At the end of a fast…

I decided to follow up my previous post.

Mostly because I think the perspective when you start a fast and when you end it is totally different.

I mentioned before that I have a hard time with the prayer part of fasting.

Well, I decided to do something about that finally, at the urging of the Spirit, I think. And start committing more time each day to God.

So far, it’s not anything spectacular.

But I was watching this YouTube video the other day after I had already started, I’ll try to link it here:

But this lady is talking about how 1st century Christians had it rough, and how we in the West, 21st century are spoiled, I’ve heard it before. I’m tired of it, you know?

But then this part of the video, at the end, that she impressed me with is where the 1st Century Christian makes this summary.

Basically pointing out that we have the Bible, we can meet freely in public, and we can openly have our faith…but we don’t read the Bible, we shirk church, and we hesitate to tell others about our faith. And our pastors often encourage this attitude instead of rebuking it.

And this lady says “I (the 1st century Christian) can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I have it better.”

And I thought that is just so true.

Of course, as many commentators were quick to point out, there’s many countries where it’s still deadly to be a Christian. We in the West can feel like the world revolves around us.

I believe God let us be the safe haven to persecuted Christians for a purpose, so we could support them and give them refuge…but a lot of us don’t even remember that it’s our job. That Paul told us to remember those who suffer for Christ as if it were us ourselves.

I suppose it would do no good to worry about it, but, I do think, I could be more aware of it.

Of course it’s getting more dangerous even in the West, but we’re still a far cry from the East and Middle East.

But it’s a more mature attitude to realize that for all that, it’s better to be real about your faith, even if you’re suffering, than it is to have no real faith, and have it all.

Why do we do this, in the West? We squander what we have, and waste our oppertunities.

Not everyone may be a door to door evangelist, or a street preacher, and nowadays, that isn’t received so well anyway.

But tagging Christian Instagram posts and tweeting Bible verses is not exactly witnessing.

I’m sure it blesses some people, but it’s not witnessing in of itself to do only that, and not get more personal, and that’s where we seem to freak out.

I remember this line from “The Devil Wears Prada” where Nigel confronts Andy about her superior attitude towards the fashion industry. “Most girls would die to work where you only deign to work.”

Couldn’t that be said of us? “Many people would die to do, or say, what we barely deign to do or say.”

I don’t mean to be too harsh. Many of us here have found ways to influences others and minister to them even in our wealthy and overstuffed culture. And I’ not hear to disparage that. What is this blog but my attempt to use the internet as a way to tell people about God, instead of just distract them from Him.

But we can’t deny that, at the very least, we brush things off much more easily than our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world do. We examine ourselves less, and we compromise with the world more.

Case in point:

Pre-fast, I’ve been exposing myself to more and more sexual content in fiction on the net. I don’t do it on purpose, but I read stuff that has it, and I can’t always scroll enough to skip it. (They ought to make some kind of button for that.)

I don’t think it really affects me…at least, at first I thought that.

But sure enough, those thoughts end up in my head more.

I find actually, that for someone like me, the biggest trap of sexual content is not that you start to lust after the characters or actors involved, I don’t, but it’s that you start to read it into everything. You assume it’s there, even when it isn’t. And your mind supplies the subtext.

Even if you don’t like it, you expect it, and it becomes part of the experience for you.

Post-fast, I read something last night that was like that, more than I expected it to be, and I felt so disgusted it surprised me–because I haven’t been feeling that repulsed for a while.

But I just felt like God was looking through my eyes at it, and it embarrassed me, even if I didn’t intend to see it. I scrolled right quick, but I still felt dirty. And yes, I repented, but it was still jarring to have that experience again. In a way, though, it was relief, at least it still bothers me.

Sexual content is tricky. You can be disgusted by it and still find it addicting just because of the way our brains and bodies are wired. Why else do we like cringe comedy?

And we like that judgmental feeling of being above that, but still viewing it.

I know a lot of Christians who fall into that trap.

The good news is, if that’s all it is, you can get out of it fairly easily. Just cutting out the source will usually do it.

A real sexual addiction is much harder to kick, but not impossible, with God. I’m thankful I’ve never had this problem.

Some people would argue that it’s not bad as long as you’re not engaging in it…I don’t think that’s biblical.

But I give into temptation to let it slide.

And I honestly think, that’s more our temptation as young Christians. The devil doesn’t tell us to think it’s good, not at first. He just tells us to let it slide.

Let it slide when you see LGBTQ content that you know is unbiblical, but it’s popular, so don’t knock it.

Let it slide when you see a sexually charged scene, because it’s not like you’re doing it.

Let it slide when people are expressing attitudes that are anti-Christian in a blatant way.

And i don’t mean that they just aren’t Christian themselves, of course we’ll encounter that, but some creators go out of their way to pollute and corrupt Christian ideology when they write about it, I do think that’s dangerous. If you don’t know your bible especially, you’ll believe anything people say about it.

I remember I was watching this Tiktok compilation of people who left Christianity, out of curiosity, thinking maybe I’d understand it better.

And, it was full of bitter, ignorant people who clearly didn’t really know what Christianity taught at all. Their church either failed to explain, or they weren’t paying attention.

And hey, sometimes it’s that you’re not paying attention. Even the worst churches are bound to get something right, I find most people who complain pick and choose what they listen to from a church, instead of listening to all of it. My father could go to a church that taught basically what his Church taught, but find the one point they didn’t express the same way as him, and make that all he heard. And one time I remember he said he didn’t like a worship song’s lyrics, and then misquoted the lyrics to mean something that the song did not actually say. I was astounded by how he could convince himself it was bad, when we’d all heard the same thing…I thought.

One person in the compilation mentioned reading the whole bible all the way through (which in one sitting, or even over a few days, I found questionable, even I can’t do that and I read very fast) and saying she found so many contradictions.

I’ve read the same bible all the way through more than once, and I was like “What contradictions?”

A lot of minor discrepancies are just misunderstandings, which if you research actual scholars, can be cleared up very easily. They can also be mistranslations, depending on what version you use.

And other contradictions the Bible itself will explain, and acknowledge. They are not really contradictions. The God of the Bible is a collection of paradoxes, much like humans are. He’s Just and Merciful. Stern and Kind. And we’re told that we will perceive Him through the lens of how we ourselves act.

Which is just true of world views in general. Ever notice how prideful people think everyone is proud, and selfish people think everyone is selfish? And kind people tend to see more kindness in others. It’s because we look for what we put out.

Maybe I’m just too biased to see the problems with Christianity, but I’ve heard a lot of criticisms launched at it that only proved the people didn’t understand what the religion actually teaches, and only believed some twisted version of it they got from someone else. I mean, if I want to criticize Hitler or Marx’es philosophy, I would read something they actually said, or did. Not just what their enemies said they did. That’s just smart.

All this to say, just because someone disagrees with you does not make them worth listening to. They could be lazy, ignorant, and stubborn. Taking criticism of the faith fro people who actually study the topic is more useful.

But I think we’re a little too trained to listen to all complaints against Christians, from everyone, regardless of whether they are the kind of person who’s likely to be honest about it or not.

To get back to my original point, I think due to all this confusion, we are worst off than early Christians in some ways. Though we have a lot more opportunities.

But valuing God for Himself is the best gift we can have, and that is the thing we struggle with. We devote our time to so much else.

Now, when I started my fast, I only stopped doing one thing. I kept all my other distractions the same.

But you know what? I stopped wanting to do them as much.

Funny, but watching movies, and reading fics just didn’t seem quite as important without this other thing I was already sacrificing. I still did it, but, I just didn’t feel the need to as often. I began doing things outdoors more, interacting more with my sister instead of just sitting alone doing my own thing.

My energy improved. I felt tired at first without the high of my addiction, bu over the last week as I replaced that more with outside time and time with God, and have recover form being sick, I feel much more energized. My mood is better.

You see, this is what I was saying in my other post. When you give up even one thing, you realize how many things you don’t really have to have in your life. It feels like you do, but then it’s gone, and you find there’s always something else you can do. We don’t rely just on one thing.

Fasting makes me a little more disciplined that before, even if it’s for a short time, but usually, after a fast, discipline comes a little easier for a while, that mindset sticks with you for a bit. Eventually, you do lose it, that’s why fasting is supposed to be a reoccurring practice.

My family is also nice enough to encourage me to stick it out, and not to give it up. Which is always helpful. And to help me occupy my time in other ways.

I find that even doing other things, my thoughts center more on God just because I am aware that I am not doing something, for Him.

(I hear this works in marriage too, for making you feel more loving to your spouse because you know you’re doing or not doing something for them, even if they don’t know. Try it.)

Perhaps the most embarrassing thing I’ve realized though, is that my lack of interest in God is mostly my own fault.

When I get bored with Church and worship and prayer, it’s because I have filled myself up with other things.

I remember the Avatar movie (the blue one, not the travesty of the kids show’s live action one) where the Tsuhik (not sure I spelt that right) says to Jake:

“It is hard to fill a cup that is already full.”

While that movie is far from perfect, I do think they nailed one thing about having a simple, spiritual life. Jake later says “They don’t want anything.”

Funny, when you are filled with Spirit, you really don’t want a lot from the world.

And when you are filled with the world, you don’t want a lot from the Spirit.

We can’t have both.

I think, once upon a time, God made it so we could. The world was made to be pure, and being full of our lives here, and our lives with God, would have been one and the same.

And someday, God promises, He will put it back that way.

But till then, the world has fallen to evil, and if we fill ourselves with it, we turn from God. It happened to Solomon, the Wisest man to ever live before Christ.

And if I think I’m beyond that, I’m kidding myself.

Fasting does humble a person.

I’m not saying I’m a new woman, I think that’s more for God to say. I’m saying that I just have remembered somethings I was letting slide, as you might say.

Not all change is dramatic, you know.

Man, we are so hooked on that in church though. The breakthrough, the breaking off, the strongholds, the mountains moved…

Which is all good, in its time.

But so much change is quiet, gradual, or if it sis sudden, it’s private and not something to yell about until we’ve walked it out.

All my moments of real breakthrough were alone, or silent, or quiet. I have always wondered why.

But when I saw others have big, loud moments…but remain unchanged afterward, I started to wonder if Gd maybe did it that way on purpose. Maybe when it’s big, an d shiny, we focus on that too much, and forget the actual change.

A change of heart happens in an instant, perhaps, but it happens inside. And it’s better to show that with how we act before we tell someone.

We want to hear it right away now. We ask people what they feel or think right after we pray and talk.

But, usually people need more time than that to know if something really stuck with them.

There’s a resewn God is always telling us we have to be faithful, i. e. consistent with our religion. We can’t just do it every once and a while and expect it to change us.

I’m only saying what hundreds and thousands of other people say in the church…and maybe we all say it because it’s true.

So hey, if your Christian, and you’re not liking what I’m saying…oh well.

And if you’re not Christian and you read this anyway, that’s amazing! I hope you got something out of it.

You know, I kind of hope I am making some Christians uncomfortable by saying we need to quit it with the big showy stuff so much. Good.

I know I do have a lot of readers from out of country, though, and maybe you live somewhere where what I’m saying couldn’t’ possibly apply on a cultural level.

Still I think the truth of faithfulness is something all of us need to hear, even if we’re somewhere where our faith is tested everyday. Because it’s just another kind of discouragement.

Suffering and abundance are both tests of our faithfulness. Who knows which is really harder? All I know is we have to face whatever we have, now, if we really want to please God.

I hope I will keep this going, and learn more from it. I’m only human, but God is God.

If I can end my fast, but still maintain some discipline and boundaries, that’s a net gain.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Questions for the People changing the world

I took a few weeks off since my last posts did not do so well, so this time I thought I’d talk about a different subject.

I also have a new laptop, so that’s exciting, nice to have keys that don’t stick..

I’ve been watching some tik toks, as I mentioned in my last post, and been frustrated with how people respond to these issues, but let’s talk about that term for a second.

You ever notice how everything is an issue now?

In the past century, we started using language like this, but they called it “problems” “dilemmas” “Crisis” “matters” and so on.

Now we call it “issues,” “injustice” “Inequality” and so on.

Before the modern and post Modern era, people usually just called it “doing good” and “doing evil.”

Being fair, and being unfair.

I mean, the difference matters. We don’t just call things right and wrong anymore, we call them “issues.”

Issues can be problems without being good or bad, really. What’s an issue for one person is a selling point for another.

Abortion is an “issue” but it has two sides. People don’t call it a moral question anymore.

It’s not really a question, anyway.

Language matters.

Back wehn C. S. Lewis was writing, as well as his peers, in the 1900s, they noticed that things were shifting away from the acknowledgment of truth. Things were not “good or bad” “true or false” anymore, they were “honorable” “brave” “intellectual” and all that other crap.

Not that those qualities are not real, but how can a theory be brave or honorable? It’s a theory. A thought process. Either it is true, so it’s useful, or it’s false, so it’s useless.

Now, as I study this stuff, I’ve noticed that Lewis was, as usual, 100% right about that. But what many people do not realize is that Millennials and Gen Z are now living in the aftermath of it.

A lot of people in their 40s or 50s, or older, imagine that the debate we’re having in society is still about right and wrong, but the truth is, it left off being about that a long time ago.

And if those people would ever bother actually talking to a young person seriously about what they believe, they’d see that for themselves.

I realized it when I began trying to teach and discuss things with my younger cousins, (Gen Z) and people at my college (Millennials). I can’t begin from the premise that something is right or wrong, and win the argument.

My cousins will be more concerned with what is socially acceptable, what is tolerant, and what is inclusive. If I say that it’s “wrong” they may admit it, but feel it is still their civilian duty to support people making their own choices, even if they are bad ones.

And you’ll find that thinking all over movies and shows now.

I mean, I’m sure Hollywood would like us to support them making their own choices, even if they are bad ones, so they can keep making porn, exploiting child actors, and doing drugs without suffering the consequences for it the rest of us do… I mean sure, let’s pay them millions of dollars a year to make their own choices.

I wish I got paid to do that.

But I digress.

So yeah, “right or wrong” no longer cuts it.

The operation to remove men’s chests, as Lewis put it, was largely successful. People’s heads are disconnected from the rest of them, and once they were, everything became about what sounds good, and what seems tolerant.

If you ask a kid or young adult now to give you a concrete reoans, outside of social norms, to support any of the SJW causes out there, they will not have one. I’ve tried, believe me, but you see, having a good reason no longer matters.

You are either in this crowd, or you aren’t.

The same with the tribalism that is retaking this culture. Nevermind if the tribes of the ethnic groups we are supporting, even did good things. They could have slaughtered each other, kidnapped children and women and raped them, or eaten people, and we’re still supposed to be proud of it and not call it out.

I thought progress was being able to admit your ancestors made mistakes, and try to correct them, not to say they were right in their own way.

Oh right, if you’re white you have to admit they made mistake, but every other race except Jews and Europeans can take pride in their culture.

I’m not even 100% white, but I don’t really care, I think that my European heritage is still cool. And my non European heritage is also cool. Not all of it, but no one’s history is pure at all times. That’s not really the point.

Man, the next time someone blames white people for slavery, I’d just like to ask what they think the fist modern culture to put laws in place to abolish slavery was…because here’s a hint, it was not a black or Asian or native American culture.

Leaving that where it is, let’s move on.

While I can give an opinion on these issues, it’s not really the point of what I’m saying. The point is, this is what we distract ourselves with these days.

Because we made it impossible for people to believe in absolute truth, they had to find a substitute cause to live for, and Tribalism, of all sorts, is the only one bigger than themselves.

So here we are, America is divided, and other nations are getting more and more divided also. It’s not that this problem is exclusive to America. But I do see it up close and personal here.

I really wonder, at times, how people in my generation, and the ones above and below it, can be so clueless.

No one else seems to realize that all this is by and large, a massive waste of our time.

Let’s assume we achieve Social Equality…whatever that is.

Everyone has the exact same rights. And it’s not the pseudo Equality that really means oppressing White people and men, but actual Equality, which says we’ll all be treated fairly.

Then what?

we’ve made perfect society–allegedly, assuming an Equal Society is perfect, and doesn’t have the same inherent flaws every other man made system will have.

(One obvious one being that no one can be special or unique anymore, so we are all replaceable)

Now we’re can ll live in harmony, right?

How long do you expect that to last?

And when is enough enough for reformers? Progressives? What is the cut off point? When can we stop fighting with each other? When will you be satisfied?

Assuming you ever get there, human reforms last, on average, less than 50 years in their pure state, usually a shorter time than that, before things get twisted by corrupt people who manipulate the system.

I’d give in one decade at most before it all goes to pot, and that’s being generous.

And once that happens, what will you do? Your old methods will not work, they will only strengthen the problem. The corruptors will know how to twist it to their advantage. Will you have any new ideas? Any sources to turn to?

I notice that a lot of people who care about Social Justice now, they want to force all of us to conform to their standards. For now, that’s what they think is best.

But the kicker is, if you force someone else to do what you want, someday, you will be forced to do what you don’t want. You get what you give, karma’s a real B— as they say.

If you lie, you’ll be lied to. If you steal, you’ll be stolen from. If you kill, someone will kill you. And if you enslave someone else to your whims, you will eventually be enslaved to someone else’s.

Or do you really think the people who agree with you will stay in power forever?

What I’m asking any potential progressive reading this is to be honest. Do you think Progressivism is going to last?

If the answer is, realistically, it won’t, because nothing does, then I ask you next:

What will you do when it passes? When the control swings back to people who are not Conservative, but are something else entirely. If you destroy people’s right to choose now, by removing the laws, and protections that allow people you don’t like to defy your ideas–then when they come for you, when you’re the minority again, when you’re the outdated philosophy, and there’re no laws in place to protect you from just being shot for it, is it going to be worth it to you?

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”– Martin Niemöller 

You stuck to your guns at the cost of taking away all of ours, and when we are unable to defend your rights, or our own, because you sacrifice us on your alter of Progress, will you blame us still? Or will you realize it was your choice.

You see, it’s all just a little too unrealistic to me.

Even if the Left gets what they want, and they probably will, for a while. It won’t last.

Tyrants always put on the social justice thing like a hat, and they take it off as soon as it suits them.

Chairman Mao marketed himself as China’s deliverer from oppression of landlords (read: Capitalists), then once everything bought it (or didn’t buy it, as they were broke), he stripped the nation of all it’s wealth, on the grounds that it was wrong to own capital.

Think someone taking away your computer, car, fancy equipment, streaming services, all of it. Leaving you only the devices that will stream propaganda into your home.

And people bought it, but Mao was just another dictator abusing his people, and when it all came out, they were devastated. And morally bankrupt.

What I do not understand about my generation, is that even if you tel them this, they think it doesn’t matter. If you explain to the Liberals what happens if you follow their methods, they do not care. To them, their goals are all important. Even if they burn down society to achieve them. In fact, they applaud that sentiment.

If you destroy the system that gave you a choice, then what will stop someone else from destroying you?

The rioting of this and last year is all great if it’s for a cause you like–what about when it’s for a cause you don’t?

And it weill be, sooner or later.

I know it’s not apruap opion, at least on socoal mediea, to say all this, but it sem to me no one really askes thse wuiet nayore.

I mean, Conservatives aren’t helping ourselves a whole lot with our approach. We just tell them they are wrong, and everything wrong with this country.

Even if that were true, that’s not going to change anything. I’ve gotten farther asking people the real questions. Asking them what’s behind what they think.

People are honestly surprised when I do.

I’m not an expert on every political issue, and I don’t really think I need to be. People my age mostly aren’t, I don’t knew to know the facts about it all to explain the holes in their logic, I just need to know enough to know there are holes.

And in my own, no doubt.

I’m perfectly aware that Capitalism, and Conservatism are not perfect. I know the are not upheld in ideal ways.

But my real problem with the Left is that, they thing they are perfect. They think there are no flaws in their own side.

It’s not just the left, a lot of people on the Right are the same.

And we can just argue and argue until we destroy ourselves, and that will happen, no doubt, sooner or later.

So, in the meantime, what can we do?

The pride and arrogance of the world, is not rally surprising I suppose. It’s always like this.

I think God warned us not to put our stock in worldly ideas because He knows that the world changes every half century or so. New fads come in, new empires rise, and if we build our lives around the one we lived in, we’ll suffer the most when it changes.

The first Christians knew that, and they were too busy being persecuted to really have much room for worldliness in a lot of place,s but they were still warned about it.

So what do we do?

I’ve found it more helpful to my mental state, as well as my life in general, to read theology and Spiritual writings, rather than political ones.

My generation almost doesn’t know the names of the great Moralists and Theologians of the past anymore. We don’t think it matters.

But if you want my two cents, that’s where our Salvation is.

Our Salvation is in God, naturally, but it’s the older writers who had the better understanding of Him, by and large.

There’s a few modern writers who have a clue, mostly because they read the old ones.

I’m not saying we can’t know God, but the trouble is, thanks to our culture, the Desire to know God is much smaller than it used to be.

Even in the Church, we’re drowned out by the buzz of Social Justice.

Thank goodness, not everywhere.

If I were any of you, I’d be paying more attention to the stuff that’s coming out of countries where Christians are persecuted a lot more than here. They”ll be the most clear sighted, because if you might die for it, you’re going to be pretty sure God is real, and Jesus is His Son.

We in the West should remember that we don’t own Christianity. And that it is the obligation of the Church globally to support each other. What our brothers and sisters in the East and Middle East and South understand about God would change us. While we are supposed to offer them our help and protection as much as we can. God set it up that way, but we mostly forget about it.

I’m not against chilling with the internet when you need a break, but we need to find other ways to relax too.

Get our minds off the immediate flow of ideas that is this culture, and on to idea that took years to develop by a lot wiser people than us.

It’s biblical you know, to pay attention to the wisdom of the past.

We’re taught to despise the past now, but they had their good ideas. And remember, some day someone will mock you the same way you mock them. It’s the change of times. Always.

Personally, I just hope I live to see it, myself. It seems cathartic to me. But then again, there’s no guarantee the future will be less frustrating. Which is why focus on God is the most sensible thing to do.

A lot of people are depressed because they focus on how evil other people are.

Newflash: Mankind has been evil since the Fall. It’s not new. You think it’s bad now, read the story of Lot sometime.

Or any of the Prophetic books of he bible.

Or a history of the Roman Empire…

The old sages told us to focus on Heaven, on God, on the hereafter, because they knew the world changed too fast, and yet, it never changes at all. Idealists and Reformers always end up disappointed in the end if they don’t learn to accept that truth.

And we never accomplish our full goals as humans, we really don’t know what we want. We can do our best.

It seems I always end with the same thought.

But there is really no other answer. If I didn’t have God, I really thing I’d be crazy by now. I’m one of those people who’s prone to take all this stuff really seriously, and only my Faith gave me a sense of humor about it enough to put down the weight of the world, and accept that I can’t singlehandedly control things.

I suggest the attitude to anyone getting overwhelmed by all this.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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A Narcissistic Culture

I’m back!

Sorry for the absence.

I do have a lot of subjects to write about right now.

I tend to avoid politics on this blog unless something catches my attention, but I’m always thinking about culture.

Something I’ve been thinking about it lately is how in Church, we often go with the flow. We address issues that the world thinks are important, but we neglect the ones they don’t think about.

Not that it’s wrong to address things the world thinks about, I think we have to, in a way.

But also, looking at The Gospels, I find it odd that Jesus didn’t spend all that much time talking about what the world thought was important.

Under Roman Occupation, he didn’t talk much about the Romans. He addressed it from time to time as people asked him, but His long sermons are not about that.

He didn’t talk about te libeiton of the Jews from Romans, but from sin.

And looking around nowadays, I wonder if he’d be any different.

It’s so easy to get distracted by what’s gong on around us.

Things about race, gender, and nationality, it’s all anyone wants to talk about now.

And people are demanding respect and taking pride in these things.

Even christians, too many Christians.

My church, which is one of the better ones I think, still has a little group of LGBT people who attend. I don’t care if they attend, but their attitude about it makes me wonder if they come only because the church does not call out the world on that not being biblical.

I was talking to my cousin and his friend about the Bible’s stance on homosexuality, and why it’s consider wrong, just an open conversion, no hate, and explain it well,

And they didn’t really disagree with my points, or that I don’t like how kids are encouraged to vote on sexual topics they do not really understand yet.

But they admitted that they are afraid to express and negative views of it because the have friends or family who subscribes to it all, and are going to be livid if they disagree.

I acknowledged it’s hard in this culture to think for yourself…it’s always is hard in any culture to go against the flow.

But I told them as a Christian, I can’ just ignore it. I can’t blend in. It’s not allowed.

And that’s how I see it.

Sure, it’d be easier to walk around my liberal campus wearing some pro LGBTQ badge, and deck out my car and say that God loves gay people (which He does, but people use that phrase to mean something totally different, that God loves their lifestyle, and that is just no biblical), and play that game.

People claim it’s so hard to support the community. Are you kidding me? It’s so flipping easy. It’s easier to do that than to have an original thought, that’s for sure.

Instant approval, instant clicks, people commending you for sticking up for it. As well as BLM, and Feminism, and everything else.

Sheesh, to get approval just for saying words, whether you ever act on it or not, is so stupid.

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, unmerciful32 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.” (Romans 1)

I find it disgusting to cater to this. I’d like to get the clicks, view, and likes that the people who do this get, but I’m not willing to bend myself in order to get it. There’s more important things than likes out there, people.

Someday no doubt that’s going to get me cancelled if I’m every popular enough for anyone to care what I think…but oh well, they cancelled all the Apostles too…to the extreme.

It’s getting extreme here too. People are attacking churches more and more. What’s funny is the church’es stance isn’t even that strongly put in the West, but they attack us anyway.

Sheesh.

Islam is actually harsher on homosexuality than Christian is, but I never hear of the LGBTQ community attacking mosques…you know, because Muslims actually might fight back…at least, I assume that’s the reason.

Yeah, so brave. Attack the people who won’t retaliate. But that’s always the way isn’t it.

I’m not here to hate on gay people, I’m just trying to be honest about it all.

And it’s not just gay people, it’s all groups now.

I don’t voice my opinions too loudly at my college because I’m pretty sure I’d lose my grades over it, so I mostly only discuss it out of class. And starting a fight in the middle of a lecture does seem rude.

But I don’t cater to it either.

And it’s all good to preach and teach about how we need to love ourselves and respect ourselves, and not be too harsh…

But when is it time to talk about going against the flow? When do we talk about what no one wants to hear?

Cause I can tell you, the problem with our culture isn’t really all the Pride stuff, that’s just a symptom.

It’s how prideful we are in our personal lives, self seeking, comfort seeking.

We do give lipservice to this in church, but we don’t actually enforce it. We don’t ask people to do more than they feel like doing. We don’t reward people for being strong in their convictions. Instead we think they are too worked up.

Even I think that.

Of course, it is true sometimes. But I’ve gotten reprimanded for protesting that a Youth Leader played songs that talked about sex and making out with the same gender on the way home from a mission trip…yeah….

Am I really the problem in this scenario?

Her excuse? “This is what those kids listen to.”

My thoughts? “This is what you listen to. What’s your point? It was still wrong.”

I can’t tell people what to listen to at home, but on a public trip? With the church?

That was yeas ago now, I don’t think i would happen with our current youth leaders, but that it happened at all was boring, because I knew it wasn’t just this one person, I’ve met so many people like his.

I’ve always gotten a rep for being more vigilant about this stuff, and I’ve had people tell me they were sorry for no having a better attitude about it, but they have never acted like my friends.

And, I’m not a super conservative person. I mean, I watch anime, I read fan fiction, and I listen to songs with cuss words in them…now.

And I don’t like that part, but I decided that I’m not going to be able to avoid cuss words in life, and it doesn’t make the whole song bad if the song is about a good thing, and they use saltier language. But I don’t listen to songs about sex, drugs, and hooking up. I want the message to be good.

I won’t throw out Evanescence because of a few swears, but I won’t listen to “shape of you” just because it has no swearing, sine it’s just about hooking up for a night. You get my point?

And I can’t force that standard on anyone, but I do have it for a reason, and I don’t have an issue telling people that.

This is not even the biggest problem, but my thought is that people would not give up anything they happen to like in the world, even if it was the right thing to do. God may tell me to stop listening to and reading and watching his fault I have prayed about it, and I am careful, though I do need to reevaluate somethings from time to time.

But I do think about it, I don’t get the feeling other people often do, I’ve talked to a few who mentioned it, but don’t mention every dropping something because of it.

I’m trying to be less judgmental than I used to be.

Like when it comes to smut, I believe it’s wrong to read it, but I dont think someone is horrible if they are tempted to. I’m not immune to this stuff either, I have hormones, I’m not dead.

But I have to seriously think about what I want my idea of sex and love to be when I do get married. Do I want to think it’s all about the body? Or do I want it to be about what’s inside, the soul, the mind, the heart?

And I’ll admit, sex can be more than just a physical experience, the Bible is clear about that, but I think smut (porn, you now) kind of makes that worse, not better. People with a porn addiction usually admit that real life sex gets less satisfying if you’ve fed yourself this fake image of it.

Porn and smut are all about making something so flawless it’s no longer real.

And in real life, emotional moment can be awkward even at their most heartfelt, people are damaged, and that gets in the way.

And our bodies are not flawless, even a model has blemishes somewhere.

And we have hygiene and weight issues at different times, or we can get sick. Women have periods, you get my drift? No one is sexy all the time.

If you grow up expecting that, then you aren’t going to be disappointed by sex, because you’ll expect it to be like everything else in life, a thing you do that improve with time, but is not perfect.

But if you grow with the porn version of this, you think sex is somehow unlike other human experiences, it can be flawless.

In the end it sets you up for less, not more pleasure. And that is one reason the Church has never endorsed it.

People think the church discourages sex, and while some churches do, the faith itself doesn’t.

In fact, it encourages it. A lot. Sex with responsibility.

And on that note, I don’t see how recreational sex is a great foundation for a really mature relationship. You treat sex cavalierly, and it’s the only thing that makes marriage different from other relationships. So what make it special to be married then? Might as well just be friends with benefits.

And that about all marriage amounts to now with a lot of couples. I think they are puzzled as to why it’s so unfulfilling.

I’m not saying it never woks out, some people just know how to make it work, but the thing is, marriage used to be something people were expected to figure out, whether it came naturally to them or not, and not it’s seen as a matter of finding the right match to perfectly balance you out.

I think you should date with that in mind, but if you end up marrying someone who doesn’t suit you perfectly, that’ s no reason to throw it out. If you’re not married to a psycho or a pig, you can probably find a way to work stuff out. People just don’t want to be inconvenienced.

And I say that because I’ve had the same experience in friendship. People cannot handle the smallest bit of friction and they bail as soon as conflict happens. I’ve had that happen to me so many times. Because, I’m replaceable, in a world of shallow friendships, and online friendships, if someone annoys you or disagrees with you, why not just dump them?

And if I’m not replaceable, you would never know, because you didn’t get that close to me.

I get it though, I’ve felt the pain for being ditched so many times because I don’t view people that way, and it stings to lose them. I’m working on being okay with that.

But therapy wasn’t the most helpful here because the attitude in therapy is that people are not worth your time if they piss you off.

And that’s kind of a shallow way to look at it.

Someone may piss me off because I have a problem, not them. Or we both do.

Maybe people are worth keeping around.

But you won’t hear that idea anymore in mainstream culture.

It’s not wonder we’re all dying of loneliness, we’re okay with supporting people as long as they are needy, lost lambs, with a victim mentality.

But if someone has a really different perspective, and is just hard to deal with, ditch them.

Perhaps I am annoyed because it doesn’t end well for me, and okay, that’s a fair point.

But I also don’t shut people out of my life just for disagreeing with me, so….

The double standard annoys me, if I was to do that as a Christian I’d be judgmental. But if they are just not “comfortable” round me, that’s their right, they don’t need to get over it.

I have gotten more attention from people when I was upset in front of them, and treated more nicely, than when I’m just my regular, more confident self.

I don’t mind if they comfort me, I just wonder why it goes away after that. I kind of learned the hard way that sympathy doesn’t equal a real bond.

(Something Naruto really needed to learn in Shippunden.)

This is why I think we really have too much attention on ourselves now.

We are narcissistic.

I can be too, but I am aware of it and trying to get better. The point is, the culture encourages me to be self centered, and often the church does too.

We have to be aware of these influences, if we’re going to be better, and set apart.

Or we’ll be like ships on the ocean, “infants tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.” (Ephesians 4:14)

Doctrine could just mean any popular teaching now.

I think a good question to ask ourselves right now is: How far am I wiling to go to have self-actualization (or whatever you call it)

Am I?…

Willing to sacrifice the happiness of other people?

Willing to cut people out of my life who do not agree with my plan and decision making

Willing to promote it with violence, anger, and verbal attacks?

Willing to make others suffer if it gets me what I “need”

Willing to enforce laws about these things.

Willing to teach others to do the same, and support them even if their lifestyle is no good in other ways.

Willing to listen only to people who support me in this, and never fact check what they are saying.

If you answered yes to any of the above about anything, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, etc.

Then you are elevating that thing not only to your primary focus, (and that thing is yourself, in some form or another)

Also going to an extremist extent that many Believers would not even go to. I question sources within my religion, and I don’t condone violence done in the name of Jesus. My faith has checks and balances.

But the faith of Self Identity has no checks and balances, because you (Or I) are/am the final word on everything.

But if we all are, then none of us are, you see how that works?

Anyway, most people won’t admit that they are worshiping themselves?

How can I be a narcissist? I’m too smart for that. I’m too self aware. All my complaints are valid, all my actions are justified, all I want is reasonable, all I am is perfect. So I can not be a narcissistic.

And the scary thing is that sound like the lyrics to a popular song or a TED Talk.

Ugh.

Well, anyway, the first step is admitting you have a problem. literally. To stop being a narcissist, you have t admit you’re a narcissist, that’s when you begin to stop being one.

That said, I think I’ll end this for now. more posts coming soon.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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A Christian’s Opinion on “The Lady of Heaven.”

Recently someone told me I should watch the trailer for the new “Muslim” Movie, The Lady of Heaven.

A few minutes of trailer, and a Google search or two later, I came to the conclusion this movie is a bad idea, and I wanted to talk about why.

At first I wasn’t opposed to a movie about Islam. I might be Christian, but I think learning about what other people believe is important. Muslims are very, very hard to convert, and that is partly because their faith is so strong in Islam, it’s also partly because Christians are more afraid of them than we are willing to learn about them.

Of course, someone might say “Why should I care what Terrorists believe?”

Well not all Muslims are terrorists, just like not all Christians are fanatics. And we can’t broad brush them if we want to be taken seriously.

Actually Islam as it’s seen by many more peaceful Muslims has a lot in common with some of the less fundamental aspects of Christianity, and there’s more to it than just defending the faith from infidels.

I learned a lot about it from this great book “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.” Which detailed what Muslims believe in a way that Westerners can understand.

I believe firmly that the case for Christianity is irrefutable. I would not be a Christian if I didn’t not think it was the perfect religion…and I’d say any religion that is not perfect is not real, and if someone says that about their faith, they do not truly have any.

That out of the way what’s my interest in this movie?

Well, I am not trying to be condescending, but, I feel a sort of kinship with Muslims in this one respect: Both Christian and Muslims do not feel like the world understands them, nor treats then well.

Christians are taught to expect this because we are righteous. Muslim are, as far as I can tell, taught to expect it because they are fundamental. It boils down to very similar things.

People fear Muslims more than Christians, but that has not always been the case. Christianity has its dark place in history. Where people went off what the Bible actually teaches and came up with their own version.

Some people think all religion is bad because it can be corrupted and twisted into a tyranny.

But I see that as equivalent to saying all medical professionals are bad because quack doctors exist and some doctors do procedures wrong.

You see, Doctors are fallible and corruptible, but the practice of Medicine itself, the Ideal of health, is not really something that can be bad. Only misapplied.

Religion is no different. It has always been the medicine of the soul.

I don’t agree with Islam, but I take it seriously.

And this begins my main problem with this movie.

I don’t know how the film will turn out, but the trailer is already painting a rather romanticized version of whatever it’s going to talk about.

Islam is not, in any sense, a romantic religion.

There is beauty in it, but Muslims do not worship artistically, they find that irreverent. They respect art and scientist, but is it not a real part of their religion to incorporate that into their worship.

So, making a film about Islam that is not a documentary already has many issues even in the mechanics of it.

Muslims for the most part don’t believe in women showing their face in public. There is variation in that. But, there is some form of head-covering involved everywhere.

The most obvious issue in making a movie about a Woman in Islam is that it involves showing her face. So she is not really representing their belief.

I am not of the school that thinks that doing something in a movie is okay if it is not in real life.

Of course stealing, and lying in a movie is different. You can’t literally steal a prop. It belongs to the studio anyway.

But sex? If it’s really happening, it’s still wrong. And it seems the high divorce rate of actors is more than enough evidence that it’s not the best foundation for a relationship to participate in those films.

I think not following the teachings of your religion would fall under the category of what is wrong to depict. It would be like filming an Amish person…oh, yeah they do that too.

I suppose if the actress is not actually Muslim, that’s a different matter, but I suspect that would not make everyone involved feel better. And, shouldn’t they be using people who actually believe this? Christians use other Christians in their movies…which is partly why they are not very good acting wise a lot of the time.

But then, the actual Christians who make it big time in Hollywood are usually above our budget.

This is the least of my concerns, but it is one worth mentioning.

But even if we leave at aside and assume it’s acceptable to have this. Is this movie a good idea?

Like I said, it’s romanticizing it.

One Muslim gave me imput online about it, and this is what he said.

The movie tells the story of Fatima from the Shia point of view. Sunni Muslims will be upset about it especially because it paints the early companions in a very bad light and points a spotlight at a very dark moment in Islamic History… Some are afraid the controversy around this film will cause the radicals to target and kill Shias for disrespecting the companions.

it’s a dark period in Islamic history because the companions of Muhammad attacked and killed his daughter and for 1400 years they covered up the event and anyone who talked about it was labeled a heretic and put to death. She is one of the most magnificent figures in Islamic History and yet nobody knows anything about her. We owe it to her and what she went through to tell her story. Out of love for Fatima the sacrifice is worth it.”

” Here is a a quote from the director: “It is a wonderful epic story full of Shakespearean intrigue, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ meets ‘Game of Thrones’, an innovative way of seeing the origins of Islam and the Holy Figures from the point of view of our young modern-day hero Laith. We will be drawn into a world that sees the history of the religion’s birth as a wonderful action-packed story full of color. Juxtaposed against the stark colorless reality of the present-day war-torn Middle East it will be an innovative cinematic experience full of revelations, magic and incredible performances all set in and against the beautiful and dramatic landscape of eastern Georgia.”

For the record. Any time a director uses the phrase in bold up above you can be certain they are not going to be realistic. And Islam has ever and always been a stark, war torn religion, as even the story of Fatima proves. For better or worse. Trying to make it seem like The Arabian Nights is simply disingenuous.

According to this Muslim, it is worth the risk to talk about Fatima (The Lady of Heaven.)

But there are many Muslims, he admits, that are going to be angry about this.

I also found out that the director of this film got kicked out of either his sect or some other organization centered around Islam…which seems like a red flag.

Is it worth it to tell this story?

Well, that depends.

The Shia point of view is one of the two big branches of Islam. I believe it is the more peaceful branch, but don’t quote me on that.

If we could trust this movie to be objective, then perhaps it would be worth while to make it.

Fatima certainly sounds like an interesting woman…but what I am not convinced of is that the movie will show her how she really was.

The overdramatic speech in the trailer is already a huge neon warning sign to me.

I didn’t used to think so, but, in the last decade, every trailer for a “inspirational film” has one of those speeches in it.

Then you watch the movie, and it rarely delivers the impact that it was hinting at in the trailer.

Usually, there are contrived conflicts in the movie.

Which seems stupid, because in a real story like this, you ought to find enough actual conflict, without adding more.

I was less skeptical when I was younger, but I’ve now read too many things that say “well, no, that scene never actually happened, actually it went like this….”

Like in Hidden Figures. I am almost 100% sure she never yelled at her boss and fellow employees over the bathroom situation.

I know for a fact that in the Harriet movie that came out, her telling her white master off at the end of the move never happened.

And even in slightly older movies like Hildago, that lacked controversy. There was no love story, and no final stretch where the hose and rider both nearly collapsed. The horse actually finished a whole week ahead of the others in the race.

Either you can be annoyed by these changes or accept them as just part of what makes the movie “based off” real life, and not actually real.

But it gets a little touchy when we are focusing on a religion, and not just a person in history.

I have the same problem with The Lady of Heaven that I do with The Chosen.

While the Lady of Heaven may be about a regular girl, it is doubtful most of the story will be focused on that aspect of it. Islam is going to have to come into it.

And Islam is divisive. You have schools of Islam that think very, very different things.

The difference between Islamic sects is actually a lot more of a problem than the different denominations in Christian. [I speak on an actual doctrinal level, not people’s personal ways of handling it]

It is more like the difference between Catholicism, Mormonism, and Christianity.

The things that divide those three things are huge. Praying to Mary and other saints is not in the Protestant Bible, Seeing Jesus as equally powerful to the devil is only Mormon (as well as many other belief that I doubt the average practicing Mormon even really knows, as none of the ones I used to know ever mentioned them, but they are in there), and then Protestant Christianity, which claims to follow the Bible and only the Bible for how we base our worship and practice.

Interestingly enough, most of the violence the church has done over the centuries has been in the Catholic church, the branch that differs from the Bible in many ways. Protestants have made their mistakes, but usually we are not organized enough to take over countries like Catholicism did.

In fact, you will not find Protestant Christianity ever mentioned in many accounts of the church.

Corruption in fiction at least. Victor Hugo’s writing comes to mind.

And this is the different between Shia and Sunni Muslims as well as the smaller sects.

They are not simply difference of practice.

Maybe I should explain, because I know a lot of non Christians, or new Christians, will not know this alrady.

Doctrinal vs Practical Differences

Okay, a doctrinal difference and a difference in practice are very different problems.

A difference in practice would be this: The Evangelical movement focused on The Holy Spirit aspect of Christian more. The more Intellectual branch (usually Messianic Jews are this way interestingly enough) of the church focused on science and apologetics, very few churches fall into that category, but I’ve been to a couple. Then we have the traditional Bible believing denominations.

And Foursquare Church basically tried to combine the best of both worlds, and have evangelical, charismatic element mixed in with sound theology based on the bible.

There’s room for overlap in all of this, it really depends on where you go, but all these difference are stylistic differences. None of these churches (unless they are false) are going to claim any of the following:

Jesus is the devil’s twin.

Jesus is not the Son of God.

Our sins can be forgiven by church leaders.

It is acceptable to pray to Mary or a saint

Sins can be forgive through paying money

Purgatory is real

You can change the fate of someone even after death

Celibacy is necessary for the church leaders.

(Celibacy is encouraged in the Bible, but not mandatory, and many passages make it clear most of the leaders in the church were married with children.)

All the differences above are part of either Mormonism, Catholicism, or Judaism.

Orthodox Christian is another issue all on it’s own.

Now for the difference in Islam:

In these ways are Muslims similar (and I speak as a person with a very basic knowledge of it, but this is simplified.)

All Muslims have to believe Muhammad is God’s prophet.

There is no God but Allah

Within that there are a lot of different view on which teachings about Muhammad are accurate. And those are much like the difference I listed above, because there are actually things that could cost you your life.

Christians argue over denominations, more than we should, but we rarely kill each other over it, and we also are not known for persecuting each other (we do, but it is on a smaller scale and does not draw the attention of the outside world as often, there are exceptions to this).

But for the most part, we give to the same charities, uphold the same principles, and lead similar lives. Whether I am Baptist or Foursquare, I am likely to have the same verse highlighted in my bible, the same favorite Worship songs or style and the same basic beliefs about Jesus.

But the different sects of Islam are the ones that determine some major key things that we non Muslims are concerned about:

Is it all right tot kill Infidels?

Is marrying an underage girl acceptable?

Should people be forced to convert to Islam?

Most of the Western Muslims do not believe any of the above are acceptable, but as we all know, many, many Eastern Muslims do.

The precise problem with the movie is that by telling one side of it, it is going to alienate all the other sides.

And I do not think it is on the same level as just telling the Christianity story with a few errors. Christians complain, but we aren’t known for targeting people on the opposing side and killing or maiming them.

When you poke a bear, you should ask first if the bear has claws and fangs and is behind bars. It’s not wise to poke a bear anyway, but it’s even stupider to poke him in his own cave.

That is what I think this film is going to do.

And the people who make it will be partially responsible for any violence that follow, because they already know it will.

A movie about Jesus would not be guaranteed to cause that kind of reaction, but a movie about Islam is almost certain to do so.

That is the difference to me. You have to know who you’re dealing with.

Many, many Muslims are upset with the film, and I think justifiably skeptical about it. Hollywood is like Nazareth these days “Can any good come out of it?”

I am of the attitude that we do not need Hollywood to represent our religion anymore, if we ever did. I don’t trust those money grubbing jerks to portray anything fairly anymore.

I am worried some Muslims may accept the is film as necessary because they get so little representation but that is a very unwise outlook to have, because it leads people to accept even poor representation as better than nothing.

There is no power in Christianity if it is misconstrued, and I would think there is no power in Islam either.

I also do not think this movie is likely to make converts. And what other purpose is there in making it?

Fatima’s story is tragic, but it is also stirring up old grudges that didn’t need more fuel on the fire. It’s like making a movie about Jim Crowe, or Malcom X, or Adolf Hitler and tossing it into today’s political climate….oh, yeah, basically what they already are dong.

Yep, Hitler the story behind the mustache, coming soon to a theater near you, I can see it now. We can always count on Hollywood to see the flame war that is our society right now, and throw a big heaping ton of gasoline on it.

Am I the only who thinks they are deliberately doing this to stay in power over our minds and attention? I mean goodness knows, saying we could be less judgmental and more respectful is out of the questions.

Well the day I let Hollywood tell me how to think is the day you all can unfollow this blog, because it won’t be worth reading anymore.

In short, this movie is, I think, irresponsible. It is being made by a man who’s already caused a lot of controversy in Islam, and seems to see no issue with creating more, even if it could get people killed.

Remember too, this movie is likely to be seen all over the world. So even if violence is not the result in the USA, or Canada or Europe, it could easily be in the East. And we will probably never hear about it on the news which is always faithfully keeping our attention off what it really going on anywhere but here.

I mean, why talk about Islam when you can talk about the umpteenth strain of COVID that we can do nothing about…?

Well, that was my take on it. I’m not telling anyone not to see the movie if they feel it’s a good idea, but I would urge them to be watchful about what happens following it or around it. Maybe I am wrong…I am not usually wrong about things like this, because there are patterns, but who knows?

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

Losing the Value of Life

Today I want to write about a phenomenon I’ve been noticing for years, but, somehow, it was just this week I began to draw connections as to why.

First, I want to illustrate what I’m thinking of:

In simple words, this phenomena is “a loss in the value of human life.”

I think, in general, in this country, maybe in this whole world, we humans have lost a sense of value for our own and other’s lives.

I mean, that we no longer feel life is beautiful, worthwhile, or important.

The most prominent examples of this would be, as always, in the media world.

 

Have you noticed yet how many movies (and anime, the other biggest genre in this country), spend a sizable chunk of their time trying to convince the audience that humans are worth saving.

Since I was a kid, I noticed the anti-human rederick in sci-fi cinema.

I bet if I asked you (assuming you’re in an English spelunking country) to name 5 movies off the top of your head where some bad guy from another race, or another planet, says humans are basically petty, garbage that they really don’t see any value in, to which the hero retorts with something brilliant like “Well, I say they are.” And then beats the crap out of the villain, who is still unconvinced… you could do it right. 

Watch me I’ll do it now:

Wonder Woman ( Ares vs Diana)

Captain America (Red Skull vs Cap)

Justice League Animated movie: Crisis on Two Earths (Owlman vs Batman)

Avengers Age of Ultron (Ultron versus the Avengers)

The Matrix (Agent Smith versus Neo, pick a movie for that one, all three do it).

 

There’s more, but that’s just 4 popular, and one more obscure example.

I’d say this rend must have started in the 60-70s, but took off more in the 80s-90s, and is now a staple of pretty much every superhero movie we have.

And Anime has it in almost every arc, if it’s a shonen anime. 

Makes me wonder what humans ever did to all the machines and aliens, it’s rarely other humans who are making this judgment call.

I mean, why do screenwriters feel so implicitly that other races would loathe and despise us on such short acquaintance?

Usually, i’ts because we’re “destroying our planet.” And agenda that is only held by some members of our population. Try pitching that idea in an African tribe sometime, they’ll give you blank looks. Those of us “destroying” our eco system, are usually the ones reaping the most benefits from doing so. Maybe we are in the West, but, that’s not a global reality.

And because we’re cruel, petty, and afraid. 

Like, usually the aliens in question, and AI things, are not any less cruel or petty than we are. But they look down on humans like some self righteous snobs.

And then we get the protagonist speech. Like “I”m going to save humanity anyway, because… reasons.”

Like, the hero really can’t disagree with it.

Ever notice how tired our modern day heroes are?

You’d nee see that in the 50s-60s, heroes reveled in being heroes the way ballerinas revel in ballet, and artists revel in painting, and actors revel in acting. There was not this weariness to them.

Even Spiderman, perhaps the most iconically troubled superhero of the last century, spent most of this time enjoying his job. He thought it was important.

In my mind, it’s a disgrace to our culture that we can have a movie where Superman spends most of his time wondering why he’s even bothering to save humans. (Dawn of Justice.)

Like, heroes used to not take humanity as a whole and say “you all suck, so why should I save anyone.”

It was about saving the ordinary, decent people who need help, and sometimes, the not so decent people, because they were still people.

 

I’m not here to talk just about superhero cinema. But it’s one place you can almost always find this. Even my favorites from the last 10 years, that’s true. Some of the older movies, it’s not there in.

I now some of you are gong to be thinking “But humans do suck. They’re just telling the truth.”

That’s what my Dad would say, I know. I can still hear his voice in my head even after nearly two years of absence.

I have to admit, my dad is one of the main reasons I’m tempted to be down on humanity myself.

Though, I question what the point of having aliens and machines criticize us in our movies is, when, those things are not real, at least not yet, and really have no place judging us.

Shessh.

I mean, what are we going or replace humans with? We are what we got to work with. What’s the use of having alien critics? Thanks for the social commentary, Hollywood… the people who actually promote a sinful lifestyle so much you’re directly responsible for the increase in a lot for the very things you’re calling us out for.

Yeah, sure, it’s all the general populations fault.

Like, was it the 90s kids fault that the examples we subjected them too were so sacred up that they now have very little idea of how to behave? Or did we remove their chance to know what right really was?

But I digress.

Another place you can find this attitude is in pretty much every leftist work out there. I’m sorry if that’s offensive, it’s just something I’ve observed. Their books, movies, talks hows, always bashing on how bad humans are, and how we’ve ruined everything.

The level of disgust I’ve noticed since a kid with humans.

Why it’s int he flipping Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series, come to think of it. Maybe that’s where I encountered it first, even.

Whihc is liberal, byt he way.

Humans… we just cant’ cathc ab reak.

I guess it makes snes, we projet abetter personana onto ficiaotna l things, giving them what we wich we had more of as a race. Wsidoem, jsutice, Mercy, Intellignce., Bravery.

But often, what we create is so cold, and bitter, and disillusioned with anthhign in life that might give it pleasure.

Then we wonder why peopel are so depresed these days. Thsi is what they grow up having funneled into their brians bye ey balviale media outlet.

The hatred for humanity.

So, of course, our vlaue for human life drops.

Someitmes, I almsot feel gald when humans die in movies. And then I Catch myself feeling that way, and I think “Am I atually gald? am I actually happy?”

But, I’m an emopath, I pck up on the meotoians and intentons of people. I feel them like they ar emy own until I learn to distuirgns between what they are bradcasting and what I am actuallyt hinking.

IT’s aeasy for me to assume what I get form toehrs is just how things are.

But,I don’t actually like it when peopel die.

Coud it just be, that, when I watch the movie, I catch what they pople writign it were really feeling? What the characrtes are meant to emobidy.

OF course it woudn’t be accpetalbe to make our hero actually asupport gneoicde…but, if you give the vaillinst herse really convicng speeches bout how much humasn desre death or contol, and give the hro nkothing but burte strenght to anwer it with, aren’t you sbulimally letting the vilalin viepoitn win out? IT was never defeated, just silnced.

Why are peopel sypamthaizign with villains so much now?

And anien is even worse int his area than WEster Cinema. At least we give lip service to our ideals wevn eh we give nothing to back it up, but naime often falis to eve do that. The heors jsut save th day becaue they have a stonrg passion for thier firends.

It’s to the point where people have acknowledged that saving the world doesn’t feel like important stakes anymore

Saving the flipping world! Not important!

We can’t get invested int that, because, to us, the world just means the greed and selfishness driven masses that we are shown on tv. Not the individuals whose lives we might actually care about. We can get invested int hose, but not the rest.

That’s why superheroes always save their love interest, you care about that, you don’t care about a crowd of people, do you?

I remember that back in the day, in Westerns, just doing justice was enough, it didn’t have to be to save anyone. You cared because it was justice. It didn’t need a face. The hero wanting it was face enough.

But what hit me this week about the trend I’ve noticed for years and years, is why.

Why do we all feel humans are just the worse, and that human life is no longer valuable.

My theory is, it’s a deep psychological side effect of the choice we’ve made as culture since the 60s.

Let’s start with the biggest two:

Since the 60s we’ve taken parer out of schools, and tried to shut religions out of education, despite much evidenced to the contrary that it’s even a good idea to do so, and so education became more secular.

Depression rates soared after that, by the way. So did teen pregnancies. So did abortions.

Another change made around that time. Abortion became legal.

And now they say we abort 5,000 babies every minute, if I remember right, that may be an old statistic.

This even become legal is, frankly, and atrocity of the highest degree. We have the evidence now to know we are killing a baby, but we’re still doing it and the left will keep saying it’s a Women’s Right’s issue until that excuse stops working.

‘Cause we all know, Women make babies by themselves, and men nave nothing to do with it, so why should the man get a say in it if his baby is killed. (And while some jacks do pressure women to get abortions, many men have not wanted that choice and have been ignored.)

I’m tired of tiptoeing around this, if someone can’t see abortion is wrong, they are more delusional than a man who believes he’s a dog, and there’s just no use apologizing for that anymore.

I hate, by the way, how that issue is barely even talked about now. I heard almost nothing about it at the last elections. It’s not even at the top of our priorities list. We spend more time arguing about the rights of people who enter this country illegally than we do about unborn babies.

But how did abortion become legal? How did this happen? How did we get to this point? Is it not because we began devaluing human life?

I mean, at first, it didn’t work that way. They convinced us the fetus wasn’t human. But, now that we know it is, we’re still not worked up about it.

We just don’t really care, do we?

Even Pro Life people, have hard time getting as emotional over it as we used to, and we’re told not to.

We’re told not to get emotional about a baby being murdered. Like, that’s not something that deserves some emotion….Wow….

We’ve lost our minds, that’s for sure.

But we’ve also lost our value for life.

I almost wonder if it’s a judgement in some sense. Not that God made us do it, but more like karma. Like, we killed our own children in their country, so now our sense of value in even our own lives is dying away.

You ever notice once you start treating someone a certain way, you began to feel that way. And what you do to one person, you’ll do to another. A person who bullies one person will probably bullied another. A person who rapes one person will probably rape another.

A person who lies to you will lie to someone else, and likely to themselves too.

Cross one line with one person, you’ll cross it with all.

Maybe that’s why James said “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

Because that’s the truth. There is not “one time Sin”. There is only a sin that you do in one form at one time, and maybe don’t do it again, bu you’ll do something similar.

Of course if you repent that maybe not happen, but most people dont’ repent of that, they just think it’s not important anymore, it’s in the past right?

In the rape case, it’s doubtful that a rapist usually ever realizes what they did was wrong. If you can dehumanize a woman or man enough to take that from them, how can you go back? It wouldn’t be easy.

Interesting how signs of violation are sometime harder to let go of that sins like murder and violence.

I mean, many a person has murdered and then been horrified that they did it, and not enjoyed it. But how many people realize even as soon as they’ve done it that rape or molestation was an evil they should never have done. It’s like they block it out.

As the signs get worse and we become more immune to them, we come to care less and less if people die.

Thank to the news most to us feel people are dying all the time, all day long and we can do nothing about it.

Maybe our goal is to try to numb ourselves to the horror by watching horror. Watching gory stuff, and dulling the pain of feeling helpless by doing that. There’s reasons people consider horror a kind of escapism.

But Horror movies and shows and stories are not really an escape, because so many of them can occur in real life, and we’re only increasing the likelihood of it by popularizing it.

You know, I wouldn’t know how to shoot up a drug if I didn’t watch movies. I’ve never done it, and I never intend to, but I know at least theoretically how it works, I’ve seen it. Why are we so stupid?

We are still responsible for our own choice, it’s true, but, we really can’t keep denying that choosing to consume this stuff is changing how we feel about things..

C. S. Lewis thought that being taught how to feel was one of the most important parts of learning. He explains this in The Abolition of Man.

We live in a culture that is post Abolition of Man. We are trying to abolish gender, human rights for anyone we deem a problem (like babies), and any sense of guilt or shame over hurting each other over petty issues.

Do people feel guilty for rioting and becoming violent over the last year? Or are they proud of it?

Should we be proud that people died or got hurt over something that, bad as it was, didn’t have to affect that many people that way.

And of course, someone will say “Well, it should have. All these issues should affect all of us, all the time.”

I miss the days when people thought not everyone needed to be burdened with everyone else’s problems.

I mean, what are we all supposed to do about it?

It’s all just anger, that’s all it is. We can get angry, then what? Did it make us kinder? Smarter? Better people?

Or did we sell our integrity just a little bit more in order to make a statement.

Man, I think the media must just love how easily manipulated we are. It keeps them in business.

And valuing human life is just not even poplar anymore.

Almost everyone is struggling with depression now. I don’t think it’s just because we feel we have no right to live. I think we are wondering if anyone does.

I know that was a big part of my depression, and still is, when it comes back. I can’t find any pat of humanity I like when I think of what I’m shown all day long, every day, by media.

If I can’t value human life, I can’t value my life.

I want to value both.

It’s heartbreaking that we don’t.

According to the Word, God loved the world so much, He gave His Son for it. (John 3:16)

Jesus loved us so much, He died for us.

And what has humanity ever done form God?

Yet he loves us.

Do we understand that?

Many people express the doubt that God could really love such a messed up race as ours.

Well, we don’t deserve it.

But since when was Love based on desert?

You can’t find that idea anymore in the world. Once upon a time, we could. Frozen is the last movie I can think of, and Wonder Woman, that even broached the subject.

Why do our lives have value?

Because, God made us. Why he did, why he puts us here, when it’s such a mess, is hard to say, for us humans. But God knows best. Humans are the only tool he has ever used to mend the world with other than himself.

The Bible says we are partners with God in his Works. That is why we are still here.

I wonder, if we made more stories around that idea, if people would start to feel differently about it.

It’s not so hard.

I can get down in the dumps when I realize all this crap is going on, and that the barbarians of our world are the ones running things.

But, the world is temporary.

People are not.

I think that, turning back from this point of despair, is actually not as difficult as we think.

People who complain about their mental health usually are taking no steps at all to improve it beyond therapy and medication.

But what I found to be much more helpful was changing my influences.

I put some happier examples before me. I went back to books I loved.

I give this advice to other people now.

We need to rediscover what makes people worthwhile.

It’s hard with the constant influx of negativity.

We all talk bout it, but very few of us try to shut it out. I think we need space to just, think. Get in touch with Nature, with Beauty. With Goodness.

If we all did that, the media would have very little sway over us. I think they want us afraid to go outside.

You know, at least right now, people have as much power over you as you give them, provided you’re in a normal position.

I try to explain to my cousin how we don’t all need to think the same way as what’s in vogue.

Wokeness is just… ugh…

It’s come to a pretty pass when the people villainized in their country are ones defending the lives of babies.

Yeah, just stop and think about that sentence.

I mean, shoot, even if you think women have a right to abortion…why on earth would you hate someone for defending a baby? Isn’t that psychotic?

And the self satisfied attitude of the people…

But do we value each other anymore?

If we ever did. My knowledge of history makes me question if any but a predominantly Christian society has ever had anything like a real value for human life. We take it for granted here, we don’t realize how quickly it’s slipping away.

Or if we do, we don’t know how to stop it.

It’s hard, it should be intrinsic, not something we have to learn.

I’m still working on it myself, but I do believe that Beauty and Goodness are the best places to start.

As Paul wrote “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

We really don’t do that anymore, do we. And so we’ve lost our value for all the things that are valuable.

But, be enoucred, friends. Even if our culture is dying, Jesus is not going to die He’s beent ere done that. God is not goidn anywehre.

All Nations fall, and all peoples corrupt, but God is incorruptible. He will stay the same.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

In a world where nothign huamn is cerating excpet sin, peopel turn to God as a certianty.

We must hang onto that if we’re gong to not lose heart, it’s so easy to do that.

David wrote;

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
” (Psalms 27: 13-14)

Notice, he says the “goodness of the lord” not man.

I’ve been thinking of that, because this year, I really want to see the goodness of the Lord…but I think, I keep looking for the goodness of man. And that’s hit and miss.

I’ll leave you with that, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

The Chosen

I recently joined the millions of other Christians in my country who have been watching the new series “the Chosen.”

Some say it’s the best show about Jesus to come out.

And I’ve made it through all the available episodes, and I’ve been enjoying it.

This wouldn’t be a very interesting post if that was all I had to say though, and unfortunately, my impression of it is not all positive.

If you are new the blog and just clicked on this post out of curiosity then you may wonder why you should care what I think, though you’re you’re probably still curious, because don’t we all like to read critical reviws of whatever’s popular.

But I do have one claim to a relavent relavent opinion, I’ve been reading the Bible since I was a child, and have read the Gospels many times, which is the main source material for the show. I’m not a bible scholar officially, but I’m about as scholarly as laymen get.

And since I am the target audience for this show, a young woman who is always open to getting a btter undestnad of Jesus, I think my opinion ought to interest some people.

That out of the way, let’s begin:

What I like

I don’t need a lot of time for this part.

I love the sets and backdrops of this show, I can’t figure out how a webseries has the budget for those sets and constumes. They’re beautiful and very real feeling, maybe not dirty enough always, but I’m not one to complain about that.

A lot of beautiful locations too.

Also, the acting is good. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s believable most of the time. The actors clearly enjoy their roles.

Jesus ins’t a stiff, I like that. I mean, he’s alive again for a reason, people. I’ve never been of the party that thinks Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor, or that God doens’t. I have pets, I know God has a sense of Humor.

I do enjoy the miracles too… well, some of them. It’s very cool to see that with better technology than we used to have to depict these things.

What I don’t like

“Dislike” can be a strong word. Most of the things that I didn’t like about the show were minor annoyances that I was williing to let go of.

Again,I’m not a stickler for presenting Jesus as “holier than thou” super serious, and a buzz kill. I never have liked that version of Jesus.

As for the internal conflict, one of the other main complaints about the plot, I mostly don’t mind that either. We know from the Gospels that the disciples had clashes sometimes. They argued about who was the greatest.

If anything, they are a little too mature in this story because it’s hard to picture these guys having such a stupid argument. I guess we all stumble.

But there are some things I don’t feel right just glossing over as flaws in the show. Some because they are writing errors, and others because I am concerned they are going agaisnt scripture.

The smaller concern is the writing errors.

It’s not the most important thing, but approaching the Gospel and taking the stories out of order and giving the characters motivations not specifically denoted in the Bible creates problems.

The first being, the timeline is totally messed up. John the Baptist has been in and out of imprisonment, and has no disciples following him at the current point in the story, and this is kind of a problem if they wish to accurately portray the real issues he and Jesus had in the Gospel. When his disciples came to ask Jeuss if he was the one o ne, or if they looked for another.

Jesus responded them “Tell John, the blind see, the deaf hear,”

I wonder if John really doubted, or if his disciples did and he sent them to Jesus just to see what he’d tell them. Haven’t we all set up people to get a verbal set down at least once? No? Just me?

Even if John doubted, it was while he was in prison. Not before. this time line has become very confusing.

Also, I’m not sure that esus even met Mary MAdalgene befor ehe called teh 12. But, that’s not something we can verifiy, so I’d let that one slide.

The real issue is being in seaons 2 and not having all 12 dispcile stoghet yet. A lot of JEsu misntiry hasn’t evens tarted yet, because most o fi tihappend after he had the 12, and alarge other amoung of folower.

He sents out 70, if I reember right, to prepare the way for him. He hasn’t collected even half that maount now. And taht wasn’t that far into his 3 year misntiry.

they could decide to removed this, but since this is a very detailed vesrionf of the story, it would be odd to do so. Most depictiosn of JEsus only focus on his miracle, or hhis death. They odn’t try to vocer all the in bewteeen.

And there’s a godo reaosn for that.

The disciples themselves who wrote of his deeds said if they included all of them, the world couldn’t hold the books.

IT’s ahrd to picurre just how cosntnat jesus works must have been, for them tos ay that.

So, sadly, any depiction of him as he lived his dilay life, is never going to be able to fit in all that he did.

The problem this presents us is that, it is impossible for it to be true to Jesus’s experiences under such limitations.

But I think that the show maybe be making the problem even worse by spending so much time on Jesus doing very little.

Case in point: Episdoe 5

This episode annoyed me, not because of them partying a did so Jesus that I don’t believe in, but because they portrayed a side of him that wouldn’t have existed unless they wrote it in.

When John and Jesus are talking about his ministry, John asks Jesus why he isn’t doing more, why he doesn’t call out the sins of the people more, the corruption at high levels.

And Jesus seems to ba little heistiant about answering, and cautioning John not to call out Herod’s sin.

I’m sorry, Jesus? Our Jesus? The Jesus that preached against sin constantly? That Jesus? Is telling John not to do this?

Is Jesus confused?

I know that I would get called uptight for complaining about it. Because “oh Jesus was human, they’re just showing him and John as human.”

I guess “human” now means uncertain of what to do in life. But that’s not what it used to mean.

What gulls me about this is that there is no biblical foundation for that scene whatsoever. And, the circumstances prompting it, John’s questions, would not exist, has Jesus been doing as he actually did in scripture.

Jesus called out the sins of the pharisee very early on in his ministry (something I cannot even see their version of him doing so far). He called out the secret sins of the heart in one of his first recorded sermons, the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5-7.

What puzzles me is that the writer have knowingly rearranged what Jesus did, and now, are making excuses for it, with his character. As if John is being used to lampshade their own show by asking what the audience might be asking, like “uh, why are we not getting more than one miracle per episode, save for the one with Mary.”

A good question. Jesus did miracles constantly, and he’s barely done any, yet most of his disciples are gathered..?

Yeah, if I were John the Baptist, and had read the Gospel, I’d be wondering what was going on with this version of Jesus too.

See, it’s actually bad writing to create problems, and then use characters to argue over those came problems, in an adaptation, because it would not have been there had you stayed true to the source materials. If you have to change the characters and actions so much to create conflict, you are doing something the author never did, and people don’t always read the source material, and will blame you for doing it.

Like those awful changes they made in the Narnia movies that made no dang sense…

I have another problem with John questioning Jesus at all and actually telling him what to do.

John, the same John who says “whose sandels I am not worthy to untie?” Is going to tell Jesus he’s dong it wrong.

John is the one who said “The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

I won’t say John never had doubts or questions, but it’s one thing to wonder, it’s another to go so far as to reprove Jesus. The one John believed was the son of God before anyone else did, even. An often overlooked fact.

Who said “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

Oh, and yet another problem here.

By the time John got arrested by Herod, Jesus already had a huge minority. We know this because he had began baptizing people, (his disciples had, John 4:2 ), and some of John’s were going over to Jesus. John said this was how it should be. That is was the natural order of things, basically.

Jesus had way more followers by that point. And John got arrested after that.

It would not have been when he still had less than 20. And hadn’t started doing a lot of miracles yet.

So between the timeline being messed up, and deviating from scripture, we have a serious problem.

Now John saying that isn’t going to make any sense, I doubt it will even happen, since he’s going to get killed by Herod (spoiler to no one who’s read the gospel.)

And that’s a key thing about ministry that will not get to be included in this show.

They changed John from the Bible.

And you may say that it’s not a big deal to change it. I’d counter that it’s too much change for a historical figure. A good example would be if someone made a movie about Martin Luther King Jr. and portrayed him as being racist against Mexicans, or mistreating other black people under him. It’s just not his character. Wouldn’t that get a real rise out of people?

But we can’t prove he wasn’t like that…

We can’t prove he was either.

And they changed Jesus, who never once doubted his own actions on record.

We attribute human weakness to Jesus because we know he was tempted like we are, but there is a reason He is not recorded at saying them.

Words have power. Jesus’s had more power than anyone.

Whatever he sometimes felt and thought, he would not have voiced doubt in God, until that moment on the cross when it was part of completing his desolation.

Once you speak doubt, it take a much former hold on you. Even a psychologist would tell you that.

And, as a writer, I also know that using doubt in a story can be complicated. I actually stay away from it unless it serves a specific purpose.

Call me crazy but doubt doesn’t make me relate to characters more, or like them. I want to be confident in what I’m doing. I hate doubt.

And I get annoyed when characters obsess over it. For crying out loud, if you’re that unsure, I’m not sure you’re the right person for the job. (No disrespect to Moses or Gideon, there’s exceptions, in God, but He does tells us not to doubt. God treats doubt as an evil He sometimes has to get around, but mostly will just not tolerate.)

I find other elements of the show weird, like their portrayal of demons. Anyone who’s actually witness deliverance ministry knows it’s nothing like what they are showing. How it would be for Jesus, I don’t know, but the whole “false name thing” has no scriptural foundation. Demons have names, but people possessed by them don’t change their names. It’s doubtful if they even remember them half the time.

Also, calling out someone’s true name is not how you free them from a demon. It can be part of healing and other forms of ministry, but only Jesus casts out demons, and only His name is able to overcome them, not ours.

The Bible says God “gave him the name is above every name” for a reason.

That’s not the biggest problem, it’s just weird.

But the biggest problem is what I already mentioned. Going too far from scriptures.

I was watching the live chat for the episode, and someone said “This is like historical fiction for the Gospel.”

Right. That’s exaclty right.

Actually, it’s more like fan fiction.

Historical fiction doesn’t change how real life people acted, usually. It is set around someone who didn’t actually live then, experience it. And while they may give real figures in history more personality, they don’t change their actions, because that’s not historical then.

Fan fictions, on the other hand, is where you change canon characters and how they act and what they feel and what their backstories are.

And now my question, a serous one, is: How is Historical Fan fiction about the Gospels actually helping us?”

I can’t be the only one who wonders what the point of this show is.

The first season diverged less from “canon” if you will, but season 2 is taking some big creative leaps.

And why?

I believe strongly in the potency of the Gospels, as being God inspired for accuracy and power, and many people have been changed by reading them.

I don’t believe nearly as much in the power of a “good example” to win souls.

We are called to be a “good example” of course, or we are hypocrites. And sometimes that’s the only witness we can have.

But the primary commission of christian is to preach, heal, and free people. Jesus told us to do that.

And so, telling an accurate account of him is very important if we’re going to go everywhere and preach about Him.

You see, I don’t need “one interpretation” of Jesus. I need Jesus. I need Him as he was, what he really said, because I believe He said it for a reason. I believe there’s power in his words that there is not in ordinary men.

Changing what He said, and how He said it, to me is a great affront to Jesus, because it is as if we think we can explain what He meant better than he can.

Paraphrase, sure. Use an analogy to help people, absolutely.

But base it off what he actually said.

And when you have Jesus portrayed by an actor, being in His time, in His place, then changing what he said is a very problematical. It’s wrong, sometimes.

I noted it when he healed the man who was lame for so many years too. he didn’t say the same things to Him.

I for one, don’t think Jesus needs to really explain what He’s going to do, He just does it. I think it takes away form the power of what He says if you add all these weird explanations He never gave on record of why He said it.

To Jesus, healing the man was a simple as telling him to get up and walk. He didn’t have to say “I’m what you need” because He was what He needed. You don’t have to tell someone that if it’s obvious.

Please.

It sounds like I’m nitpicking, and that’s because it’s very hard to convey what I mean. It’s something you almost have to know God already to know is true.

If you know Jesus, deeply, you know he is direct.

I make up reasons, I make up explanations, I make up a backstory for what He’s telling me, I may be right, I may be wrong.

But He just tells me. Jesus isn’t vague.

If I’ve learned one thing from reading Jesus and imitating Him when I write, it’s that, when He is vague, He is actually being the most direct. It is only vague because we don’t understand it.

If a scientist said to you E=MC squared, with no context, you might say “that was really vague and cryptic.”

But to the scientist, that make perfect sense. It’s actually a very exact answer to them. Because it’s an equation. This is not room for interpreting.

When Jesus called out sin, and told us what it meant to be right now, I don’t think He intends us to try to interpret it away.

Some things require context and research now that’s it’s been 2000 years, but it’s important to remember, when they were spoken, that was not the case. I suspect it was crystal clear to them.

When Jesus was vague was with Parables, and those are not really that vague, just hard to grasp in fullness.

I just wonder, if anyone watching The Chosen and truly walking away with a better understanding of Jesus.

You see, The Chosen, is taking Jesus, and putting a modern spin on him. Changing his words, using our church cliches that no one really understands.

And that might be okay as a paraphrase, but it’s not as a direct quote, if you catch my meaning.

And what good is watching a paraphrase? Paraphrase is useful only for a few moments to help you understand the original meaning better, if you go to a paraphrase as your source of truth, you lose something in the translation. If you’ve ever read a “no fear Shakespeare” paraphrase, you know what I mean (ugh.)

You see, someone who only watches the Chosen, as it is now, would be quite shocked with how Jesus is in the Bible.

He would seem cold by comparison. Cold and judgemental.

I believe you have to learn to read the Gospel and see Jesus for how He really was. Not turn him into what you think He should be like.

I think, honestly, the problem is the whole concept.

“Getting to now Jesus through the eyes of His followers.”

I mean, when has that ever worked?

It’s helpful to build each other up with our personal stories, and try to see each other in them, but, I have never truly been helped except by directly knowing Jesus himself.

You an’t “know Jesus” through the eyes of his followers, if anything, that’s what we have too much of now in the Wast. We watch movies, read books, and hear sermons about what Jesus is like, but don’t get to know Him ourselves.

A sermon is helpful, but it’s not the core of Christianity.

We’re taking one thing that is meant to be a supplement, or at most, a portion, of our diet, and we’re making it the full meal.

This is not the fault solely of the writers and directors of The Chosen, but its saddens me to see such a clear influence of that kind of culture in the show.

I’m sure mine will never be a popular opinion, but I don’t expect it to be.

Knowing Jesus, really, is not ever popular, is it?

I Initially was wary of this show because it was popular, because I felt any real depiction of Jesus cannot ever be widely popular, it would offend too many people to see Jesus as he really is. The world hates him, that’s in the bible.

Then it seemed to be okay.

But what bothered me was how little power I felt in it.

Emotional response is not the same as power.

A powerful scene can give you a new perspective after watching it.

Just crying, and getting angry is not power.

In fact that’s all we know how to do now, cry and rage and laugh at stuff.

Even needing a show like The Chosen to give us an emotional background for these people, is just a sign of how emotional deprived we are.

If reading the Gospel doesn’t invoke some feeling in you, and watching it portrayed how it actually was wouldn’t, then…. that seems like a you problem.

I think helping us understand what is in there between would be more beneficial than adding stuff to it.

I know , I know, they are not trying to replace the Bible.

But… just what do you think you’re going to do then?

Get a bunch of people to read the Gospels, realize Jesus is not like that, and get angry, or say “I like the Chosen version of Jesus better.”

What an affront to God if that happened.

It probably already has.

I hope it would not work out that way, but since he’s just so different, I can’t really believe it won’t.

And, one last thing…

Why do we need a show about Jesus’s follower anyway?

Are they what matter? Should they be the main characters.

It’s startling when you realize Jesus is actually a side character who’s barley in some episodes, and it very muted most of the time he is there.

Jesus? A side character?

What about “I must become less, and he must become great?”

I question if there is any power or truth in focusing on followers.

I don’t want people looking at my life and trying to understand Jesus through that. I can help them, but by direct them to Him, no to me. I’m not the answer.

The motivation of this writing decision would baffle me if I didn’t have an all too common explanation:

It resonates better with the audience.

Because, it’s easier to swallow than the truth would be.

And we’re used to the shallow and full spectrum of human weaknesses thanks to Hollywood.

I don’t think we need to be competing with that in Christian media.

I may have made the same mistakes in my writing, I can own up to that. But, I am avoiding portraying Jesus directly all that often. And I am not trying to put the gospel into a new suit.

I sue parallels, but that’s all they are. Like the Chronicles of Narnia. Parallels are powerful.

I looked it up, and I did find one person who seems to have noticed the same thing I did about the show, and had more time to research it:

“Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.

This is one of many examples of him stating that Mormonism, Catholicism, and Christianity simply have minor theological differences. He calls them “different perspectives” that are “exciting to explore, not dangerous”. He consults a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and an evangelical christian after writing each episode to make sure they are “biblically accurate”. You can find him saying many times that we all believe in or that we all love the same Jesus.

But do we? Both the church of LDS and Catholics believe in a combination of works and faith. Mormons believe that God attained His supreme status by righteous works and that Jesus is a created being and not equal to God. I could go into more details behind the errors of the Mormon and Catholic faiths and what makes them false religions, but I’ll save that for another day. However, the differences between the true Christian faith and the Mormon and Catholic faiths are essential, gospel issues and not simply theological differences we can brush over. And the bottom line is this: If Dallas Jenkins believes what he’s saying then he doesn’t understand the true Gospel. The Gospel that says there’s only one way. The Gospel that says we are forgiven on the merit of Christ alone and not of anything we can do. The one and only Gospel that is founded on the belief that Jesus is God incarnate.” Full article is linked here:

I think she summed it up pretty well too.

I do question the Show’s constant defensiveness about it not being “your bible.”

Like, no one said it was. But is it too much to ask we stick to the source?

As the Aesop’s fable goes, you cannot please everyone. If you try, you please no one.

But the show will have mass appeal, because it has values that appeal to the masses.

Jesus promoting women is biblical, and the article I linked has one thing wrong, Mary Magdalene and other women did travel with Jesus and supported him out of their own wealth. It was culturally inappropriate, but they did it.

But there is no record of the other things listed. The author is right about that.

I didn’t know about the connection to Mormonism and Judaism till now. But I can see it.

I was in a Co-op with Mormons for quite a while in my teenage years, and I can say, there is definitely a difference between Mormonism and Christianity. They claim to be Christians, but they don’t understand the idea of grace at all.

They also are not free thinkers, though they are very smart, educated people.

Being a free thinker is not perhaps a biblical requirement, but it helps you not be swayed by peer pressure.

I find the part where Dallas said he wants to “enhance” scripture to be the most disturbing, to be honest.

Like this lady says, we’ll all have to decide for ourselves, I would caution any Christian who is watching it to fact check it by the Bible at the very least, and take what it is for what it’s wroth, but not as fact.

Also, I think the show villainizing any Christians who complain about the biblical inaccuracy by saying that’s not their intention, are missing the point.

Because, bro, if you don’t want to represent my Bible, of my Faith, accurately, then, stop claiming to be of my Faith. I don’t need you to speak for me, thanks.

Don’t see why that’s so hard to understand.

All right, I think that’ll do for this post, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.