Obama & Gay-Marriage – What would Jesus Say?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure.  However as I was doing a wee bit of digging around I came across this creepy advert on the NY Times Online:

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Hmm.  That’s a tad weird.

But on a more serious note…  What would Jesus say about Gay Marriage to us or to Obama?

I think he would tell an allegorical story with imagery that we understand, but would still confuse the heck out of us.  He might draw in the sand.  Tell certain groups to cross over it, if they certain they were above reproach.

Whatever He would say it would offend those we least expect to be offended and offer hope to those we would least expect to deserve hope.  Maybe it’s those of us who are liberal that will be offended by what Jesus has to say.  Maybe it’s those of us who are conservative.  Maybe it’s those of us who are liberal that will be given hope or maybe it’s those of us who are conservative.

Come what may, I think the democratic processes is rather clear in defending the rights of people to have their own opinions on different issues.  Obama has his opinion and other people have theirs.

I also think scripture is quite clear in what God determines is His ideal.  How Christians grapple with bringing God’s ideals to bear in the public space is definitely a conversation that needs to be had.

I welcome thoughts, feedback etc etc!

7ft 1in & 325 Pounds of Inspiration

When I heard about Shaquille O’Neal gaining his PhD, I could  stop smiling.  It makes me happy because no-one has to be pigeon-holed into one type of career.  Dr O’Neal’s achievement proves that money and fame is not everything.  In a day and age when “30 Seconds of Fame (or infamity!)” rule supreme, this is refreshing.

Shaq being capped as Dr O'Neal

Shaq being capped as Dr O’Neal.
Picture by Palm Beach Sports

Apparently Shaq never gave up on his education over his 19-year basketball career.  Eight years after starting his business undergrad degree, he completed it whilst playing in the NBA.  He completed his MBA via distance learning juggling it with a basketball career marked by many victories.  His PhD studies were started towards the end of his tenure with Miami Heat and he completed it with flying colours.

SO if an NBA player can help his team win championships and study at postgraduate level, I definitely have no excuses for my future study aspirations! 🙂

You can read more about Dr Shaquille O’Neal here.

Jesus is Offensive!

The last time I checked the Bible Jesus said some pretty offensive things – “I and the Father are One” or “I am Lord of the Sabbath” or “Before Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I AM”….  However, were His claims illegal?

A couple of days ago, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Equippers Church in Napier, breached NZ Advertising Standards with its billboard “Jesus Heals Cancer”.

This billboard was said to be likely to cause “serious offence to those people who were dealing with, or knew people who were dealing with, cancer” and “widespread offence in the light of generally prevailing community standards.”  Lastly the billboard was in breach of the provision in the Code of Ethics which required “Truthful presentation”, and that “the advertisement was likely to deceive or mislead people.”

I think there are flawed arguments and hypocrisy at play here which is somewhat disturbing.  I understand that the billboard could be offensive to people dealing with or know people dealing with cancer.  Whilst, I have no personal experience of such I resonate with Matt Flannagan’s comment on his blog post where he points out that we are effectively censuring Christians and Churches from publicly declaring their beliefs in the miraculous.

I don’t understand how the billboard could create widespread offence in light of generally prevailing community standards any more than this billboard which was on Stanley Street, Auckland City a few years ago:

Lastly, to say that the billboard was likely to deceive or mislead people is odd.  “Cars Drive” could also be a misleading statement, because not all cars drive.  Some are broken down, others are in a scrap heap.  Could such a statement be deemed misleading or deceitful?  The church had reported that 6 people had been healed of cancer in their congregation.  How is “Jesus Heals Cancer” then a deceitful statement??

Either way, this ruling doesn’t sit well with me and I think there’s some hidden agenda at play.