I’m Right. You’re Wrong.

March 16, 2011

Everyone wants to be right about everything, pretty much all the time, most especially when it comes to religion. Some people take it to the extreme of being willing to write hateful stuff on signs and stand out shouting mean things, and others will fly planes into buildings for their cause. Just as convinced as you are that you are right, there is someone else with an opposing view who is more convinced they are right, and willing to do something far more radical to prove it. It seems the more right we try to be, the more wrong we become.

Some of the most nasty, disgusting behavior I have seen (regarding religion) has been related to people trying to prove to others that they are right, and “the others” are wrong. The interesting thing is often it seems like those people, trying so hard to prove their point, are trying to convince themselves about what they believe more than anyone else. They are also usually scared of any type of question that might challenge their belief in any sort of way. And these questions can cause them to totally freak out, become emotional, and ensue in heated debate about the matter.

We can become so ugly when we think we are right about something. I hate that ugliness because it puts huge divides between us. Surely if what or who we say we believe in is big enough to believe in, it should not shake our belief in that thing or being when others have opposing views. I have friends who believe many different things when it comes to religion, politics, world views, and life in general. I can have conversations with them, hearing their point of views and sharing mine, without feeling like I have to convince them that they are wrong and I am right, just because I may not agree with them. And most times, even though I may not agree with their entire view, there are areas where I can find common ground of agreement; and on certain occasions that may be to merely “agree to disagree”.

Now, I am not at all saying that we should all believe the same things, or not have strong opinions about things. I have very strong opinions, beliefs and views on pretty much everything, and I like it that way. Diversity in belief and lifestyle is what makes it fun to live in this world, for me. But I guess, over the years, I have just seen that the best way to tell someone what you believe, is to show them with your life, and if it doesn’t speak loud enough to convince them of your views, then your words will probably do nothing for your cause. One thing I know I am right about is one day we are all going to be very surprised about what we always thought was right and wrong, because we are all right in some ways, and we are all wrong in others. Until then, we all have the right to think we’re right but let’s try not to act wrong in trying to prove we’re right. Right?



Go to Heaven. Go to Hell.

March 16, 2011

Rob Bell’s new book “Love Wins” is apparently stirring up controversy. From what I can see, many Christians are thinking that he is saying that hell doesn’t exist, and that anyone, who wants to, can get into heaven, no matter what they believe. I have no idea what he says in his book, as I have not read it. I did however just watch a couple of interviews with him, and he didn’t seem to give any sort of really concrete, controversial answer in any way. His main point is just that God loves everybody, no matter what. I agree with that.

The funny (not “ha ha funny” at all) thing about all of this is, while people sit around and argue about whether or not there is a heaven or hell, and the location, and the guest list, and the cover charge, and all of that, there are people around them who are living in literal hell on earth. People often get so caught up in “what is to come” they forget about what is happening now. If this earth, and all of the people within it were created by God, is He not concerned about this life, now? I’m worried about it. I think Jesus worried about it too. He is my number one Christian role model.

Even people like Bill Maher, an outspokenly anti-religion, anti-Christian person, agrees that Jesus lived an incredible life; I heard and saw him say it with my own eyes and ears in a video just yesterday. Jesus’s life was a literal example of how to live, love, serve and accept. His words and lifestyle offended the religious who were blinded by pride and legalism, but His life and words touched and comforted those who were cast out by society. He lived a life of selflessness, that many of us in the modern-day church will never be able to grasp, or even come near to; not that we shouldn’t try. I mean, He had no home or possessions to speak of, at least that we know of. These aspects often get left out of sermons and discussion in and around church and Christianity. Probably, and mostly, because we are often self serving, and we like our “things”, and we especially hate to be inconvenienced.

I think it is fair to say that humans are innately selfish. We often like to know what’s “in it” for us before we get into something.  It is interesting to see different Christians’ reactions when you take the threat of hell and the enticement of heaven away from them; like, if you pose a question, which is very scary to them, “What if there is no heaven or hell?”. For some, it really puts the lives they are currently living in question, because the majority of their spiritual identity is placed on the afterlife. Maybe it’s a good question to ask ourselves, because I do not think it changes who God is; but maybe it changes who you thought God is, or how you have made Him to be.

And it is for this reason I respect people like Rob Bell, and Jesus, and Chris Boeskool (a Facebook friend who’s always challenging people’s beliefs and starting conversations on modern-day spirituality, and specifically wrote a note that got alot of feedback on this very topic). They don’t just accept the religious set-up as is, and they offer important questions to a continuous dialogue, and though some of these questions can only be answered with more questions, they are still not afraid to ask them. That is brave. Most people are scared to do that. And it is that fear in asking those questions that leads us to continue to guard our tiny beliefs with fury, while people sit waiting on the outside for us to respond with love. Because yes, often the lives those very people are living cause us to ask the deepest questions about God, life, humanity, and ourselves. Sometimes it’s easier just to defend what we already know, and ignorance is bliss.


Ramblings on a Sunday…

September 19, 2010

If we are always looking for the worst in others, we will most definitely always find what we are looking for…

We are made in God’s image but we often choose only to see the results of a fallen world in one another. We have the potential to look deep into a person, or maybe not so deep depending on the person, and see God within them; and whether they acknowledge Him or not, or whether we acknowledge the way they choose to acknowledge Him should not bare significance in our findings. Because if we are looking to see good, we will see it. If we are looking to find love within, we will find Him. However, if we are looking to see bad…well, that we will most definitely find it, in anybody and everybody, with no exceptions.

But how great would it be if we could look beyond all the behaviors we don’t like, things we label as “wrong”, the outer appearances, just putting them aside, and we make the decision to look another person in the eyes, peering much deeper of course, into their inner most being, and we greet the God that lives within them, whether they ackowledge Him or not, or whether we agree with the way they choose to acknowledge Him if they do, and we just say, “Hey. What’s up? I like you.”?

That would be cool.

I have seen some strange stuff lately, and by stuff I actually mean people. I realize I am a hypocrite, because this very thing I speak of I cannot do myself, when it comes to some. I do try. For me, it’s easier to see God in the homeless, the gangsters, the materialistically “poor”, and the outcasts of society; mostly because they are real. They often have nothing to loose and they rarely see the need for false pretenses. It’s easy for me to love them. They are humble. They are genuine. They are generous with what little they may have. They are not proud.

Where do I struggle then? I struggle to see God in the self proclaimed “man of God”, who stands at the pulpit bragging of his wealth, his fancy cars…yes plural…his large house in an expensive area. It’s hard for me to see God in him because I do not recognize the God this man speaks of. “How can he drive those cars, or be driven around in them rather, when majority of his congregation will not even eat three meals a day this month?!”, I scoff. But I realize that does not reflect anything on him. It only reflects what a hypocritical wretch I am. Because if I truly believe what I say I believe then I must also look past the bodyguards, through the expensive cars, past the fancy suit, and see the inner most parts of the man I can’t stand to be in the same room with. I have to choose to see God in him.

I have to not listen to his accounts of the God he says he serves, not get caught up staring at the spectacle he has created around him, but rather, I have to make an intentional decision to look into him, not in the way we are accustomed to look, but with a supernatural eyesight. I have to look and find God within him, and as hard as it may be, I have to acknowledge He is there. Because, whether I agree with him or not, whether I like the way he goes on, and the things he does, and the way he treats people, and the way I perceive his representation of God to be “wrong”, I have to take a step back and accept the fact that no one is either all bad or all good. We are just humans, who are made in God’s image. And I have to choose to see God, and not just the human.

Burning the Holy Quran…

September 9, 2010

I really wanted to write a heated, well thought out blog about this topic but I’m actually just too tired. This kind of situation (where an american Pastor is having a Quran Burning Day on September 11th to “take a stand against Islam”) really just makes me sad…and tired…and…sigh. I get so sick and tired of the ignorance mixed with arrogance of the Christian extremists who all too often make headlines!

Oh the arrogance! Oh the ignorance! Ugh!

So, I am just going to keep it simple speaking to my Islamic friends: in the same way that an extremist group who flies a plane into a building does not represent an entire religion they may be connected to, these idiots down in Florida do not represent all of Christianity, an dthey embarrass me. Please forgive them. Please forgive us. عيد مبارك‎ (Eid Mubarak) to you all after a long month of fasting!

Abomination – UNMOVED Episode 4

March 2, 2010


Buy MOVED (UK & Europe):

Buy MOVED (U.S.):

This video in no way represents God, Christians, or Christianity as a whole, but is merely a satire of undesirable behavior of certain groups and individuals. For more information visit:https://thoughtsofbrown.com/moved/

Thanks to Anotherlove Productions for producing the video.

Fellowship – UNMOVED Episode 3

February 23, 2010


Buy MOVED (UK & Europe):

Buy MOVED (U.S.):

This video in no way represents God, Christians, or Christianity as a whole, but is merely a satire of undesirable behavior of certain groups and individuals. For more information visit: https://thoughtsofbrown.com/moved/