I heard the word “nefarious” & found Erwin (DNA-man) Chargaff’s insights

Nefarious! The world situation today is precarious (dangerous), contrarious (perverse), and vagarious (erratic) because popular culture has become nefarious!

The word nefarious popped into my mind yesterday but I didn’t know what it meant. I looked it up this morning and found these definitions: “contrary to divine law” and “flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct.” Nefarious came into English from the Latin word nefar which means “not divine law.”

To be nefarious is to be openly and flagrantly at variance with God’s word. A nefarious culture that has thrown out God’s moral standards is like a football game without rules, field markings or officials.

As I was researching the word, I found this quote by Erwin Chargaff (an American biochemist, who was born in Austria in 1905 and died in 2002, who discovered that DNA is the primary constituent of the gene): “One of the most insidious and nefarious properties of scientific models is their tendency to take over, and sometimes supplant, reality.”

Nefarious! In the 21st century, not only science, but culture in general is nefariously taking over and supplanting the reality of God’s moral standards with human whims and desires. Here are more quotes from Erwin Chargaff that illustrate the nefariousness of our culture!

“There exist mysterious links between language and the human brain; and the heartless and brutal way in which language is used in our times, as if it were only a power tool in public relations, a shortcut from sly producer to gullible consumer, has always seemed to me the most threatening portent of incipient bestialization. It is frightening to observe that a progressive aphasia (loss of ability to understand or express speech), appears to overtake large numbers of people who seem to be unable to express themselves except by hoarse barks and expletives.”

“There exist principally two types of scientists. The ones, and they are rare, wish to understand the world, to know nature; the others, far more frequent, wish to explain it. The first are searching for truth, often with knowledge that they will not attain it; the second strive for plausibility, for the achievement of an intellectually consistent, and hence successful, view of the world.”

“There is no question in my mind that we live in one of the truly bestial centuries in human history. There are plenty of signposts for the future historian, and what do they say? They say ‘Auschwitz’ and ‘Dresden’ and ‘Hiroshima’ and ‘Vietnam’ and ‘Napalm.’ For many years we all woke up to the daily body count on the radio.”

“In 1945, therefore, I proved a sentimental fool; and Mr. Truman could safely have classified me among the whimpering idiots he did not wish admitted to the presidential office. For I felt that no man has the right to decree so much suffering, and that science, in providing and sharpening the knife and in upholding the ram, had incurred a guilt of which it will never get rid. It was at that time that the nexus between science and murder became clear to me.”

“The double horror of two Japanese city names [Hiroshima and Nagasaki] grew for me into another kind of double horror; an estranging awareness of what the United States was capable of, the country that five years before had given me its citizenship; a nauseating terror at the direction the natural sciences were going. Never far from an apocalyptic vision of the world, I saw the end of the essence of mankind an end brought nearer, or even made, possible, by the profession to which I belonged. In my view, all natural sciences were as one; and if one science could no longer plead innocence, none could.”

“Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question ‘How?’ but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question ‘Why?'” –Erwin Chargaff

“Life is the continuing intervention of the inexplicable.”

““It is the sense of mystery that, in my opinion, drives the true scientist . . . If he has not experienced, at least a few times in his life, this cold shudder down his spine, this confrontation with an immense, invisible face whose breath moves him to tears, he is not a scientist.”

“The narrow slit through which the scientist, if he wants to be successful, must view nature; constructs, if this goes on for a long time, his entire character; and, more often than not, he ends up becoming what the German language so appropriately calls a Fachidiot (professional idiot).”

Chargaff

 

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Posted in conscience, evil, family values, historic moral standards, moral character, moral failure, moral foundations, moral laws, moral principles, morality, morals, natural laws, right and wrong, scientific debate, scientific theory, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You might be unracist if . . .

The vast majority of Americans claim (and believe) that they are not racists. However, in an unracist society, race isn’t an issue.

You might be unracist if you look at faces and don’t see races.

You might be unracist if laundry is the only thing you separate by color.

You might be unracist if you are like a panda. They’re not stuck in one category. They’re black and white and Asian.

You might be unracist if the only race that you don’t have love and compassion for, is the one you have to run.

You might be unracist if for you, racial profiling is collecting dossiers about NASCAR drivers.

You might be unracist if you embrace all peoples as your equals regardless of their race.

You might be unracist if a person’s heart means more to you than his/her appearance.

You might be unracist if you’re convinced that pigment doesn’t make a person.

You might be unracist if you reach out and actively show love to people that the world says that you should hate.

You might be unracist if you’re not just “colorblind” but color-kind!

You might be unracist if you recognize that America’s racist past established belief systems and institutions that still, silently promote racism today (even in your own heart).

You might be unracist if you believe that racism is never justifiable.

You might be unracist if you realize that to ignore someone because of race is just as racist as to be mean to someone because of race.

You might be an unracist if you are on a lifetime journey of love and equality.

You might be unracist if you don’t make generalizations about groups of people.

You might be unracist if you continually search for the smallest remnants of racism in your own heart and instantly uproot them the moment you see them.

You might be unracist if you speak up against injustice and racism wherever it occurs.

You might be unracist if you can talk about people who look different than you do and not mention race or ethnicity.

You might be unracist if you don’t think your color neighborhood is the safest.

You might be unracist if people’s skin color matters no more to you than their eye color.

You might be unracist if you never use (or think) racial slurs.

You might be unracist if your church congregation has no segregation.

You might be unracist if you love the human race and don’t break it into subsets.

You might be unracist if black history, white history, native history, and every other color of your nation’s history are all equally important to you.

Friends don’t notice friends’ race. They just see their friends! “I have called you friends.” –Jesus

Read about ten nonracist Americans. Are you unracist? I am continually working hard to be and asking God to make me unracist!

unracist

 

 

Posted in American history, black history, Black history month, community, drum major for justice, equality, human rights, inequality, injustice, institutional racism, liberty and justice for all, Love one another, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK, MLK Day, NASCAR, overcoming hate, social justice, the beloved community, The Movement, Uncategorized, unity, wrong side of history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You might be an alien if . . .

If you ever feel like an alien, the Bible says you could be one! Check this out.

Jay Tyler and I talk about what the Bible says about aliens. Are aliens alive on Earth today? To determine if you are an alien, look in the Bible and look in your heart!

Posted in alienated, alienation, Bible, earth, escaped the corruption in the world, inherit the earth, kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven, New Testament, on earth as it is in heaven, Planet Earth, the Kingdom of God is at hand, Uncategorized, will be done on earth as it is in Heaven | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unity is more important than unanimity

Unanimity is a word that can be difficult to say. However, it’s even harder to consistently do. A simple definition of unanimity is: “agreement by all people involved.” Here’s an example of unanimity or uniformity:

Find a group of passive people who don’t think very much. Then stand up in front of them and boldly declare something half-way reasonable, asking ask all who agree with you for a sudden show of hands (allowing them no time to ponder the concept). Most people will quickly raise a hand. If you are patient, people will begin to look around to see who hasn’t raised a hand. Usually those holding back will soon become self-conscience and will gradually raise their hand.

Unity is much different. It’s not based on agreement, but on love and commitment. Strong families usually have little unanimity, but lots of unity.

Historically, Christians have tried to build churches around unanimity by finding others who agree completely with their doctrine and church practices. The main problem with that approach is that it tends to alienate all the other Christians around the world who don’t agree with them 100%.

Building on unanimity causes much insincerity, because if anyone openly differs with the party line, they are seen as a disrupter of the group. Thus, many believers in unanimity based churches, just go along with the crowd and (at least outwardly) agree with and conform to the group’s dogma and procedures. They’ve been trained not to think or seek the Lord for themselves.

Unity is so much easier and more effective. It is built on a foundation of love. Unity understands that if someone doesn’t actually believe something deep inside her heart, it does no good to force her to act like she does. Unity trusts that the living Holy Spirit will lead individuals to the truth. It also recognizes that we all “know in part” and are seeking God’s truth together; so we don’t have to agree on things that aren’t foundational to Christianity.

Jesus’ prayer for unity in the body of Christ (in John 17) will never be answered by an outward uniformity of doctrine or organization. Unity in Jesus has to be heart-to-heart. It will never work head-to-head! Unity lets people seek God themselves (and loves them while they do), without imposing the group’s approach to God on them.

Posted in Christian Denominations, church burn out, church community, church decline, church government, church organization, church revitalization, church structure, denominations, religious tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to hold a “house church” meeting in your home

I first wrote this blog for the ONE Body Life Blog at this link.

If you have ever wanted to attend a house fellowship, but couldn’t find one, why not start one yourself? It’s easy. Any believer can do it if they follow these simple steps.

1) Pray and surrender: Give up your expectations and turn it over to Jesus. Let it be His meeting, not yours. That takes a lot of pressure off. (No need to worry about numbers or agendas.) You don’t have to lead it. Just create an open, loving atmosphere and watch what the risen Jesus can do in your home.

2) Invite a few friends over to your house. You don’t need a big crowd. Jesus promised to be with us, even in “groups” of two or three. So don’t try to get dozens of people over. Start small with twelve or less.

3) If you want to, have food. However, for me, if I’m hosting, organizing food can be a distraction and make it hard to focus on hearing the Spirit. So food is fine, if you want to have it, but it isn’t a requirement. If you do have food, it is good to serve it either before or after the meeting time and not during the meeting.

4) Be prayed up and in the Spirit. Then warmly welcome everyone who comes and create a loving atmosphere as people arrive.

5) When you’re ready, pull everyone together. I’ve found that it is helpful to begin with someone leading heart-felt worship songs. (I ask them to be the “lead worshiper” and not the worship leader.) Let the worship go as long as the Spirit is moving and working.

6) As worship tapers off, tell the group that this is an open meeting and that anyone can share as they feel prompted by the Holy Spirit. Encourage them to consider others and to make their sharing short so that others will have time to share. Then say a prayer with the group and watch what the risen Jesus does next.

7) In most cases the Holy Spirit will run the meeting all by Himself. As the host all you have to do is to be what the New Testament calls an “overseer.” (Other mature believers who are present may also help oversee the meeting.) An overseer is like an official in basket ball. She or he, just stays out of the way and observes what is going.

Should anything be said or done that is off base or unbiblical, an overseer kindly interrupts the person and says something like, “Thank you for sharing. Who else has something from the Spirit?” If something biblically way off base is shared, an overseer can take 30 seconds to gently correct it and then turn the meeting back over to Jesus. Also it is good to not let the meeting turn into a counseling session where everybody begins to instruct one person. Sometimes it is good to kindly remind people not to share unless they know the Holy Spirit is telling them to do so.

Note by Henry Hon: I would recommend not openly correcting anyone as an authority figure. It is much more profitable to have personal fellowship in private if correction is needed. If an authoritative correction is done openly, it could well discourage others from speaking up since they would be afraid to say anything wrong. If no one is dominating the fellowship time, then even if something is spoken that is unscriptural, it will be covered over by others speaking concerning Jesus. So, in my experience, the typical “referee” job is just to make sure no one dominates and everyone has opportunity and time to share what is in them.

8) Let Jesus, Himself, end the meeting. People will know when the meeting is winding down and it is time to go.

So what can you expect from this 8-step process? Every meeting will be different. Ordinary people will say and do things that amaze you. Some will even read from Scripture and give short teachings. You will see the Holy Spirit coordinate the various things that are shared into one. You will continually feel His presence. People will open their hearts to the group. They will compassionately pray over one another. The gifts of the Spirit (listed in 1 Corinthians 12) will begin to happen right in front of you. Love will fill the room. Some tender tears will probably flow. People will be built up and encouraged.

So what are you waiting for? Try this in your home and see what God does. This is not a formula for you to follow, but a simple way for you to create an atmosphere where the risen Jesus can take control.

If you need personal coaching or have questions, contact me at stsimms@live.com

I can’t wait to hear how God works in your home!

Posted in alternative church, cell groups, changes in worship, contemporary worship, ekklesia, Friends' worship, heart of worship, Henry Hon, home church, ONE: Unfolding God's Eternal Purpose From House To House, order of worship, Quaker, Quaker worship, spiritual worship, Uncategorized, unconventional worship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be a light of kindness

Everybody needs kindness; even the people who disagree with you. Why not show them some?

Is there a relationship between forgiveness and kindness. (Jesus said: “Whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”)

The slightest kindness you show can change a life. A simple, caring act can release God’s light.

So many people are hostile and unkind because they are carrying guilt and don’t know how to get free. They try to deny it or medicate it, but their guilt still eats at them. They don’t realize that the only way to overcome guilt is to receive God’s forgiveness that was purchased for them by Christ on the Cross. Your kindness can crack open a door for God’s light to break into hardened hearts.

Even church can (and often does) unkindly slam the door on God’s working in people. A typical church service has no room for anyone’s meaningful input, expect the preacher’s. (It’s the silence of God’s lambs!) For example; is there a place in churches for people who want a 1 Corinthians 14:26 style of meeting instead of a sermon? So how did it become a churchy thing for people to meet every week and sit like a lump?

Jesus didn’t rise from the dead so that He can sit back and passively watch church services. He wants to personally lead and direct us when we meet in His name! That’s prechurch Christianity. The living Jesus doesn’t need us to follow programs. He, Himself, is the way (the program). Follow Him.

Prechurch Christianity isn’t setting your own agenda for Jesus. It’s letting Jesus take you wherever He goes and being kind along the way. Now is the time for believers to realign in the shifting sand of this world. We need to get our lives in line with God’s design and go back to prechurch Christianity.

There have been many attempts in history to do that. For example, the Monastic movement led by the Desert Fathers in the 4th century was an attempt to recover prechurch Christianity! Today, the Bible can release inner sight, ignite your heart, and guide you to fire of early Christianity — the freely flowing work of the Holy Spirit.

Bold, radical, and consistent acts of love and kindness help create an environment where God can restore a fresh vison of His forgiveness and break the sence of self-condemnation that holds so many people back and keeps Christianity stuck in formalism. Be a light of kindness in this hostile world!

 

 

Posted in agree to disagree, anti-bullying, He broke down the wall of hostility, lovingkindness, name calling, Random acts of kindness, right to disagree, stop bullying, Uncategorized, unkindness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MLK’s dream can’t be fulfilled without Jesus

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. was brutally murdered for boldly and compassionately standing up for love, unity, and equality. The night before, in his last speech, King said: “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

What was Martin Luther King’s dream? His 9 year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, recently put it this way: “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

It’s sad that 50 years later, skin color is still used to divide people in America. Why don’t we live King’s dream?

Unfortunately, true love and unity cannot be imposed by law. Justice can, to a degree, be legislated; but love and brotherhood must come from the heart.

King’s dream was based on His faith in and commitment to follow Jesus Christ. He wrote: “Christianity affirms that at the heart of reality is a Heart, a loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children. Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God. Bound by the chains of his own sin and finiteness, man needs a Savior.”

He also said: “By opening our lives to God in Christ, we become new creatures. This experience, which Jesus spoke of as the new birth, is essential if we are to be transformed nonconformists . . . Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.”

The key to King’s dream is not politics. It’s Jesus. Only Jesus can change hearts and overcome the centuries of racial prejudice, injustice, and disparities in America.

So how can we begin to live out the dream? We have to let Jesus teach us to love people who look different than we do. That happens best in interracial small groups where we can get know people’s hearts.

A good place to begin is to invite people of a different “race” into your home. For a wonderful guidebook about how to host small group meetings in your home, check out the book ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose From House To House. #dreamstilllives

Jesus is the key to MLK’s dream!

Keys Christ

Posted in Christianity, Civil Rights, dream, dreams, healing racism, I have a dream, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK quotes, promised land, race, racism, the impossible dream, The Movement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment