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Dec 22 2008

Forgiveness

Jamie Barrows

1181

[Edit]Due to lies being told about me and what I said in this post, I have had to remove the post from this blog. For those who read this post before the edit, the persons I referred to who were completely unrepentant and actually happy with the damage they caused have now decided to use my post on this blog as a new way to attack me and separate me from my loved ones.

My words on this post have been twisted and altered by them to say and mean things that were not my intent or my meaning. So the entire post has been removed to keep them from being able to use it against me.

Kind of ironic that a post about forgiveness and my struggles and need to forgive them has been turned into an attack on me by the same people I was trying to forgive.


Mar 31 2008

Service Vs. Evangelism

Jamie Barrows

Shanty
A lot of Christians make a distinction between service and evangelism. Service is ministering to the physical needs of people, whereas evangelism is ministering to the spiritual needs of people. That is spreading Jesus’ message to those who do not know God and are in need of His forgiveness.

Many Christians concentrate on one of the two and exclude the other. But that kind of behavior is not Biblical. Jesus, whose life is the example we should try to live by, did both. He ministered to the physical needs through the healing and feeding the poor. He also ministered to their spiritual needs. Preaching and teaching to anyone that he came in contact with. Furthermore He didn’t make any kind of distinction between the two in his earthly ministry.

Christians are commanded to minister to both the physical and the spiritual needs of people who are lacking.
Physical

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

Spiritual

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” John 20:21

The modern church seems to have forgotten this. Current church leaders and pastors often preach and push evangelism, but rarely ever preach or put resources towards dealing with the physical needs of people. And when they do, they are usually only directed towards helping fellow Christians.

But that isn’t the way it is meant to be. Spiritual and physical assistance should go hand in hand. People need spiritual healing and redemption, but they also need to eat, and they need a place to sleep, and clothes to wear.

It is a sad thing that most of the aid organizations out there are mostly secular. Secular organizations are simply incapable of dealing with spiritual needs. And most missions organizations are only interested or capable of dealing with spiritual needs. People who are in desperate need of both physical and spiritual assistance can only get one or the other.

Secular organizations are only able to minister to one of the needs of the world. But the Church and Christians are in a unique position to be able to minister to both. Sadly we don’t take advantage of our ability. We squander our position and disobey the commandments by ignoring some needs in favor of others.


Nov 10 2007

Cloud picture

Jamie Barrows

Heart cloud
Found the picture above. I liked it so I though I would post it here.

Found it at the Cloud Appreciation Society website.


Oct 8 2007

Tolerance and love – A few more thoughts

Jamie Barrows

Sand Heart

Why can’t we all just agree to disagree? Why do we have to fight and argue about our beliefs? I’m not asking people to like each other, just that we not fight all the time.

On my other blog, I posted a video demonstrating cymatics. I thought the shapes and patterns generated by the sound waves, were pretty cool. Obviously other people agreed with me because it started getting a lot of hits. And then it got stumbled, and I started getting thousands of hits. That’s a good thing, right?

At some point, someone posted a comment about the wonders of God’s creation. basically praising God and expressing amazement at what He has built into his world. Someone else posted a similar comment. There was no attack, or condemnation of others in either of the posts. Just some simple praise for God.

Shortly after that, the conversation went downhill. Someone else posted a comment attacking the first two. Saying that there was no god, and that the earlier commenter’s were stupid for ascribing to god what was nothing but simple science. I posted a rebuttal to his comment, telling him that everyone has a right to their beliefs, and that there was no cause for attacking them when they were simply expressing their beliefs.

After that, the comments attacking Christianity and anyone who believed in God, got a lot worse. Since it is my blog, I get to moderate the comments. Which is really a good thing. Because I deleted a lot of the comments that were using seriously excessive amounts of language and were saying very nasty things that were just uncalled for. My rule on comments is if they are using excessive language or are comparing other people to various body parts, they get deleted. I also don’t like advertisements, :)

All of this made me feel like the atheists, who were the ones doing most of the attacking, were simply intolerant and very much hypocrites. After all, it is usually atheists in the media and in colleges that are preaching and pushing tolerance. And now here it’s the atheists that are attacking Christians for simply expressing their beliefs.

I was feeling like I was so much better than they were. Saying to myself, “Christians wouldn’t stoop to that level.” But then I realized how stupid that thought was. We Christians aren’t really any better at this than anyone else. We may not preach tolerance, but we do preach love. And what are most of the mainstream Christian groups doing? They are actively hating and attacking anyone who believes differently.

Jesus said that the second greatest commandment, second only to loving God, is to love your neighbor. You’re supposed to love him/her the way you love yourself. How can you show love to a person that you are attacking? God loved us so much that he let us kill his son! And that is the example we are supposed to be following.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying our differences should be ignored. or that they should be glossed over. Beliefs are important, and should not be abandoned in the interest of love or unity. But standing up for what you believe, does not mean you have to attack others. There is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree. No matter what side you are on and no matter what the belief may be.

Towards the end of the comment thread, many people started posting comments that seemed to echo some of what I’m saying here. We can just agree to disagree, without having to attack each other. I just wish more people had that view.


Aug 13 2007

Me Centered Religion

Jamie Barrows

This past Sunday, the pastor of my church preached a message on Christian love and how church members should be demonstrating it. He showed the above video during the message to illustrate his point. The video is a parody and exaggerated, but it nevertheless holds a lot of truth. Most Christians are only interested in what they can get from going to church. Today he wrote up a pretty good post to his blog about it. Here is a little excerpt from his blog:

“Too many believers are more preoccupied with being blessed than being a blessing. We have bought into a greedy, indulgent message thinly veiled behind prosperity. Where preachers are known for being slick salesmen and not the servants of all. Jesus came to give us life that overflows with so much love, joy, and hope that it spills on everyone we know and come into contact with.”

The message really struck me. Way too often Christians, me included, are not radiating that love and joy that we should have.
I encourage you to follow the link below and read his entire post.

Cross

Something random. something inspiring: Overflowing?