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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

I saw this link on Drudge the other day about secret “Jesus” codes inscribed on weapons.  I figured it was probably silly and ignored… but today I saw it again, still thought it must be silly, but checked it out.  Guess what, I think it is silly.  The article is all about this Michigan-based company Trijicon, that has contracts with a couple different branches of the military to provide rifle sights and optics.  The problem apparently is that the company identifies itself as a Christian faith-based organization and admits to stamping bible references next to model numbers on their product, such as here:

Translation: Jesus says, "convert or die!!!"

I have two thoughts on this.

  1. As a military contractor this company would probably have been wise to not put any scripture references or what not on their products.  The upside is minimal if anything (encouragement to a Christian soldier who discovers it???).  And the downside is what is currently taking place… a media denouncement of a Christian crusade.  A private company providing services to people that ask for them and listing bible verses on their product (such as In-N-Out and their verses) is different than being a parts supplier for the government and Trijicon should know that.  I’m not saying Christian-run companies shouldn’t supply the military… but it’s not too much to ask them not to embed stuff on their supplies.
  2. I challenge the media to explain how this could even remotely proselytize an Afghan or Iraqi person?  The process would need to follow this path: kill an American soldier in order to have access to their weapon – randomly happen upon a small inscription on the weapon – decipher the fact that out of 14 characters (in English mind you) on this inscription, that 6 refer to a verse found in the bible – have a bible handy to look up this verse (likely) – know how to read English and be willing to read a text that is most likely forbidden by your religion – say a prayer and convert to Christianity.

I’m not saying this is a huge story that is being blown out of proportion, since I’ve only seen it mentioned on Drudge… but it is just the type of story that makes you realize why people go to journalism school – to learn how to make something out of nothing.

Let me know if I am wrong and you see bigger implications in Trijicon’s verses.  I’m sure Christian’s would get all fired up if some Wiccan literature ended up in some military supplies, but I would think that is ridiculous too.  With all the things that we could be concerned about in this nation, this ranks pretty far down the ladder for me.

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If you read this site, then you know the title is in jest.  However, I am putting a call out to recommendations of books, websites, or any other material that any CAI readers or authors would recommend as being powerful arguments for socialist or socialist-like policies.  The reason for this request is in anticipation of a small group discussion I will be leading for 4 weeks this summer at my church on capitalism and socialism.  

As evidenced on the “pages” of this blog and also in many other outside discussions I have had with people there is considerable support for redistribution of wealth, and socialization of services amongst Christians.  My feelings are opposed to these views, but I am legitimately curious how people (and Christians in particular) come to embrace it.  And I am hoping in the group to have a equal proportion of capitalists and socialists (or whatever the preferred term is) engage in discourse on the pros and cons of each position and also where they fit into a biblical and gospel-oriented framework.  Since I will be moderating the discussion and hope to be as open as possible to the views of others I wanted to delve further into the literature beyond just The Communist Manifestoerr, the parts I have read at least.

Et tu Jesus?

Et tu Jesus?

Thanks for the help dear readers.

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NOTW?

So, I’ve been seeing a sticker around the Christian university where I work splashed on the rear windows, or in one case, on the passenger door, of cars on campus for some time that has odd-looking symbols on it that actually turn out to be letters: n-o-t-w.  The design has kind of a pseudo-edgy look to it, like the adolescent scrawlings in the margin of a spiral notebook during 5th period history class.

Subliminal George W. Bush haters.  Not W.

Subliminal George W. Bush haters.

The letters “n-o-t-w,” I have discovered, stand for “not of this world” and the logo is displayed not only on stickers, but many other items (see below). This logo is apparently part of a Christian merchandise brand called C28–an explanation from their website:

C28 is not your typical Christian accessory store. C28 (which stands for Col. 2:8) is a Christian store chain, offering a positive alternative to secular mall stores. The unique selection of Christian hats and beanies, Christian Gift ideas, Christian belt buckles, Bible covers, Christian buttons, Christian belts, Christian patches, Christian wristbands, Christian tote bags, Youth Group t shirts, Christian stickers, Christian Youth T-shirts, and Christian purses display a positive, godly, Christian lifestyle. Our message is Not Of This World (NOTW), and all about Jesus. (more…)

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As you may or may not know one of my greatest passions/interests is theology and within my study of theology, the Bible, and the history of the Christian Church, I have taken a particular interest in the nature of the Church (proper), or ecclesiology (from the Greek ἐκκλησίᾱ, meaning “church/assembly”).

In exploring the nature of the Church it is my desire to both push broadly and pull narrowly.  What I mean by pushing broadly is to define the Church in broad orthodox terms.  This approach is roughly the approach of the Ecumenical Movement.  This approach rests on the assumption that there are various factors that unite the three main denominations of Christianity—Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant—and these factors are what determine what it is to have membership in the Church.  The main difficulty with this approach is that the three main denominations of Christianity are generally at odds with one another.  Conservative Catholics would consider neither Protestants nor Orthodox believers Christians per se.  Conservative Orthodox and Protestant believers share these “exclusive Christian” sentiments with reference to themselves and the other denominations.

This is not to say that I am necessarily taking a liberal stance, but one that simply (at least I’d like to think so) seeks to unite those who do in fact belong to the Church of God, as is evidenced by the seal of the Holy Spirit (whatever that may mean).  But I do not expect the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, nor the Archbishop of Canterbury to get wind of this thought and embrace a broad Ecumenical view of the Church (maybe the Archbishop of Canterbury would).  These views are not new.  But in my meager attempt I seek to press broadly by defining the absolute essentials of Christian orthodoxy.  I am not ignorant of the fact that what are considered the “absolute essentials of Christian orthodoxy” are quite different among the three denominations, but I will press on in spite of such things.  I will leave the quarrels between the strands to the great apologists from each grouping.  I am not necessarily trying to develop an apologetic for Ecumenicism, but to express certain elements of the Christian religion and the composition of the Church that may be beneficial to each of the denominations.  This is a conversation regarding what it is to be a Christian and in that broad determination we can also allow for those who simply comply with Christianity without seriously addressing whether or not they are a member of the Church to avoid Christian nominalism—either into the Church or away from an inaccurate classification.

I believe the best way to accomplish the goals of this endeavor is to start with the most fundamental element of Christianity: the Gospel.  In accurately and creatively expressing the central tenant of the Christian religion we can express the truths of God’s action and his call to humanity throughout history, in our present time, and in the future in a way that pushes broadly and pulls narrowly.  And I believe that in the expression and rehearsal of this refined Gospel (as well as growth and enhancements in one’s understanding of the Gospel over the course of a lifetime) Christians will experience God’s grace and love in a new way.  Perhaps in this experience Christians will also be unified, empowered, and challenged in their participation in the Gospel, the Church, and the kingdom of God.

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