It means "writings." I write things.

9:17 AM

I'm not sure what to think about this

Posted by Brad Polley |

Read this article.

I'm really not sure what to think about this.  I always get nervy when I see the words "Christians" and "protesters" in the same sentence.  On one hand I admire their zeal, and porn addiction is destroying people's lives in record numbers.    

On the other hand, I do think porn is covered under the First Amendment.  The lawyer was right in the article when he said that the First Amendment covers speech that we disagree with.  I think there's a bigger issue here though.  I'm not sure if their approach is the one Jesus would take.  I never see Jesus protesting against people in the Bible.  The people that he railed against the most were the religious leaders.  He never took an approach like this with people outside of religion.  I just wonder if the approach these people are taking comes across as love or more Christian hate.  My hope is that they are doing this with genuine love and compassion for the people who are enslaved by porn addiction.  I can't and won't make that judgment.  However, their intent may not be the issue, the perception of their intent might be.  

So what do you think?  Is there a better way than this?    

7:39 AM

This is staggering

Posted by Brad Polley |

18 war veterans a day commit suicide.  So how is war working out?  Good?  I think we should stay in Iraq for another 100 years.  

1:26 PM


Posted by Brad Polley |

Here are some strands going through the ole' duder's head right now:

- When will I take Jesus seriously and finally get rid of a ton of stuff?
- Will I ever trust that God will provide for me regardless of what it may look like?
- Does liking "Killer Queen" by Queen automatically make me gay (take the poll to the right to help me answer this one)?
- How can punk music from the late 70s be so good, and punk music now be so ear-bleedingly terrible?
- Can the Church in America be saved?
- When will people realize that the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam didn't die for their sins?
- If Jesus said that loving God and loving people were the most important things, doesn't this mean that everything else churches talk about and do (i.e. church services, doctrinal arguments, etc.) become meaningless?  
- Does having the correct doctrine feed someone who is hungry?
- What does it mean to have correct doctrine?  Doesn't everyone think they are right?  Does God care?   Does all of our arguing about doctrine distract the Church from actually being the Church?
- How do I raise my kids to live the way of Jesus?
- If I dread my hair, will it look alright, or will I look like an old guy who is trying too hard?
- Would I be a more effective minister if I was bartender?
- Do you want to buy my house?  Or you?  Or you?  No?  Do you know someone who does? 

1:12 PM

Happy Birthday little buddy

Posted by Brad Polley |

One of the two cutest kids ever formed in a womb (as opposed to being formed in a...hmmm...not sure where I was going with that...anyway, moving on) turns two today.  I'm not sure I can really put into words how much I love this kid.  Despite his "I'm two years old" tantrums and hearing the words "no Daddy, bad boy" way too many times, I can't imagine my life without him.  Here's a picture from a couple of months ago. 

Happy Birthday buddy.  Mommy, Daddy, and Abram love you very much.  Thanks for being such a blessing to us.

9:59 AM

Why I'm a pacifist - part 6

Posted by Brad Polley |

I'll now mercifully end this series of posts by talking about something that bugs me about Christians.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard Christians say something to this affect, "Until Jesus returns, there will be no peace."  Beside the fact that that phrase makes me want to release my breakfast to the wind, it is patently ridiculous and unChristian.  

This phrase is uttered for two reasons as I see it.  One, because it is a simple copout that sounds Christian on the outside, and so most people accept it blindly as a pretty good explanation for why wars happen.  Two, because peacemaking is incredibly difficult in this world, and it is much easier to throw in the towel and wait to die so you can receive your eternal reward.

If our attitude is that nothing is fixable and the whole world is a sack of crap, then it is no wonder that the Church is so weak and feeble in this country.  It's no wonder that people would rather sleep in on Sundays.  We talk about victory, but to say that no peace will come until Christ returns sounds an awful lot like defeatism to me.  It's essentially saying that the battle for peace is lost, let's let big daddy Jesus fix it in his time.  Isn't the Church to body of Christ?  This means that we're called to fix things, being endowed with the power of the Resurrection as we are.  We are Jesus to a destructive and lifeless world, when will the Church understand this?  

Here's another thing I don't understand; the Church in America has become so militant and violence-minded, but the predominant NT picture of Jesus is one of a lamb.  Is a lamb a military sign?  It doesn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of enemies does it?  The lamb is a symbol of peace, not war.  How many sports teams have a lamb as their mascot?  None.  How many countries have the lamb as their national symbol?  None.  Jesus is called the Lamb of God.  His followers are called to be lambs as well.  

I want to conclude this whole broken series of posts with a passage from 2 Corinthians 10:

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world."

We are not called to fight with guns, bombs, and fists.  We're called to fight our enemies with a spoon and a cup (Read Romans 12).  I look forward to the day when the Church lays down its arms and embodies the spirit of the Lamb.     

9:14 AM

Why I'm a pacifist - part 5

Posted by Brad Polley |

Alright, I'm almost done polluting you with my hippie ideals of actually loving people.  The next two posts will be the last, and they will be primarily used to tie up some loose ends.  

I would like to spend some time talking about the divine image in everyone.  In the book of Genesis, it gives the account of creation.  It's (at least to me) a fascinating Hebrew poem describing the origin of life.  It says that when God creates people, he breathes into their nostrils and they become alive.  Ancient rabbis believed, in fact, that because of this, every time a person breathes, they say the name of God.  What all of this says to us is that every human being (Jew, Christian, Muslim, Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, etc.) carries with them the image of God.  We are told in Genesis that humans were made in the image of God.  We all carry with us part of God.  It's my belief that if people would truly internalize this and understand it, conflict would cease.  If you view every person as an image-bearer of God, then enemies fade away.  In the same way that you can't kill someone that you really love, you can't kill someone if you see them as bearing God's image.  At least you shouldn't be able to do that.  If you can, then it is my opinion that you are something less than the human you were created to be.  

What about WWII?  This is a question posed to me by my dad.  It's a fair question and a good one.  He was saying that because we were attacked on our soil, we had to do something about Japan and about Hitler.  My response to the question is this: we'll never know if anything else would have worked because we only pursued one course of action against Japan and Germany, and that was violence.  Because of this, we can't really answer this question fairly.  

It needs to be stated that we've lost our creativity and imagination in this country (and maybe the whole world).  When an enemy arises, instead of looking to God to find a peaceful and creative solution, we instead look to Toby Keith for the latest redneck anthem of why we should kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out, and we rename our french fries, "freedom fries." We're so steeped in violence that it seems like the only way to go.  That's why the issue of pacifism makes most people squirm.  It's a totally foreign concept to a world that is saturated with violence.  If you don't believe me, look at what happened when Obama announced that he would try diplomacy with countries like Iran and North Korea.  Republicans went berserk.  How can you be diplomatic with our enemies?  

Could a peaceful solution have been found to stop WWII from happening?  Who knows.  We'll never know because we never tried.  Maybe it's time to try something different.  All of our wars have failed to bring about real peace anyway.  

Here's another thing I don't understand.  Most of the pro-war Christians that I know are also militantly pro-life.  Does anyone else see a problem with that?  The claim of all pro-lifers (of which I'm one, but I need to explain my stance one of these days) is that God prizes every life.  So my question is this, does God only prize life until they leave the womb?  Countless people have been killed as "collateral damage" (that phrase makes me want to puke) in wars.  Does God not care about them?  Or is it just Americans who count (technically speaking, the policemen and firemen who died during 9/11 could be considered collateral damage as well because they weren't the primary targets)?  If you're going to be pro-life, then you can't be pro-war, because it takes away life.  This is a ridiculous inconsistency that no one seems to be pointing out.  Pro-life can't just mean fetuses, it has to count for all human beings.  The stance by most American Christians in this is the definition of hypocrisy.  

12:28 PM

John Lennon, where have you been my whole life?

Posted by Brad Polley |

Well, he's been dead for nearly all of it, but that's beside the point.

I recently purchased the John Lennon album "Plastic Ono Band" and, after about five minutes, punched myself in the face for not purchasing it years ago.  I have to admit, I'm a fairly pedestrian Beatles fan.  I happen to think they're okay, but not great.  They remind me of a bit of Nirvana in that if they would have come onto the scene a year later than they did, no one would have cared. They were a product of the right time and the right sound for the time.  That having been said, they wrote some pretty stellar songs such as, "Norwegian Wood," "Eleanor Rigby," and "Come Together."  I've given this some thought, and I will now rank the most talented Beatles in order from greatest to Ringo.

1. John - Seriously, buy "Plastic Ono Band" and "Imagine" and prove me wrong.
2. George - "All Things Must Pass" is incredible and I almost put him ahead of John.
3. Paul - He may be the most popular and well-known Beatle, but the most talented he is not...and his whole persona bugs the crap out of me.
4. Santa Claus - I hate Christmas music, but it's still better than Ringo.
5. The organ-grinder cymbal monkey on the street corner - Still better than Ringo, and cuter too.
6. That kid with Downs-Syndrome from "My So Called Life." - Anything he would write would be better than "Octopus's Garden."
7.  Ringo - I've heard people claim that he was more talented than some think.  My response?  Um, listen to "Yellow Submarine" or "Octopus's Garden," retract your statement, and then go and stick your head in a vat of earwigs until they have cleansed your auditory synapses, therefore giving you the ability to reason good music from bad.

I've posted a poll on the sidebar to definitively determine the best Beatle once and for all.  Give me your input.