It means "writings." I write things.

2:27 PM


Posted by Brad Polley |

Over thanksgiving I went to my in-laws. This isn't the real story though. At some point we passed a church in their area and I saw a sign that made me do a double-take. They had a sign out front that was adverstising their coming Christmas dinner theater. The name of the dinner theater? Extreme Christmas. No wait...X-treme Christmas. After I finished laughing, I thought, "What exactly is extreme (x-treme) about the Christmas story?" Then I thought, "Didn't the "X-treme" marketing thing end like 10 years ago?" Apparently not.

I started perusing the Christmas story in the Bible and I didn't find the part where the baby Jesus burst from the womb on a snowboard holding a Mountain Dew. Perhaps I missed it. Wasn't the first beatitude "Blessed are the gnarly, for they will inherit the surf"? Anyway, I really wish I could get tickets to this dinner theater to watch the angels and wise men doing 360s and fakies. Good stuff.

12:11 PM

See the heart

Posted by Brad Polley |

In Isaiah 11, we read of the Branch from Jesse. This is a prophecy of the coming Mashiach (for those of you Hebrew speaking types), or Messiah (if you prefer to stick to English). At the tail end of verse three it says this about this man who is to come:

"He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears."

As Christians, we believe that this passage obviously speaks of Jesus. If we're going to agree that the point of being a disciple of a rabbi is to be like the rabbi, then I believe we need to pay serious heed to this statement in Isaiah. It says that Jesus did not judge by what he sees or hears about someone. This means that Jesus used some other way to make his calls about someone's character. Jesus looked at the heart of a person to determine who they really were. See his statements to the religious leaders when he calls them dirty cups, whitewashed tombs, etc. He basically told them that on the outside they looked great and together, but on the inside they were filled with death.

Does anyone else suck as badly at this deal as I do? I think it's human nature to see someone and immediatey make a judgment call on their personality. To be like Jesus in this area takes a tremendous effort of our wills with the nudging of the Holy Spirit. It takes a constant prayer of, "Lord, let me see people as you do."

I want to be the type of person that doesn't judge by what I see or hear about a person. I want to be a person that can see past all of the superficial crap in a person, and see their heart. I guess I want to be like Jesus, but I know I have so far to go.

1:20 AM

All in all...

Posted by Brad Polley |

I was listening to The Wall by Pink Floyd tonight because, well, it's awesome, and I got to thinking about the implications of the famous line "all in all you're just another brick in the wall." I'm a big believer that all truth is God's truth and that God co-opts little bits of truth from the world and makes them his own. Look at Paul's words to the men of Athens in the book of Acts, look at Paul's words to Titus, "as the pagan poets say..." Anyway, back to Pink Floyd.

I got to thinking about this phrase. I decided that you can look at this line in a couple of different ways. There may be more ways to look at it, but my limited cerebral capacity can only handle so much. You can look at this line from a negative viewpoint (which, incidently, is probably the way it was written) or a positive viewpoint. Let's look at the negative first (that way we can end on a happy fun note, because we know that Jesus hates sorrow right?).

On the negative, the line, "all in all you're just another brick in the wall" means that, at the end of the day, everything is hopeless because you're nothing special. You're no prize, no one is. We all share the same fate as being just bricks in the wall of life. What's the point in striving for anything if you're just another brick in the wall? What's the point in thinking you can make a difference in the world if everything is pointless? It's an almost nihilistic viewpoint of life ("We believe in nussing. Yeah, nussing Lebowski"). About two of you will get that joke.

Now for the positive. You can look at this from a Kingdom of God point of view. By the way, save the comments concerning my overstating the song and it's meaning; remember the God co-opting truth thing. We may be bricks in the wall, but bricks in God's wall. We're all a small part of something infinitely larger than we are. A wall that has no beginning and no end. A wall that goes on forever. As bricks in this wall, we are created with the ability to do great things. It's more of a teamwork thing. We can all, as bricks, do what we can to build the wall of God's Kingdom. Just a thought. Totally random, but it made sense to me, so back off.

4:10 PM

Jesus with mustard and relish

Posted by Brad Polley |

Howdy everyone (read: "all four of you"). I just returned from Nashville with 25% of my reading audience. We went to the Youth Specialties convention and "learned more about youth ministry" (read: "watched a great deal of football"). It was a good convention I suppose. There were 7500 youth ministers there, which meant that we had to hold the main sessions in the Gaylord Entertainment Center (I'll let you stop laughing before I go on)...which is where the Nashville Predators play hockey. My brother and I noticed something quite funny during the main sessions. Did I say "funny"? I meant "damning."

They sold concessions at the main sessions. I'm not just talking about Testamints and Jesus-flavored fruit drinks, I'm talking about popcorn, hot dogs, and the such. So we're standing there "worshipping God" while the guy next to us is masticating a tube of faux meat on a bun. I asked myself, "Self, what would a non-Christian think if they came in and someone was singing to Jesus while cramming their gullet full of popcorn?" Has our consumerism become such a problem that making ourselves more obese can't be put aside for an hour or so of worship? I was slightly perturbed, because if you were an outsider looking in, you would think it was just another concert. I'm pretty sure if we were living in the Old Testament times, the entire arena would have collapsed on us all. Thank you Lord for your mercy and patience. Any thoughts?

11:36 AM

More thoughts on Pat Robertson...and us

Posted by Brad Polley |

"Out of the adundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." - Jesus

Isn't it amazing how words that were spoken by Jesus so long ago still apply today? It's obvious that Pat Robertson's heart is filled with hatred and war, because this is the type of language he uses. Jesus' statement is pretty straight-forward; if you speak hate, you're filled with hate, if you speak love, your heart is full of love. The buck doesn't stop with Pat Robertson though. It isn't really about Pat Robertson at all, it's about us. God will deal with Pat Robertson in whatever way sees fit. But, in turn, he'll deal with us in the same way.

It's easy for us to sit back and throw stones, but what are we doing to change the perception? Whether we realize it or not, whether we like it or not, guys like Pat Robertson are the mouth pieces for "Christianity." They are the loudest and most vocal, therefore, they are the ones who shape people's opinion of Christ and his Church. Obviously with statements like Robertson's, people's opinion of Jesus and Christianity is marred and not necessarily positive. So what are we doing differently? It's easy to sit back, piss and moan about this guy, and wish curses upon him, but are we throwing our voice out there (however small it may be) to change the way people see Jesus? Are we feeding the poor? Are we loving unconditionally, even our enemies? Are spreading peace wherever we go? If not, then we're in the same boat.

These are some things I've been thinking, I hate it when the Spirit convicts me.

12:00 PM

This has to stop

Posted by Brad Polley |

Televangelist warns of evolution doomsday

WASHINGTON - Conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting “intelligent design” and warned them Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck.

Robertson, a former Republican presidential candidate and founder of the influential conservative Christian Broadcasting Network and Christian Coalition, has a long record of similar apocalyptic warnings and provocative statements.

Last summer, he hit the headlines by calling for the assassination of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of President Bush’s most vocal international critics.

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected him from your city,” Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, “The 700 Club.”

“And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there,” he said.

The 700 Club claims a daily audience of around 1 million. It is also broadcast around the world, translated into more than 70 languages. (People for the American Way provided a video file of the 700 Club statement.)

In voting Tuesday, all eight school board members up for re-election in Dover, Pa., lost their seats after trying to introduce “intelligent design” to high-school science students as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

Adherents of intelligent design argue that certain forms in nature are so complex that they are best seen as the handiwork of a designer rather than the result of natural selection. Opponents say it is the latest attempt by conservatives to introduce religion into the school science curriculum.

The Dover case sparked a trial in federal court that gained nationwide attention after the school board was sued by parents backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The board ordered schools to read students a short statement in biology classes informing them that the theory of evolution is not established fact and that gaps exist in it.

The statement mentioned intelligent design as an alternate theory and referred students to a book that explained the theory further. A decision in the case is expected before the end of the year.

In 1998, Robertson warned the city of Orlando, Fla., that it risked hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorist bombs after it allowed homosexual organizations to put up rainbow flags in support of sexual diversity. (End article)

This guy has to be stopped. How did the peaceful message of Jesus get turned into a threat-based, hate-filled message. I hate the fact that God loves Pat Robertson too. He is the type of person that Jesus had no tolerance for. I love drug dealers more than I do Pat Robertson. He has done more damage to Christ in his 110 years of being on TV than anyone else. The church has to unite and put an end to this guy's television career.

11:24 AM

Patriot Act - 1, Brad Polley - 0

Posted by Brad Polley |

Holy crap, I'm in the process of applying for a passport to go to Africa...and I'm failing miserably! Since 9-11, apparently our "government" has decided that they will make it just a fraction under impossible to aquire a passport. I'm printing off the application as I type this and I'm hoping it will be done printing in three hours. I didn't have to fill out this much stuff when I bought my house. On top of the application, you have to bring in approximately 300 documents proving that you're alive and not a terrorist. Because we all know that if you weren't born in the United States, you are, without a doubt, a terrorist/communist/fascist/anarchist. I'm guessing that before Bush is out of office, we will probably have to undergo a rectal scan in order to obtain a passport.

I think on line 37 I have to provide the date of my last bowel movement, as well as a sample in a petri dish. On line 1,230, I have to provide a test tube full of my mother's afterbirth in order for them to test it for American patriotism. Once this is all completed, I will hopefully be declared an American citizen worthy of traveling to some less free country.

The best part of the application is I have to provide two "recent" photos of myself. This is quite interesting. If I didn't think I would spend the rest of my life eating stale bread at Guantanamo Bay while a soldier hooks up electrodes to my nipples, I think it would be hilarious to submit a picture of myself holding a grenade with a t-shirt on that says, "slaughter the infidels." I laugh just thinking about it.

Anyway, wish me luck as I try to prove that I'm patriotic enough to want to leave the country for two weeks in February.

6:00 PM

You know what I'm tired of?

Posted by Brad Polley |

I'm tired of hearing about the end times. I'm tired of people pointing to wars, riots, tornadoes, and record hurricanes and saying without any sort of reservation, "We are living in the end times." The fact is that we might be, but we may not be either. Everyone is so freaking busy plotting Jesus' next move, that they forget to try and take someone with them when he actually does come. Here's my opinion, who cares when he comes back, just be ready.

Jesus himself bascially says that the day and the hour is unknown, even to him. There's another story in the beginning of Acts that I think is fairly telling in all of this. In Acts 1, some of Jesus' followers ask him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" Jesus' response is, "As long as you really want me to and accurately predict it." Just kidding, his actual response is this:

"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Let me give you the New Polley Version of these verses, "It's none of your freaking business, go do something about helping the world; go tell people about me."

Let's face it, the only reason preachers keep preaching that we're living in the end times, is that they figure they can scare a few more people into warming the pews in their church. I hate that crap. It drives me crazy. Jesus never scared anyone into believing that he was their Savior, why do we feel like we have to do it? If a church feels like they have to scare people into Jesus, then frankly, that church sucks. Plain and simple. They have nothing to offer people, so they try and freak them out enough, that they'll "come to Jesus." And the hits just keep on rolling...

11:35 AM

Walk like Jesus

Posted by Brad Polley |

I was reading in 1 John today and read a great passage. "Anyone who claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." How great is that? How many people in churches are actually doing it? Am I?
The point of being a disciple of a rabbi was to live as the rabbi lived. We've exchanged this for "teach what the rabbi teaches" and "soak up as much information about the rabbi as possible." This passge is telling us to simply live as the rabbi lived. Walk as he walked. Respond to people as he responded to people. There's a great ancient rabbinical statement that said, "May you be covered in the dust from your rabbi's feet." In other words, cling as closely as you can to him. This is what John is getting at. How would our churches, communities, country, and world be different if Christians took this seriously? How would things be different if ministers took this seriously? Ouch.