Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Agers in an Argument

"Good morning dear, how was your time in contemplation this morning?" asked Sharon with all smiles as she was whipping up some pancakes for her husband and the kids.

Tom replied, "Absolutely wonderful, as I quieted my spirit, I sensed my Soul directing me to a day of golf to spend more time in nature."

"Ah, that's just beautiful Tom, but you must remember that today is the day you're taking the kids because I have a massage and then spiritual breathing with Julia at the Bonsai Yoga House."

"Hmm...yes, I do recall that earlier plan, but my Divine Self has spoken greater priorities over the day's agenda," explained Tom.

Sharon responded in a tone of ethereal happiness, "I'm so happy you are being directed by the Self; there is no greater source of joy than following our deepest desires. And yet my Supreme Self has also been guiding me all week. I'm certain that a day away is what my Self needs."

"Sharon, Sharon, I find it unlikely that your Self would be in contradiction with my Self. You must have been led astray."

"Yes, Tom, it does appear unlikely that our personal divinities would be in contradiction, that is for sure. Maybe you could take another 30 minutes for meditation outside in nature and then commit to release me for the day."

"Sharon, dear, dear Sharon. Once mySelf has spoken, I feel it would be a breach in the universal principles of the life-force to ignore or not follow these leadings."

"Your leadings certainly seem to always involve more time on the golf course, time away from the family, and even once, your Self was confident that an open marriage would bring greater joy to your Self.  Tom, it seems your Self meets the needs of you more often than it does of mySelf."

"Sharon," Tom replied in mild condescension,"In our spiritual evolution we must come to believe our desires are more and more evolved. To some these desires might look base and selfish, but I am certain that they are simply the proper expression of my divine evolution. If I were not to act on these impulses, I'd be accepting spiritual regression. Someday you may understand."

"Yes, someday, I might. But today, you are going to take the kids whether your Self or Soul likes it or not."

"Oh, Sharon, I sense in my Spirit that you are being driven to a state of anger and distress. Turn back to the light, my dear wife, and see the truth."

"Oh, it's anger all right, Tom, but it's because you are not treating me as your dear wife, but as your personal slave."

"Sharon, you must understand that words like 'wife' and 'slave' are merely social constructs. We must not let society dictate our lives. Instead, we must yield ourselves to the movement of the Self toward full enlightenment."

"If you don't quit talking to me like some unenlightened yogi, I'm going to enlighten you with a smack to the head. Tom, this kind of BS needs to stop."

"Well, Sharon, maybe that is true. Maybe two divines just can't live under the same roof. Especially, when we are on different paths toward our evolutionary enlightenment."

"Oh, good morning kids..." conversation ended.


Monday, April 21, 2014

I just went to church on Easter...now what?

So, you made it to an Easter service at a local church. Not only did you feel good that you went, you actually liked it.  You got a sense that life is bigger than what gets depicted on a prime-time sitcom.  You felt the gravity of the occasion and even a bit of joy.  The preacher didn't make you fall asleep and a few of the songs connected with your soul.  This Jesus who lived in real space-time history, conquered death, and offers forgiveness is quite captivating.

What do you do now?

Option #1: Assume it was just a random coincidence and stay far far away from those crazy religious people.

Option #2: Plan to go back next Easter. Seriously, it can't be that good every week (could it?)...or

Option #3: (my recommendation) Go back to the same church this Sunday. Feel free to email the friend who took you this week or contact the pastor who preached (you can usually find them on the church's website). Ask them questions. Express your doubts. Heck, most pastors would even buy you lunch to talk about your impressions, concerns, and thoughts...that's what they love to do!

And if you attended my church this Sunday, shoot me an email (pastormatt@cornerstone-marion.org) or call me at 447-1688. Let's do lunch.

-Pastor Matt Proctor

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Insulted and Inaccurate - 50 Things Every Woman Should Realize About Men

It appears http://wallstreetinsanity.com/50-things-every-woman-should-realize-about-men/

In it, he basically told women to tolerate all sex-crazy, selfish, and ego-centric males. He reduced women to sex toys who are supposed to graciously allow for moral imperfections, sexual perversions, and undiluted pride in their men.

Women, some 'men' may be like this, but no man should be. Do not settle for such worthless dregs.

Men who agree with more than 5-10 of these 50 things, and Chuck Henderson in particular, shame on you.

Real men sacrifice for the needs of women. Real men restrain their sexual appetites until marriage. Real men want to honor, serve, and protect women.

I confess there have been too many moments in my life that I have thought some of Henderson's realizations were ok. Some I've even acted upon in thought, word, and deed. But at no point did succumbing to the flesh make me a man. Real men should act like soldiers trained for war. We put our own preferences and fleshly desires aside. We train for battle and develop self-control for the sake of the weak and vulnerable. We lay down our wants to meet the needs of others. We stay focused until our blood s spilled and our bodies fall to the ground.

Women need soldier men, not sexualized men. Women need the boys of this world (i.e. Chuck Henderson) to grow into real men.

Jesus of Nazareth said it best when he said a real hero doesn't seek power and lordship over people. Instead, the greatest men will use whatever power and position they have to meet the needs of others. This is why Jesus (fully God and full man) used all his position and all his power to redeem us on the Cross of Calvary. That includes me. I'm in need of redemption. I'm in need of being brought out of dead end life.

But woe to the man/boy who takes his cues from the banal perversion that was penned by Chuck Henderson.

Monday, April 07, 2014

"It will be alright."

"It will be alright, Tim. Your father was a good man," spoke a tall, dark complected man in clerical garb, over the shoulder of a college-aged kid in a dark suit staring at the coffin of his father.

"Father Chris, what does that mean?" questioned Tim.

"I'm merely saying that your father lived a long and full life, bringing great joy to many people...you and your mom included."

"Yeah, but what do you mean 'it' will be alright? What's 'it'?"

"Oh, you know, the future for you, your mom, and your dad."

"But my dad rejected God, heaven, and everything he was taught growing up," spoke Tim with an ever-quickening speed and volume of words, "how can 'it' be okay if you believe the kinds of things you priests believe?"

"Well, I guess I trust it all to God's providence and justice," answered the priest, holding steady with his emotions, "Your father may have rejected his baptism in words, but his life told another story."

"Father Chris, since when does a person's beliefs mean nothing? Are you saying my dad's choice to be an atheist gets ignored by God on judgment day?"

"No, no, Tim, I'm merely saying that sometimes faith is funny. Sometimes we don't even know what we believe until the end comes."

"I'm not tracking with you Father. It's almost like you're saying that a human person has no control over their own mind, beliefs, and will. That, that, my dad's principles mean nothing to God."

"No, I'm merely saying that God gives us things we don't deserve..."

Tim interrupted, "Stop it. Don't feed me some line that God brings everyone to heaven regardless of their beliefs. If God exists, He at least has the decency to respect people's choice to reject Him."

"Tim..."

"No, Father, I can accept the fact that my dad gets hell for turning from God (though I pray He turned back to Jesus in the end), but I cannot stand to hear someone like you claim that beliefs don't matter. My dad staked his eternity on a godless universe, and if he was wrong, he at least goes on forever knowing he made his choice with his eyes open."

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Time to Grow Up

"Sugar, could you help me with the groceries?"

"Mom, I'm really busy right now, the guys really need me."

"Who are the guys?"

"Oh, well, I only know their screen names. I'm pretty sure killer424 is from Bermuda and samson007 is from Georgia."

"MOM!" screamed Tim as his mother clicked off the TV. "Why did you do that? I don't turn off the TV when you are watching something you like."

"Tim, first of all, it's my TV so you better not turn it off, ever. Second, if you are going to live here, you are going to help with household duties."

"Mom, seriously, I'm not planning to stay long. I had two interviews last week. I'm just trying to enjoy myself before I hit the real world."

"Tim, you are 24. You've been done with college for 6 months. The real world hit when you were 18, but you still play video games with "the guys" and blow off all real responsibility."

"It's just my way to relax."

"Relax? Your whole life is one big relaxation. Adults relax by taking a long shower or a 30 minute walk. A 24-hour Ghost Recon marathon isn't relaxation--it's laziness."

"Whatever Mom...it's just something you older people don't understand. I grew up on this. You kill hours in front of the TV watching every Law and Order spin-off show ever made, and now you lecture me on video games."

"Alright sonny boy, why don't you try working 50 hours a week, taking care of a home, and raising 3 kids? Your dad and I might not be perfect, but the bills are paid, our kids are educated, and we've weathered 30 years of marriage."

"Hmph...all you do is complain, complain, complain," continued Tim, "At least, I'm happy with my life. I'd never take a job that makes me as depressed as you."

"Tim, dear, I have a job that doesn't make my heart flutter--that's for sure. But I know that my work serves customers. I know that my work honors my fellow employees. The money I make is hard-earned, and it's the money that sent you to school and feeds your belly to this day."

"Well, you won't see me going the same road you did. I'm going to be somebody."

"Alright kid. I'm done with this conversation. Until you realize that being 'somebody' has a lot more to do with hard work, sacrifice, and setting aside your own wants for the sake of others, you won't get anywhere or be anyone. If you think 'being somebody' means finding the job that releases you for more XBox 360 hours (or vacation or sex or whatever), you won't amount to much. You'll simply grow into a bigger kid. A grown up quits living for themselves and lives for others. The greatest Somebody who ever walked this earth deserved a life of luxury and praise; instead, he took a Cross of suffering for all the kids still playing their self-serving games."