science and religion interact.  I think we have moved into the next struggle: homosexuality.


I'm not going to get into my thoughts on homosexuality itself here; I've done that before.  Instead, I want to look at how it is preached from the pulpits of many churches.  When someone preaches against homosexuality, it's an overwhelming condemnation.  In many churches, there are a few overwhelming condemnations.  It seems that a few sins are singled out as "the worst of the worst," while other sins are glossed over and ignored.


When was the last time you heard someone blast the obesity epidemic from the pulpit?  When have you heard a pastor condemn speeding?  I guarantee you that there are more people who fall prey to those sins than to homosexuality.  Why is there such a double standard?  Is it because you'd step on too many toes if you focused all your fervor on if you damned the overweight and those who ignore speed limits?


I'm not suggesting ignoring the question of homosexuality; I just want balance, integrity, and an end to hypocrisy.  Please understand that this is not meant as a blanket accusation against every church; there are plenty of churches out there that are preaching all of God's truth.  I salute and thank you.


People are imperfect, and since churches are made of people, church congregations are going to come across as imperfect.  It's my hope and prayer that we can all look at ourselves and those around us through God's eyes.  When do that, our petty squabbles melt away as we are overcome with love for all of God's creations.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Maybe it's because at the end Kristen Stewart got beat up a bit, but I really like Snow White and the Huntsman.  The story-line may have been a little cliched, and Kristen Stewart is Kristen Stewart, but it was visually stunning and fun.

Oh yeah, that's Nick Frost as a Dwarf
The Disney cartoon is version that most people are familiar with, but Disney's film didn't quite fit the mood of the original tale.  Snow White and the Huntsman did.  It was much darker and dipped into the rich heritage of Germanic fairy-tales.  A lot was added to the film that wasn't in the original story, but it stayed fairly true to the genre.  In a time where most writers/directors like to "re-imagine" and alter classics to give them a more modern feel, Snow White and the Huntsman did a good job of keeping it real.  Yeah, I went there.

Charlize Theron did a great job at bringing the crazy home.  You knew something happened to her in her childhood that messed her up, and once she learned all that dark magic, it sent her off the deep end.  She was creepy and believable.  If you met her in a dark alley (or anywhere else, for that matter), you would not want to be there with her.

Maybe it's because of my fascination with Marvel and Norse history, but I like Chris Hemsworth as an actor.  He's a drunk whose lost it all, and finally finds a cause worth living for.  Is it a tire old cliche just like the phrasing in this question?  Of course.  But he plays the part well and draws you into the story.

The Dwarfs were awesome.  They provided a great comic relief, and also drew the audience in to care.  Before their introduction, all we had to care about was a princess with issues and a Huntsman who really didn't care too much himself.  The Dwarfs were the last of their people, and represented the bridge between humanity and an as yet unblemished nature.

As I've said above, Kristen Stewart is Kristen Stewart.  She was definitely the low point in the movie, but you go in expecting it.  Her acting wasn't great, and it seemed like they tried to hard to include the apple from the original story.  Other than that, I didn't have any complaints about the movie.  It was well done, and I will admit that I'm looking forward to seeing the potential sequel that is currently in the works.

Sorry, just had to throw this in there.  Wait, why am I apologizing?  You should be thanking me for the hearty laugh this caused.  And since laughter is good for your health, you should really be thanking me.  I will send you an itemized medical bill tomorrow.