Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bullying.. it's gotta STOP!!

I think by now most of us have seen this video. If your on Facebook, at least 4 of your friends have shared this. Jonah, a young boy who is now well into his 8th grade year has been bullied since grade 1, and cutting since then too. How on earth do people live with themselves torturing others to the point of self-harm? I cried tears of anger and of sorrow for this kid. At such a young age, he's contemplated suicide. But as you see later on, he says "I have a million reasons to live". I was reminded of a heart breaking story of a ten year old girl who hanged herself after being bullied 10 YEARS OLD!! Something has gotta be done!!
Bullying has been a problem in schools since...forever. I was bullied a lot, especially in my first few years of elementary school. For no good reason, I was taunted, teased, pushed and beat up. In second grade, a kid pulled a knife on me at his friend's house. Never before have I ran so fast! Now I wasn't a perfect kid, I made mistakes on the playground, got in some fights and took part in unnecessary teasing. I lost friends as a result. Peer pressure: it's not cool!   If I ever have kids and one becomes a bully, I will have failed as a father and live with regret. I will still love him/her but pray for a change of heart. Bullies themselves, usually have stuff going on at home and use school kids as an outlet. Now that is no excuse!! Is there BS in the house? Your folks wont listen to reason, talk to teacher/councillor/principal at school or heck! Confide in a friend's parents, don't lash out on the innocent. People deserve to be treated as equals, as humans. This kind of thing reaffirms my desire to work with kids, to help those who are bullied. And help bullies seek redemption and have a change of heart. There is nothing more transforming than the love of Christ. Show it everywhere you go!!

Despite that, I think that the schools need to crack down hard on bullies and make punishments harsh again. When I was a kid, we stood against the fall or corner, facing it with our heads down while getting a mouthful from the recess supervisor (mostly a parent volunteer). Now, that is considered "humiliating and wrong". Give me a break!! Then you wonder why some kids just go wild. Enough ranting... bullies.... suck.
over and out

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Where were you when...." moments

Yesterday, I was bored, so I went on youtube and watched some old hockey videos. After some surfing I came accross the 2010 Olympics. You know, that Gold Medal we won beating the Americans (hahaha!!) I watched a few different versions of the "golden goal" that Sidney Crosby scored. Truly an unforgettable moment. One I will remember for life. So, even though this was almost two years ago? Where were you? This, along with a couple of other events in recent history have one of those "where were you when..." moments. 9/11, JFK assassination, Moon Landing,  The year 2000/Y2K scare.

I was at the common lounge in EBC, procrastinating as usual. We were having a gold medal game party. Close to all 90+ people on res, and then some were over enjoying the game. Many wearing Canada jerseys, rooting hard for our country's team. The entire room went from an odd hush to a couple bad words when USA tied the game in the 3rd. The room was quiet until OT started and went crazy when Crosby scored the game winner. Many a high five and many a hug were exchanged. Oh Canada played and I, along with my EBC brethren stood up and sung the song proudly. Just as this was ending, my ride to church arrived. I think I was preaching at Benton that night, so when I was doing some last minute prep, I heard Oh Canada coming from the sanctuary! What a win!! Many honking horns, drunken celebrations took place for hours after the game. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlEcElmDLqE&feature=related

So, where were you when Crosby scored the golden goal?

Where were you at any of those other big moments?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Five Iron Frenzy is NEITHER dead or dying





For those who may not know, I am a BIG fan of Five Iron Frenzy. They are a Christian punk/ska band from Denver, CO formed in the early 90's. My buddy Matt at Selah introduced me to them before I became a believer.  He made a CD with Christian artists like Jeremy Camp, Skillet, Five Iron, Pillar, TFK and KJ-52 as a witness to me. Much appreciated buddy!!
FIF split in 2003 after an incredible career spanning almost a decade. Songwriter Reese Roper (seen above with me)  is quite the poet in his songs and is very outspoken about issues in the church such as the treatment of "outcasts and homosexuals". One song in particular that stands out is Fahrenheit
In this song, Reese talks about Freddie Mercury dying of aids, at first saying "I was in eighth grade, I said he was a queer, I thought he had it coming,  he died of AIDs that year. My liberty, Like Christ's death meant nothing to me".  ouch!! that's harsh, but later in the song Reese redeems himself by saying "Love the sinner, hate the sin". Another song, I posted years ago called "Under Bridges" he says that "Jesus dying of AIDS can see right through you"  and "Saviour of the prostitutes, drunkards, rapists and the gays". 
Wow... powerful! The man knows how to write a song that plucks the heartstrings. 


But his best song, is with side project Brave Saint Saturn, is a song called "Daylight". No words can describe how great it is. Just watch:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8RlZD4oT00 When I met Reese (see above pic) I told him that Daylight is a masterpiece and the greatest song I have EVER heard. 

So......Five Iron Frenzy is BACK!! New song on the website and an upcoming tour. Thinking of road tripping to Denver for the show!! yeah that's right!!! Brace yourself for the mediocre!!! (oh the truly EPIC!!) The journey from Kitchener to Denver would be a loooooong one but so worth it!

Top 10 FIF songs

1. World Without End
2. Every New Day
3. Eulogy
4. A New Hope
5. Fahrenheit
6. Handbook for the Sellout
7. Where the Zero Meets the Fifteen
8. Far, Far Away
9. Dandelions
10. On Distant Shores

Top other Reese Songs

1. Daylight-BS2
2. Estrella- BS2
3. Gloria- BS2
4. Matthias Replaces Judas- Showbread & Reese
5. Under Bridges- BS2
6. Still The One- Roper
7.  The Beginning- Showbread & Reese
8. Shadow of Def- BS2
9. 2-29- Bs2
10. Heart Still beats- BS2







Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reflections Upon An End (of) Summers Night Dream. And Tea

Another summer has come and gone; and I begin my final year at EBC next week. The summer went by a little too fast for my liking and a lot of things passed me by. I think I have slightly backslidden in my walk, but does everybody read the Bible and pray every day? I sure don't, I used to have a routine but is quickly replaced by the snooze button after a night of gaming and summer distance ed. I still struggle with a few things and am a little less patient, cuss a bit more and have a hard time dealing with... (well I'll explain later). BUT: aside from my struggle, inner pain and lack of spiritual discipline I feel both close and distant with God. I feel his love and receive His blessings through my friends and the encouragement they give. I worked with my home church (Benton St Baptist) doing a day camp with Big Brothers/Sisters and a temporary janitor. In between my positions, I had a week off so I decided to hop on a bus and visit my brother. Most of my time was either spent watching satellite tv or hitting the beach (in my lack of beach body). While there I witnessed the police pulling a body from the lake, a paramedic was performing chest compressions on him. I could tell he passed on, which he did. I did not take it in, but prayed for the poor soul's family. Not long after, I went hiking at Cypress Lake (not a good idea wearing 6 dollar knock off crocs) and I took in God's creation!! I praise Him for the majesty he showed me, and teaching me the frailty of life as I almost fell to a rocky death at least 12 times. Slippery stuff there! What a rush!

Upon my return I found out some news I was not too pleased with. A previous female companion became engaged.... to the one I was left for. Ouch!! I thought "Hey God.... um... what?"   (I hear: settle down James, just wait)    *feet tapping....... well??!!    (In time)  *okay..      So, I did not react as well as I thought. This was a rather short relationship that ended abruptly and out of nowhere only to have my heart yanked out. She ruined females for me, for a while. It's hard for me to trust them. Stress levels became higher, I was a little more anxious but STILL praised God and worshipped him in church. Head and heart need to align. I question Him, while wondering if it is okay to. YES!! it is normal to question God, look at tragedies, are they a God thing? Look at the recent tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. We wonder if God is there, we doubt. Sometimes we doubt because God doesn't fill the agenda we come to Him with and wonder. Wrestle God, question God but do NOT deny Him!! I am reminded of grace and forgiveness, even when my face is in the mud and when I am flat our denying Christ by sinning KNOWING what I am doing. That THAT is true love and grace. May Christ guide me to a safe place, safe from the evil one.
Can you tell I've been in Ecclesiastes?

So, my final year begins in a week! WOW! Where did the time go? And what the heck am I doing next year? Will I get a job?a car? a girl? Well God's got the remote so the sitcom that is my life is on a cliffhanger right now. Get out the TiVo it might be an interesting one!

The tea is empty, so is my brain. Shalom and good night!

faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A paper on Homosexuality

Here is a paper I recently did for an online course I am taking. It is on homosexuality, read, critique discuss and enjoy!  (I got a B on this)

BLOGGERS NOTE:  you will come across some statics that are a little shocking and out of nowhere. They are not my claims but from research. See attached bibliography 

Homosexuality is a sin, but it is no more a sin than cheating, cheating, adultery and jealousy. It has been a topic of controversial discussion for many years and has intensified in recent years. This is truly the biggest cultural fight of the twenty-first century; Christians, equal-rights activists and hate groups have pleaded their case with no solution. Most family therapists do not condone homosexuality and consider it psychologically damaging. Pastors are pressured into marrying homosexuals and compromise their beliefs about traditional marriage. Despite that, homosexuals often get unfair treatment by Christians, compared to that of the lepers in Ancient Jerusalem. It is unfair that people who call themselves Christians would treat homosexuals poorly and come alongside an alcoholic or drug addict and pray for them while ignoring homosexuals.
Homosexuality and the Media.
In media, homosexuality is considered normal and acceptable. The opposition most often comes in the form of Christians protesting. Perhaps the most famous example of protesting comes from Westbro Baptist Church. This hate group considers themselves Christians when they preach hate towards the homosexuals of the world, dismissing the love of God and the redemption of Christ. Not only do they protest their marriages but soldier funerals as well. The media covers these events and often gives Christians bad press because of them. Even in movies, people depict the negative. In 2007's I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Adam Sandler and Kevin James play two New York firefighters who fake a gay marriage in order to protect the custody of the widowed Larry's children. After attending a gay bar to further their act, Chuck (Sandler) and Larry (James) are approached by a pastor who uses negative slurs to insult him and the other gays there, resulting in Chuck punching him in the face. Although the movie was satirical and quite offensive, it portrayed homosexuality as a normal and acceptable behaviour1.
What Does Scripture Say?
When defending homosexuality, many people immediately go to Leviticus 18:22:  "Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin”. This passage is part of the Aaronic Covenant God establishes through many different laws. Leviticus 18 is full of passages forbidding sexual relations in the form of incest before stating homosexuality is also an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 says If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them”2. This may seem harsh to some, but Old Testament law required many strict things for God. Humanity is to be holy, because God is holy, including within sexual aspects of life.
The book of Genesis is full of accounts against same-sex behaviour. This is another place many go to defend the sanctity of marriage. Adam and Eve were the first humans to exist, both created by God’s own hands. Because God is holy, He wanted the same out of Adam and Eve. God gave them the freedom to do anything: multiply, have dominion over animals and more. Since the first two people created were opposite gender, the design for sexual relationships was created. The purpose of intercourse in ancient times was strictly for multiplying and bearing children is impossible if two males or two females procreate. Humanity is created to be image-bearers of God and homosexual intercourse mars the very image of the Creator. Marriage and sex are designed to be between a man and a woman because it is the only way children can be conceived.
Sodom and Gomorrah

In Genesis 18 and 19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah takes place. Sodom was a wicked city that actually performed sodomy. God would only spare Sodom if there were 50 righteous people found within the city. Unfortunately, the men of Sodom demanded the other men to come out and have sex with them. Despite Lot offering them his daughters, they were persistent to attempt homosexuality. God destroyed the city for disobedience. Most assume that God destroyed them solely for their homosexuality, but is not necessarily the case. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for the magnitude of sins they committed, homosexuality just happened to be part of it. Even before God established the law through Moses and Aaron, He had standards for people obey.
New Testament Passages on Homosexuality.
In Romans 1, the apostle Paul writes about God’s Redemptive plans for humanity. However it involves God’s anger, a topic not many Christians like to talk about. Although God is the embodiment and personification of love, He is also justified by handling sinfulness with consequences. God gives us free will, but still tries to draw people closer to Him. “God’s anger is shown from heaven against all the evil and wrong things people do. By their own evil lives they hide the truth”3.
The New Testament also covers homosexuality in detail. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is another famous passage that Christians use to attack the homosexual community. There is one problem with doing that is homosexuality is not the only behaviour Paul writes: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God”4. All people he described are apparently condemned to hell, not just homosexuals. If Christians really wanted to pass judgement, perhaps spending equal focus on the other behaviours Paul writes of is beneficial.
“There are various interpretations of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 of which this is one. The Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible, and James Moffatt translation use the word “catamites," or the phrase "boy prostitutes" to describe one group of individuals that Paul believed will go to Hell because of their behaviour on Earth. Catamites and boy prostitutes were often a boy or male youth who was kept as a sexual partner/slave of an adult male. The verse is profoundly immoral by today's secular and most religious moral standards because it transfers punishment from the guilty perpetrator to the innocent victim. This type of transfer is seen many passages throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Many religious liberals believe that these passages are immoral and should be ignored because they are clearly opposed to the will of God”5.
The apostle Paul wrote this based on his knowledge of the Old Testament. He knew the Law and the Pentateuch by heart. He knew the sexual laws that God requires His people to follow. The church in Corinth was disobeying those very laws, prompting Paul to write them concerning several different behaviours he feels are immoral. Paul takes it a step further stating that people who fail to repent from them will go to hell. Homosexuals are often attacked by people telling them they’ll go to hell, without giving a glimpse of redemption and salvation. Redemption through Jesus Christ is possible no matter what we do, God can save homosexuals just as much as he can save drug addicts, alcoholics and porn stars. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”6.
What Does Scripture not say?
Fred Phelps of Westbro Baptist church in Kansas is good at twisting scripture. Although Leviticus does say that homosexuality is an abomination, God does not hate the people who practice it. God detests sin but has never ending love for those he creates, the old phrase “love the sinner, not the sin” is not only for humanity but God as well. God does punish people for doing wrong even today, but does not hate anyone. The bible is clearly taken out of context by them and they claim they’re the only Christians who are doing everything right. Clearly, they are nothing more than a cult and a hate mongering group. They also feel that fatalities of American soldiers are direct consequences of homosexuality being accepted. This is not Christian and does not portray the boundless love of Christ.
Christians Defending Homosexuality
In 2008, Candace Chellew-Hodge wrote a book called Bulletproof Faith: A Survival Guide for Gay Christians. It is considered a controversial book to some but draws some good points. She reassures homosexuals that God loves them and will accept them for who they are. Truly a great example of God’s love, because He truly loves all of humanity, just not the sins they commit. Although Ms. Hodge describes the love of God very well, she fails to mention the judgement God has for the disobedient. Ms. Hodge uses 1 John 4:12 as a theme for most of the book. “If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us”7. She goes on to mention that “heterosexuality is presumed to be an inborn trait, yet that in and of itself, does not make a person moral. Sexual orientation itself, be it heterosexual, homosexual or somewhere in between- is ether a moral issue nor harmful in and of itself”8. She is determined that any kind of love is acceptable, because of God's love that lives inside of us. She reassures people that it is indeed possible to be a homosexual Christian. If that was possible, then it would also be possible to be an alcoholic Christian, a drug addict Christian, porn star Christian; the list goes on. All of these are harmful psychological vices and things that the apostle Paul calls people to avoid. Ms. Hodge counteracts by basically saying that it is okay to be a homosexual.
“Love is the measure of all relationships; no mention is made of sexual orientation or even gender. If love, commitment, and fidelity are present, so is God, no matter what the configuration of the couple. Not one word in the Bible condemns loving, committed relationships. God calls us all, not just heterosexuals, to be moral in our sexuality—keeping our covenants and refusing to use or abuse anyone sexually. This is the only role religion plays in sexuality. It is a guide to responsible sexuality regardless of orientation. Once we understand that there is no valid “other side” to the “homosexual issue,” our faith can grow and become bulletproof. When we hear arguments against us based on Scripture, we know they hold no water—they have no power over us”9.
I will agree with Hodge that love is the measure of all relationships, even gender/orientations. The bible does not condemn committed relationships but she fails to mention homosexuality as sinful. The Old Testament calls it an abomination which mars the image of God. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law, not necessarily replacing it; although he made burning sacrifices unnecessary. God still has standards for sexuality today, religion does not play a role in sexuality. He created man and woman to become one flesh and bear children. This is not possible through homosexual intercourse. Ms. Hodge's arguments lack a biblical understanding of sexuality. When defending either for or against homosexuality, Christians need to remember to remove the log from their own eye in order to try and get the speck out of the others' eye.
Marriage, Equal Rights and Children
Over the past 10 years, there has been pressure from the homosexual community for churches to perform gay marriages. For many people, two people falling in love is okay regardless of gender. According to James Dobson: “everything is wrong with letting homosexuals marry because marriage is defined by the God of nature, and a wise society will protect marriage as it has always been understood. Marriage is the way our culture promotes monogamy and provides a way for males and females to build a life together and assure every child has both a mother and father”10. Everyone has the rights and freedom to do what they please, but marriage is a civil union. Homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue, because civil rights refer to discrimination based on race and ethnicity; things that are unchangeable. Homosexuals can change and became heterosexual, it does not happen overnight but it is possible. Homosexuals try to use civil rights as an argument, but the marriage amendment would simply define another right: the right to marry.
Homosexuality can be psychologically damaging, especially if one is raised by same sex parents. Family formation definitely affects the well-being and future of children. Child abuse is at its lowest when children live with both of their biological parents; the rate is higher for ones who live with at least one non-biological parent. Same-sex households would possibly increase the risk of abuse. Children from two-parent homes also have higher grades, skip school less and have greater aspirations for the future than those who live with one parent. On the other side of the statistic, children from one-parent or divorced homes are seventy percent more likely to be suspended or expelled from school.
The same-sex marriage movement seeks to advance its agenda by adopting or parenting children. Homosexuals often point to the overcrowded foster care system to support their arguments in favour of legalizing same-sex adoption. However, the solution to the foster care problem is not same sex adoption; it may create even more psychological problems for the children. First, children raised by homosexuals are more likely to engage in same-sex relationships, opening them up for increased physical and mental health problems11. The best interest of the children must be the most important priority in adoption, as well as their life expectancy and protection from disease. Homosexuals are more prone to AIDS, a fatal disease and a completely unacceptable infected home to bring a child into. Not only would living with homosexuals increase the risk of disease, but children who live in single-parent homes have a greater risk of suicide and depression. The cause of depression can likely be linked back to divorce12.       stats based out of book losely on a couple different life situations 
Conclusion.
Homosexuality is a sin, but it is as much a sin as lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, pornography and everything else that is sinful. The negative treatment homosexuals get from most of the Christian community is unfair, unjust and completely contrary anything Christ-like. We have absolutely no right to judge their behaviour, because we are just as sinful. How this must be treated is through gentle, humble Christ-like grace and not hate filled protests. However, due to the evidence stacked against same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption, keeping out of both of them would be the wisest for not only them, but the others affected. Homosexuality mars the image of God, but so does every other sin.

Works Cited
Dobson, James C. Marriage under fire:  why we must win this war. Sisters, Or.: Multnomah Publishers, 2004.
Faris, Donald L. The homosexual challenge:  a Christian response to an age of sexual politics. Markham, Ont.: Faith Today Publications, 1993.
Hodge, Candace. Bulletproof faith:  a spiritual survival guide for gay and lesbian Christians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (Full Screen Edition). DVD. Directed by Dennis Dugan. New York, New York: Universal Pictures, 2007.
Robinson , B.A. "A very brief glance at passages that may discuss homosexuality." ReligiousTolerance.org by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org/homglance.htm (accessed July 10, 2011).
Stanton, Glenn T, and Bill Maier. Marriage on trial:  the case against same-sex marriage and parenting. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004.
Staver, Mathew D.. Same-sex marriage:  putting every household at risk. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman, 2004.
White, James R., and Jeffrey D. Niell. The same sex controversy: defending and clarifying the Bible's message about homosexuality. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House, 2002.



1 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (Full Screen Edition). DVD. Directed by Dennis Dugan. New York, New York: Universal Pictures, 2007
2 Lev.20:13 (NASB)
3Rom 1:18-19 (NCV)
41 Cor. 6:9-10 (NASB)
5Robinson , B.A.. "A very brief glance at passages that may discuss homosexuality." ReligiousTolerance.org by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org/homglance.htm (accessed July 30, 2011)
6Eph 2:8-10 (NASB)
71 John 4:12 (NASB)
8Hodge, Candace. Bulletproof faith: a spiritual survival guide for gay and lesbian Christians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
9 Ibid.
10Dobson, James C. Marriage under fire: why we must win this war. Sisters, Or: Multnomah Publishers, 2004.
11Staver, Mathew D.. Same-sex marriage:  putting every household at risk. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman, 2004.

12 Ibid.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Self worth and a green tea induced rant

This post almost took me a week or so to do. Mostly time constraints and the emotional issues this deals with can be slightly overwhelming for me.


Where does our self worth come from? Circumstances, relationships, tragedies, victories, abilities etc. The common Christian would say it comes from God, but being someone who has struggled; and at times still do wrestle with self-esteem issues I can agree to an extent. The usual Sunday answer is Jesus! Yup! And most will leave it at that, casting away any notion of the other stuff in our worlds that affect our self worth. We either hold too high or too low a standard of self esteem, finding the in between is very difficult. Biblically, I will attempt to cover each example I just shared that our self esteem can be based on and share some examples.


Circumstances: Things happen in our lives that just suck. Either harassment, bullying, assault, the list goes on. We carry these burdens for life because they, like the other thing I describe psychologically mess us up. When people close to us pass away, sometimes we're never the same. Just 4 years ago, my dear Grandmother suddenly fell ill and died within 3 days. boom! out of nowhere (kind of). Did it wreck me? yes! See, back then I was kind of a new believer and have been still struggling with certain sins. I used to think it was my "punishment". Of course, I have matured past that and see God's love in it. Could it of been God's will? Possible, I am not drawing that card though because God's will can be good, but also be used as the biggest cop-out in history (more on that later).  How can a crappy little while affect self-worth? Maybe by how we handle it. Some go to the bottle, sex, drugs etc.


What does Scripture say about circumstances? Well, anything and everything really. Job is proof that retribution theology is, in the words of my theology professor malarkey. Retribution theology basically says that if you are a holy, God-fearing person; you will be blessed. And, you guessed it: if your evil you are cursed. Now, it doesn't take too much intelligence to automatically consider it bull, but when you really think about it, it makes sense.. and it doesn't. Confusing eh?  God is love, but God is just. So why does he not punish that drug dealer? or that murderer or that child molester?
Romans 5:8- God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Relationships:  Oh boy don't get me started!! This is a big one, not only for me. As a young lad, I was nice, innocent and a little weird. But, I wanted to be everyone's friend. Since I had very few to no friends during my elementary school years it made me lonely and think "nobody likes me and for no good reason". I actually only had a handful of friends back then who stuck with me and never betrayed me. Heck, those same people are still friends today. My school buddies, often left me in the dirt (literally) for no justified reasons. High School came around and I had two missions: join a clique, get a girl. They became such high priority, but from realizing what I saw in the mirror everyday I became girl kryptonite. They pretty much laugh when I ask them out. So sure enough when a cute one asks me I go bananas...until I get screwed over. Twice. Both have the same first name. It took me a while before I could even trust women again, let alone even THINK about pursuing one. I completely refuse to go on dating sites. Absolute last resort. Broken relationships can really shatter one's self-worth, especially when abuse is involved. Being betrayed, heartbroken and cheated on can do it too.


Most people would put in 2 Corinthians 6:14 into the mix:  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness (NASB)  
I am not entirely sure how this verse applies, but it appears to be kind of an oxymoron. Matthew 28 calls us to make disciples, but we must go to the world, the unbelievers and create relationships with them in order to evangelize. Right?


Tragedies: See circumstances, crap happens. Some bad and God is questioned. My heart breaks when I hear that countless children die without clean water or that slavery and the sex trade is still practiced.  Even in Canada and the US ( you want proof of slavery, take a look at the porn industry and this lady's powerful testimony:   but I always go back to: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24.
Still, STILL today: my favorite hymn is "Great is Thy Faithfulness". 


That doesnt mean I don't feel the pain of everything involved. We are human, we cry, we laugh. Some CHristians really creep me out when they have those (crap) eating grins on their faces all of the time. I look to the other side of the church and see people facedown, crying or if your charismatic: dancing and other things.
Casting Crowns has a song called "Stained Glass Masquerade" basically saying that: "If I hide my true feelings, smile and nod so nobody will talk to me". How will you fix self-worth issues if you hold them in? You can't!! Go go a friend, pastor, councilor or family member, you won't regret it. You may feel like garbage but God does not create garbage. Be loved and be encouraged! 


I'll leave you with a couple verses that help me out and hope can help you.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5|:17


For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthians 10:18


I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me- Philippians 4:13 (my fav verse)


"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."  Luke 14:11

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Soul that yearns for love

What is love? I bet that the next line you thought of was "baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more". right? yeah.. nothing like really bad 90's techno to make ya laugh eh?

I've been reading a book lately called Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus. Basically it's a journal-style book broken down into 3 categories: love, destiny and meaning. The section on love was so amazing. We often hear that God is love (1 John 4:7). To my facebook friends you have seen many quotes about it lately. I will leave you with a few in a bit, but moving on:

What IS love anyways? emotional attachment? a deep respect? romance? Erotica? It can be any of said things. In a nutshell, all of us want to belong somehow, we all want to belong to a community because even the lone wolves seemingly run in packs. Contact with the real world-it's not optional; it's essential. We are created for relationship. We are born for community. For us to be healthy, we must be a part of others. Independence is one thing; isolation is another. The more we live disconnected lives, the more indifferent we become to the well-being of others- Erwin MC

We often ask ourselves the question-does anyone really care? Like REALLY care? Most come to the conclusion of No. Such a tragic place to live in. I've been there, it hurts like none other. A feeling of seclusion, loneliness  depression and hurt. Some believe that feeling never ends. So you join the disconnect, and seek to end the darkness by any means necessary. This also means suicide: a dark place to be, and not the resort that should be taken. I admit I thought of it not long before I made the choice to follow Jesus, but I turned it down for various reasons. 1) I knew it would wreck my family. 2) I knew that there were people who cared, I just didn't see it. 3) The Holy Spirit.

Back on love: I long for romance. I can be a little cheesy at times and don't care much for chick flicks (because of their phony predictable outcome)  but I like a story of a redeeming love because it reminds me of the boundless love Christ has for the world. I long for a girl to love me that unconditionally (forgive me if this goes far, but I digress). The loneliness about not belonging to someone cuts very deep, especially since two of my ex's left me for another with no legitimate explanation.

When I see many of my friends enter new relationships, propose, marry and have kids and I admit I am slightly envious of them but very exited for them as well. Is it so wrong I want that? That I seek the attention of my possible future wife? And soon? Maybe before years end (not engaged but dating of course).. or what ever God's timeline is. Such things have shattered my manhood, making me rather timid and weak, also shattering my world view on God's precious women.. I wrestled with trust issues with them for a while afterwards. I'm mostly over it.  I'm seeking God but honestly have my doubts. I've failed God when it comes to love with something that is opposite to it. Not hate, but lust. The human heart is not meant to be a container for both hate and lust. Love embraces and leaves no room for violence. 

To close this off, I leave you with a few more passages from Soul Cravings


All of us know how cold it is outside. It is almost unbearable out there. Especially when we're alone, isolated, lonely. You were never meant to be........alone


Love is not a four-letter word
All you need is love
God IS love.

I seek after His love, and long for hers. Wherever she is...my chase is making me weak. Give me relentlessness Lord!! I wait on you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ramblings

I had a lunch with PJ and we talked about many things. One thing that came up is the lack of or insane among of accountability that bible colleges do or lack. There are two examples of the extreme: one is at Emmanuel. Now I love EBC dearly, but there are some rules set in place that can be reactionary. Like: their stance on drinking is to be smart about it and don't get hammered. Some came from bars out of it, reaction? I think so, like saying "lets push the envelope and do something risky". Other colleges have ridiculous rules that lose them money from dropouts. One person and your down $10,000 + . Discipline is lacking. One or two events that have transpired during my time at EBC comes to mind. I will respectively not mention it, but some know what
I mean. Churches do the same and have such a stance against alcohol depending on the denomination.

Accountability is something that has to be sought after individually, which can be a pitfall. I have had countless accountability partners in my faith and life. When I started it, I thought it was kind of a confession booth, like Catholic churches have. Man was I wrong. What I am getting at here is that schools need to do a better job for preparing Christians for the real world. Some books by Duffy Robbins, Don Miller and Jack Van Impe (okay that last one was a lie) are what preps us. When we get into real life, we're trampled or we trample them. Co-op programs like I am doing are so beneficial because I am allowed to make mistakes now rather than later!!!! haha.. (kidding.. well..kind of). The way I see that is, say I become a youth pastor at a church or a director at an agency and I make dumb mistakes then: I learn too late. Training in co-ops pay off and are such a blessing. We want to go "the bible says so...." when its not relevant to.

The more I think about life, the more I learn things the hard way.

-as a kid: I learn the hard way that the stove and irons are hot.
- As a teen: learn the hard way the harmful and unpleasant effects of alcohol. Hangovers suck
- In ministry: I learn the hard way I dont have all the answers when I WANT to.
- That ministry requires not what the books say: relationships, programs and authenticity but a combination of them. Take the program: see how it;s made relevant to them and build the relationships based on it. Authenticity comes from it all.
- Evangelism is not saying "be saved or else". but a relational process over time that may allow for a lifestyle change.
- I learn the hard way: life is not always peachy in the faith. I feel let down by God at times. Like the past 18 months have been the hardest and worst in my life thus far. There are days I feel like crud, days when my cup is full, half full, empty or shattered. There are days I don;t want to read my bible, but pout and lie in bed. It's life. Psalm 23 says: although we walk in the valley of death, you are with me, I fear no harm (NASB)\
Christian life is always confused with happiness; that we are always Ned Flanders and nothing can rip that ear-to-ear botox induced grin off our faces. If only.

And, something that came out of a discussion: Christians are the only religion where we worry about our salvation. Do lack of good deeds take us to hell? When Jesus says useless branches are cut off, what does he mean? What about salt losing its saltiness? Enlighten me if you will. The go to verse for this would be "I'll never leave or forsake you" (Genesis 28:15) But what if we walk away?

Comment with what you think, I'd love to hear your response

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Insanity that is Playoff Hockey



Those who know me well know I love my sports especially hockey. This year's Stanley Cup Playoffs is no exception, with many series going 7 games and the occasional overtime tilt the teams have stepped it up. Now, we're on the brink of the best game of all: Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks both get a birth to the finals for the first time since the 90's: Boston in 1990 (losing to Edmonton) and Vancouver in 1994 (losing to NY Rangers). Over the past few games, or series some rabid team fans have been, lets say a little over the top. In the playoffs, dedicated team fans turn the mic up to 11 and proclaim their team is the best til the cows come home. Some, who follow teams out of contention jump on the bandwagon to do the same. Vancouver has it's share of jokes and superfans with their Green Men. Now I admit, I am a huge fan of these obnoxious drunks. Their antics have been mostly fun and in decent taste; from taking cardboard cut outs of Chicago's Vince Vaughn, Nashville's Carrie Underwoood and Boston's Cam Neely and putting Canuck jerseys on them to meeting and greeting Nicole Kidman and Toby Keith during a Nashville game; in spandex and all.

In the finals, it seems some fans get a little wackier and out of line. Just because one despises Boston like I do. I would never do what some Vancouver natives did: spilling beer on a Bruin Milan Lucic's elderly grandparents, yelling at another Bruin players family and starting fights. Bruin fans have uttered death threats at Vancouver fans. It's really scary when you think of the dedication one has to a sport or team. Quite over the top. It's also become a war of the countries and I admit in getting caught up in it. I'm not perfect. I REALLY want to see a Canadian team win the cup, except if its Montreal or Ottawa.

In 2004 Boston played Montreal in the opening round of the playoffs. It started with Boston booing during the entire singing of Oh Canada in a classless act. Back in Canada, they cheer the entire singing of the US anthem. I'm not saying Canada is classier or better, but it shows you who has potential to take the high road. However, Montreal has its share of bat crap crazy fans by setting fires and tipping cars of Boston fans, and even booing the Star Spangled Banner themselves.

Every sport has its dumb fans, every team has superfans but most of them are smart. The occasional dummie ruins it for everyone and tarnishes that cities reputation. Passion is one thing, but it often goes too far. I bet if a Boston fan gets trampled to death if Canucks win the cup tomorrow, nobody will care because it's an opposing team supporter. Terrible. Cheer for your favorite team but be smart, be wise. And if your team loses, don't pull a LeBron James and blame God. Be Wise and GO CANUCKS! Know where to draw the line and enjoy the ride!

 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17



Friday, May 20, 2011

Pat Answers

When someone is in distress how often do we as Christians give pat answers? For example: someone is struggling with lust or having relationship problems, mostly we answer "I'm sorry, I'll pray for you. God is in control".

Although that does seem sincere and God IS always in control, even when life bites. You do should indeed pray for said person right away (keep a list so you remember). But over time, as we mature in the faith the answer never seems to change, and if the same person in still down in the dumps what is the best answer? I've had pat answers again and again, they can get sickening. So, if someone texts you at 2 am with an urgent issue and you say I'll pray for you, let's talk or God loves you. Be sincere about it and be with them, even electronically or cell-phone-ally. Still today when a friend texts me to pray, even if I am distracted by gaming with friends my brain kicks into prayer mode.

However, the one example of pat answers that really grinds my gears is: "the bible says it, God said it therefore it is true. period." With today's society being more skeptical than ever, we as Christ followers cannot fulfill the Great Commission like that. Investigate your faith, yes! believe the bible is true but look through world history about the foundation of Christianity, Jesus and those famous biblical people. 

For those who subscribe to the "young universe" theory INVESTIGATE IT! Inside and outside of scripture because if we want to witness to a lost, atheistic world we must know how to defend our faith unapologetically and smartly. Not by protesting (see older posts for my opinion on protests).

Pat answers are the easiest defence mechanism but they can sometimes make us look dumb or insincere.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Judas

Judas Iscariot always gets a bad rep when preached about, and rightfully so (mostly?)
I taught a short lesson on Judas today and it got me thinking of him. First off, when talking about Judas, the popular nickname given to him is "the betrayer" or "sellout". However, Judas did do ministry with Jesus for 3 years! It's mind blowing how a guy ate, drank with Jesus and SAW him do miracles and healing like the other apostles would betray him. Matthew 26 is where the events unfold.

It's interesting to note that the prophet Zechariah foretells details about the betrayal of Christ being for 30 pieces of silver. in Chapter 11:12-13 the events unfold (this is really considered a portrayal of Judas) I said to them, "If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!" So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.  Then the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them." So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 

Jesus being the God-man knew someone would betray him (yeah! knew it was Judas) and did He regret selling out the most high for silver? (of course! the guy hanged himself).

Was he part of God's redemptive plan for humanity? If there wasn't a "Judas" would the Crucifixion still have taken place? These are many questions that come from this study.

In Acts we learn that Mathias replaces Judas to complete the 12 once again. They separate and start to fulfill the Great Commission (which I might blog about soon).

Judas might of been unsatisfied with his status or simply unable to be self-controlled (its very hard)/ He was easy prey for the desires of money and power to sell out Jesus. So, if there is something in your life that might hold you back from Christ, let it go!

Keep running the race set before you! Jesus loves you!

I leave you with an amazing song by Showbread called Mathias Replaces Judas (Reese Roper guest vocals) 

B T dubs; I decided its 2011 and joined twitter follow: Fretz0matic@twitter  (thats a zero after the z)

Psalm 103:1-3
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2    Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;
3    Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;

Saturday, April 23, 2011

bluh

Well today is my birthday, got a new bed for my pad and some money from my rents. Celebrating with the roomie, nice and chill. Maybe have another friend or two over. At 27, I am valuing wisdom and what I learn more. I have come to appreciate books and deep thinking. Not just knowing OF my faith, things about it but a more intimate walk with Christ. As I reflect upon this past year at EBC which is now over. I remember how hard it was, the breakups (yes more than one failed relationship, neither of which were my fault. I think), the hard assingments, the spiritual battles, tears of joy and misery. But I mostly remember where God pulled my out of said situations. Where my friends were there for me. September, I begin my end of EBC. It's sad, it's bittersweet. I will treasure that place forever, but I will finish as a commuter not a res student

Also: I just started reading CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters, give it a chance. Lewis is amazing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Theology and Hyrule

As you can tell, I am a giant video game nerd. If you are not a gamer or a nerd kind of person, you can skip over this post.
Among my all-time favourite games is Legend of Zelda: The Orcarina of Time. Ever since I first played it almost 11 years ago, I have loved it like no other game. It has excellent re-play value even today. I recently played through it again, dusting off my old N64 and beat it again yesterday. This time around, I have noticed many theological things in this game.

The Triforce, which is an attainable item in past Zelda games is divided into 3 parts: power, wisdom and courage. And are divided among 3 people: the hero Link, Princess Zelda and the main villain of all Zelda games: Gannondorf (aka Ganon in his beast form). Anyways, the three parts also had fairies that created the fantasy land of Hyrule. I can see that the trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Combine to create not only the world but the ability and freewill to be good or evil. The triforce is a coveted jewel that basically makes the wish of anyone come true. Gannon gets a hold of it twice and turns Hyrule into a wasteland. So, we can see spiritual battle here. Ganon=Satan maybe?? 

Anyways, before I go on a nerd spree, for those who know the games can already nod in agreement in what I am saying. Although Link does not die to redeem Hyrule, he saves them from evil like any other game. But from observing how the game plays out, is very theological. A kid is selected to go on a quest, collect things and unite seven sages (who you meet as a kid) to defeat evil. Gannon cannot stand light, making the legendary Light Arrow his main weakness. Ganon is sealed in the sacred realm after being defeated and Link gets to re-live the childhood that was sealed for seven years (okay the seven sound familiar?)


One more reference: Majora's Mask allows Link to collect 25 masks to characterize different species and people much like the masks we wear in life to cover up our realness.

That's all, I'm nerded out! How can I elaborate? :P


Friday, March 18, 2011

The MAN couch

*copied from Craig the Scotsman*

You all know what it is.
Your girlfriend or what-have-you has dragged you along for yet another 17 hours of clothing shopping at the over-air-conditioned super-mall.  Your choice female companion, giddy as a raw-sugar-spiked 5-year-old on Christmas eve, carries another load of outrageously expensive outfits out of the racks and heads toward the changing booths.
"These are so adorable! I want them so badly! I'll only be a minute! Isn't this fun?!!"
Your knees are giving out. Your eyeballs are about to explode. You feel like punching something or dying in a hole.

AND THEN.

The couch.

It's soft, plush, maybe leather, maybe it even reclines. Sometimes, there's a table. And it's located conveniently RIGHT OUTSIDE THE CHANGING BOOTHS. RIGHT where you need it.
A chorus of angels sing out a heavenly chord at this discovery.
Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh Solace! A haven in the giant untamed smorgasborg of shopping!
At times, you are even joined by other equally burnt-out men. Bleary-eyed, texting, napping, or completely zoned out, mouth agape, their arms attempting to not associate with the numerous outrageously stuffed bags from other posh clothing chains that they must carry for their choice female companion(s).
Together, you may exchange glances acknowledgment; that you both share in the suffering of yet another relentless day of shopping, your eyes each forewarning others of the toil of seven-sweater fashion shows and line-ups for hemming; both understanding the sacrifice you must make to keep your woman (and/or her friends) happy.
And it is at moments like these that you gain the strength, and hope, to carry on and see the light of day outside the mall again.

EDIT: Ladies, these couches are good for you, too. You see, it keeps your choice man right where you left them! No longer are you subjected to the immense frustration of man-hunting them out of the magazine aisle, CD store, electronics wicket or fries line in the food court. BONUS you have a guarantee that your purse is safe and you have a second opinion from a qualified expert should you need it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Author of the Epistle to Hebrews

One of the many big debates amongst theologians is the authorship of Hebrews, below is my term paper for Hebrews class last semester, please do not copy it. but read for your enjoyment, it's long but I put a lot into it. I encourage you to debate along with me here:


The book of Hebrews is grammatically different than any other epistle in the New Testament. It is not written to a specific audience like most Pauline epistles are. Hebrews begins like a sermon, proceeds like an essay and ends like a letter. There is much debate among theologians over who wrote the book. Some who come to mind are: Paul, Priscilla, Barnabas, Luke, Clement and Apollos. It is still unknown who exactly wrote it. Some use historical facts and geographical matters to prove one's authorship, but there is very little proof for it's true composition. Only God knows who wrote the book and that is all that should matter. However, the debates and dissertations are interesting as some lean strongly towards another writer.
Characteristics of the Author of Hebrews.
People can research as much as they wish, but coming to a true consensus is too difficult. There is no doubt that the author of the book was a teacher of some sort. He or she may have been a second generation Christian, claiming the gospel was “confirmed to us by those who heard Him [Jesus]” (Hebrews 2:3).1 The author of the book was a dynamic preacher or teacher, knowledgeable of the Old testament and was highly educated.2 Not only was the author well educated in the Old Testament, he or she would also have been familiar with the culture around them.
Omission of the Author's Name.
It is hard to understand why the name of the author was omitted. Critics claim that the omission is based on the argument of the epistle being written in the Hebrew or Greek language. Clement was among ones who supported the Hebrew side. Although, very interestingly he claimed that Paul wrote it in Hebrew with Luke then carefully translating it into Greek. This claim opens up a whole new debate on whether or not Paul wrote it on his own, or that he had an interpreter with him. There is also no evidence of an original copy of the book in Hebrew, which attests to the fact it was written in Greek. All older copies of Hebrews are written in Greek and if there was a Hebrew original that was destroyed or lost , the Greek would have eventually replaced it. If the letter was addressed to Jews in Palestine, it would of led the people to retain it in the Hebrew language.3 Each other epistle in the New Testament indicate the author at the introduction or at some part of the book. Hebrews, strangely does not. Some versions of the bible attribute the epistle to Paul strictly for canonical reasons. However, the 1611 King James Bible indicates that “Timothie” wrote the book. His name was found at the very end of the book: written in Italy by Timothie. There is very little doubt that this person would not be the same as one who has two books bearing his name. Timothy is not among the most popular choices by scholars and theologians, so there is a strong possibility that the name is a pseudonym. Timothy's release from prison was mentioned in Hebrews 13:23, which rules out even the most remote possibility that he wrote it. The author had to be someone that Paul and Timothy came into contact with over their respective missionary journeys.
Possibility #1: The Apostle Paul.
Hebrews was written sometime between 60 and 70 AD either before or after the destruction of the Temple. The date that the book was written depends on who the author was. Paul was considered a candidate but this letter was specifically for a Jewish audience. Paul often wrote to specific churches or geographical locations instead of a general audience. Jerome and St. Augustine of Hippo were influential in attributing the epistle to Paul. He was confirmed as author until the Reformation.
Pauline authorship was not accepted in the Western church (Rome) until late in the fourth century. Although Hebrews was attributed to Paul much earlier in the Eastern church (Alexandria), not everyone could agree. It was the great scholar, Origen who, after surveying the possible authors uttered the famous words “But who wrote the epistle, in truth God knows”. The apparent eagerness of many in the church to ascribe Hebrews to Paul was motivated by the canonical status within developing the New Testament. Without going into the matter in detail, the more reasons why Pauline authorship must be mentioned.4

There is very little doubt that Paul at least had a minor role in the writing or distribution of the epistle. Almost ever candidate for authorship at one time crossed paths with Paul in his missionary journeys. According to Albert Barnes, Clement of Alexandria claimed that Paul wrote Hebrews based on the opinion of Pantaneus who was the head of the celebrated Christian school there established in 180 AD.5
Origen of Alexandria also ascribes Hebrews to Paul by claiming that the sentiments are Paul's but the words and phrases belong to a writer, as if they were commenting while Paul was telling him or her what to write. Barnes continues his strong case for Paul by stating the mention of Timothy in Hebrews 13:23 by promising a visit in the near future. There are several differences based on the date of writing alone, some believe it was before or after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Barnes continues his opinion by stating that 6
Possibility #2: Luke.
Among the more popular candidates is Luke. According to Wilson's New Century Commentary, the possibility of Paul writing the book was ruled out.7 Luke is considered the most likely author because he was not influenced by Alexandrian thoughts. Luke was interested in solid facts rather than cultural surroundings. Luke was heavily influenced by Greek culture which is especially evident in the gospel that bears his name; where headdresses his letter to most excellent Theolophilis. Luke was believed to be a Gentile writing to a Jewish audience and that he wrote under the tutelage of Paul. However, the grammatical dynamic between the two are too different. The belief is that the words and thoughts of the text are Paul's but the language was Luke's. St. Clement is convinced that Luke may also be the author based on the purity of the Greek in the original letter. There are several references and phrases that are also found in Acts, which Luke wrote. Although there are decent grounds for this argument, they are simply speculations based on minor research.
Possibility #3: Apollos.
Many modern scholars have suggested that Apollos is indeed the author of Hebrews. This was first suggested by Martin Luther during the Reformation. He refuted any evidence that Paul wrote the book based on historical evidence. According to Acts 18:24, Apollos was a Jew from Alexandria and was an eloquent man. He was well versed in Scriptures and contradicted Jews in public. Once again, Paul is mentioned to having his hand in to having his hand in this passage because of the fact he interacted with Apollos in Ephesus and Corinth. If Apollos had been the author of Hebrews, it is difficult to think that the Alexandrian Church would not have preserved some knowledge of that fact or that Clement of Rome would not of mentioned him in writing to the Corinthians. There is also little known of a connection between Apollos and Rome.8 Despite such arguments, Apollos is actually considered the very top candidate for authorship of Hebrews, even for people who disagree with Martin Luther. The evidence is both hard and easy to refute.
Possibility #4: Barnabas.
There is little evidence supporting Barnabas but he also seems like a very likely candidate. Barnabas was a Levite, which can elude to the fact the author was well versed in Jewish culture. He was an associate of the apostle Paul, as they met in the latter half of Acts during one of Paul's missionary journey.
Barnabas might of been a decent nominee to be inspired to write the epistle. It does not breach at one time between him and Paul (Acts 25.), or his temporary vacillation at Antioch (Gal.2:13), preclude his having become again the associate of the great apostle and the exponent of his teaching. We have, however, no knowledge of this, or of Barnabas' style and natural powers as a writer, with none of his written or verbal utterances. Thus the only real ground for the supposition of Barnabas is the assertion of Tertullian, which is certainly remarkable as being made positively and not as a conjecture only.9

Based on the lack of evidence on Barnabas, it is safe to assume that he likely did not write Hebrews despite differing opinions by various commentators.
Possibility #5: Priscilla.
Although historical, biblical contexts and culture would not allow it, Priscilla is also very likely to have written Hebrews. She is first mentioned as the wife of Aquila in Acts 18:2, but in verses 18 and 26, her name is mentioned first. Whether this is a grammatical error or intentional based on a status she may of had remains a mystery. The reference led some to believe that she was the dominant partner. It is also suggested that There is no account of Priscilla's verbal or written words, which can certify, to some, that she did not write the book. The same can be said of any possible writers. Interestingly, during this time women in Monasticism were seen as mediators and Gnostic circles provoked suspicions of women in responsibility.10 The main dispute of a woman author is the use of the Greek male pronoun in Hebrews 11:32. Perhaps this was disputed because in early church it was considered shameful for a woman to speak up in church, they were to remain silent. Early believers could possibly of added the male pronoun in order to cover up for Priscilla and possibly save her life. Having a woman write a piece of Scripture that would eventually be canonized could of been considered heresy. This would not be an issue for many today as several women are involved in various ministries within the church and also have equal rights with men. Several scholars and pastors today believe that Priscilla did in fact write Hebrews and used the male pronoun to remain anonymous.
In 1900, Adolph Harnack presented an argument determining that Priscilla indeed wrote the book of Hebrews. This was translated from German into English in 1955 by Emma Runge Peter.11 Her book indicates a summary of Harnack's research. He states that the epistle was written to Rome, not the church but to a smaller group of older Christians because the author tells them to obey their leaders (13:17). Harnack's case for Priscilla is incredible:
The author was highly educated and seems to have held a prominent teaching position. In Acts 18 Priscilla along with Aquila were able to instruct Apollos who was himself an eloquent and learned man (Acts 18:24-26). 2) Both Priscilla and Aquila were among the Pauline circle of friends and were associates with Timothy (13:23).3) Assuming the Roman audience, the author would then have been a part of the Roman church and been familiar with the circumstances of the Christians in Rome. Moreover the author seems to have been a respected leader among the Roman Christians and hoped to be restored to them someday (13:19). We know from Acts 18:1 that Priscilla and Aquila were expelled from Rome due to the Edict of Claudius in 49 A.D.12
Harnack gives a very strong dissertation based on Priscilla's authorship and can potentially lead many to come to the conclusion that she indeed wrote it. He makes int apparent that one person wrote Hebrews based on the first person language used (11:32; 13:19, 22). However, there were some instances where the author was speaking for more than himself or herself. It should be noted that Priscilla and her husband Aquila were mentioned six times in the New Testament (Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19). Aquila is mentioned first two times and Priscilla four times. It is unknown whether Priscilla being mentioned first was accidental or not but perhaps her name sounded more pleasing to the Greek ear before Aquila's. Further speculation indicates that Priscilla was a Roman woman from a prominent and noble family, and her husband was once a slave. This indicates the rarity of a woman's status being higher during the early church. The use of the male pronoun indicates that she is either not the author or used it to gain credibility.
Possibility # 6: St. Clement.
The earliest know allusion to the authorship of the epistle is that of St. Clement of Alexandria, as he quoted much of Hebrews in his writings. His letter 1 Clement also has similar grammatical elements to those found in Hebrews. Hebrews 11:7: By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 1 Clement 9: Noah, being found faithful, by his ministration preached regeneration unto the world, and through him the Master saved the living creatures that entered into the ark in concord.13 The comparison is hard to ignore because it is so similar. Both books respectively have a similar way of citing Scripture. His letter is among the earliest non-Canonical Christian letters and was addressed to believers in Corinth. The book was never meant to be canonized in the New Testament, but his prominence allowed to become a part of the Apostolic Fathers. Among these early Christians were Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna. All of whom were linked to Jesus Christ by personal contact with the Twelve Apostles. Although it seems apparent that he might of wrote it, the possibility looks very bleak. Clement allowed Scripture to influence everything wrote but his influence among Corinth only went so far.
Other Possibilities.
There are various other possible authors, but little is known about them. Silas is among them, according to Acts 16:37, he was a Roman Citizen. Some believe that he even helped write 1 Peter because they are similar in both style and content. Silas was a companion of Timothy as was Paul. Since Silas was a Jew, he could have a decent understanding of Jewish culture. Phillip is also a candidate but very little is known about him.
Conclusion.
It is too difficult to come to a solid consensus on the true authorship of Hebrews. Although evidence supports all of the discussed authors, the evidence is too broad. The least likely author is Paul because he was either imprisoned or dead when the epistle was written. If it had been written after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, it would not be feasible. Paul was beheaded in 67 AD, and according to Adolph Harnack's strong evidence supporting Priscilla, Hebrews was written in 70 AD, three years after Paul's death. Most of the potential writers have similar characteristics that Hebrews presents; that the author was a dynamic teacher and highly educated in the Old Testament. The only exception to that would be Paul, despite the fact he was a Pharisee. His familiarity with the Old Testament would not be as strong as the author of Hebrews. Despite evidence supporting over seven different authors, the best possible answer is to think that only God knows. Even though it remains a mystery, those who call Jesus their Lord and Saviour will find out in heaven.


1Evans Jr. , Luke. The Communicators Commentary on Hebrews. Waco,TX. Word Books Publishing. 1985
2Guthrie, George. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998
3Ibid.
4Hagner, Donald. Encountering the Book of Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2002, pg.21
5Barnes, Albert. Barnes Notes: Hebrews to Jude. London: Blackie & Son Publishing. 1885
6Ibid
7Wilson, R. McL. New Century Commentary on Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing. 1987. pg.7
8Ibid.
9Gloag, P.J. The Pulpit Commentary Volume XXI. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. Year unknown
10Wilson, R. McL. New Century Commentary on Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing. 1987
11Peter, Emma Runge. The Bible Status of Woman. Zarephath, N.J.: Pillar of Fire, 1955, 392–415
12Is Priscilla the Author of Hebrews? http://polumeros.blogspot.com/2009/01/is-priscilla-author-of-hebrews.html. Accessed 12/06/2010.
13Clement, Of Alexandria, and G.W. Butterworth. Clement of Alexandria, translated by G.W. Butterworth. 1919. Reprint, S.I. Heinemann, 1982.