Sunday, November 23, 2014

Political Blasphemy

Today I am going to address a subject that has been bothering me for a good while now. I don't believe that this single post is going to change much but an ocean is a collection of millions of drops, right?

The whole thing really got wind under it's wings on a summer two years back or so. I was a missionary walking the Swedish streets. My colleague told me that he had visited a locale of an other denomination and seen a poster with two men. Under was a text "Adam & Steve".

An other occasion caught my attention. On a Swedish newspaper I read a short article of how social democratic political party had marketed themselves with a slogan: "Jesus var sosse" meaning "Jesus was social democratic" in Swedish slang. According to them his teachings and the way of living corresponded with their ideology.

Enough of Sweden. In Finland where I live, one of the denominations has tried years to attract youth to become interested of faith and practice of religion. This was years ago but they used a campaign named "Jesse diggaa sua" meaning "Jesse (Jesus) thinks you are cool" in Finnish slang from Helsinki. I'm not sure if "Jesse digs you" translates exactly same way in English or American but it should be pretty close.

Not too long ago a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook. The picture is from United States I believe it could be from somewhere else too. It is a picture of a huge board. It would not fit in my room no matter how you would twist or turn it. It has a text that I felt was very offensive and hurtful. First it compares religion to a male sex organ which in itself was the most hurtful of things the board said. Then it continues to say:

"It's okay to have one. It's okay to be proud of it. HOWEVER, do not pull it out in public, do not push it on children, do not write laws with it, do not think with it."
 That was when I decided to write about this. This is what I call political blasphemy.

First, I do not sign under any circumstances that using religion in a political campaign  of any kind is right. Politics is and/or should be based on an individual's or a group's own, founded values and ideology. Religion might have an influence on them BUT never in any situation religion should be used as vote fishing tool.

Twisting religion and it's teachings is a very common practice when something does not seem to fit in the mind of the "masses". This has been happening for quite a long time now. Those who are willing to hearken the Truth and see the Reality will do it. The rest will not agree and it is their loss. It is sad but that is how it is. It is sometimes painful, sometimes frustrating and sometimes it makes me angry to see how denominations and their leaders who profess to be on God's errand in reality turn away from Him because of a public voice.

Using God, Christ and other sacred and revered people in a disrespectful context is not right. If we who claim to be their followers, talk about them in light manner, making fun of them, what does it show to the world? We who know them, we should show respect of highest decree.

Should those who follow a god be silenced from the voice of a nation? Should those that have found joy and happiness be stopped from sharing what took them there? Should those that have a religion stop considering their actions through a lens of faith an conviction? Should a parent be denied the right to teach their children what makes mom and/or dad happy?

In this age of freedom of speech, there has been an increase of voice to silence those who believe or have a faith. We are part of many nations all over the world. We are people with rights. We have values. We have ideologies. We have things to say. We have a right to make our voice heard.

Where would this world be if religion had not ever been?

What was the foundation of nations? What was used as a founding stone of law? What has made the western civilization "civil"?


Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's Not You

A couple of months back I had a short chat with an acquaintance of mine, a very smart and up beat young adult. At one point my acquaintance expressed a worry. She felt that her faith was wavering. She felt that her testimony or the power of her conviction had been going up and down lately. Many of us may have similar experiences or feelings about our own faith and conviction.

First, it is normal to go through such phases or periods. Sometimes we are stronger sometimes we are weaker. That is just the way it is. That is why it is so important to keep nourishing your spiritual batteries through prayer and study and actively attending at a worship service. We are just humans and we need reminders.

In some cases (how often, I cannot say) the feeling of wavering faith is not a result of spiritual malnutrition. During the mundane times when we are out and about our daily tasks the adversary will send his angels of confusion. In the midst of work, school, chores, responsibilities and routines thoughts will come and go. Some are just passing by, some visit us a bit longer but a characteristic they all share is that they rise against what we believe or know to be true.

They come regardless of whether we do what we should do to nourish our spiritual needs or not. They come and there is nothing we can do to stop them from coming. We must be prepared.

Even if we are prepared to take on the enemy, it can be very hard to fight off these thoughts. There is a reason to it. We don't remember who we were and what we did or what potential we showed before we received a body from our mortal parents and were sent here on this globe of trials. We don't remember those things but the adversary does.

He was there with us. He knows who we are. He knows that we are driven by the same basic characteristics and natural attributes here as we were there. We did not change when we were born here. Using his knowledge of us he will fight against us.

When we feel our faith or conviction is wavering let us not worry. Instead, let us focus on the things we know to be true. Let us hold fast to those experiences we have had that testify of God, Christ and their infinite love for us. Because when we are strong the adversary will fight harder and he fights unfair. Be patient. His angels will let you be for a time when they see that you stand firm.

Think about this. It is not always you who is "weak". It can also be the adversary who is just fighting harder.

Be strong! Godspeed my friends.