Free will; what are you doing with yours?

I was going to talk about how I did laundry today and how in French class we talked about Halloween and All Saints Day and the traditions that started these two days. Also how we each went around and mentioned a couple of things that our home countries were known for and I tried to draw a beaver on the board, but failed horribly. But I’m not going to mention anything more about that. I can’t. I’m not in the mood.

I went on Twitter and read a Tweet that said something like ‘who was Adolf Hitler’ with a link to a video. I was curious. The video is long – 33 min. – and I wasn’t planning on watching the whole thing, but once I started I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t help the tears that came when I watched as person after person was asked if they had heard of Adolf Hitler, if the knew who he was, what he had done. So many of them had no idea. So many had never even heard of him. Now obviously in documentaries we as the audience see what the makers of the film want us to see. And we don’t see the footage of all the people they talked who that did know. I know everyone’s education is different. I know there are more current events going on to take up our attention. But in the grand scheme of things WWII wasn’t that long ago. To realize that there’s a generation who know nothing about the Holocaust is simply astounding to me. For people to say that it never happened when there are thousands of documents, films, personal accounts that clearly say it did. You can’t just make this stuff up. You can’t tell an entire nation, an entire group of nations that they’re lying, they’re making up stories, and that they’ve created camp after camp, museum after museum to bring attention to events that never took place. I found it very distressing.

The film goes on to talk about abortion and how abortion is America’s Holocaust. One question asked many times is “Finish this sentence for me: ‘it’s okay to kill a baby in the womb when…'”. The answers varied, but a lot of people were stuck in their tracks. They didn’t have a good answer. Or any. If asked that question I would most definitely answer ‘never‘. A few points brought up by the interviews were that ‘everyone’s situation is different’ and ‘women should have the choice’. I get that, I do, but I do not understand how you could murder your own child, no matter how ‘inconvenient’ or unwanted it is. Like I said, that’s my opinion. We’re so caught up these days in being ‘politically correct’ (whatever that means) and we don’t want to offend anyone (at least I don’t) that a lot of the people being interviewed stumbled as they tried to make their points. I think some were couching what they really wanted to say because we haven’t been taught to think for ourselves and we’ve been taught that you have to be so careful what you say so as not to offend this religion or that religion, this person or that person, this group or that group. We’re supposed to be living in a free country (some of us are fortunate enough). When did it become wrong to really speak our minds?

Religion is a touchy subject and near the end of the film there is a very clear Christian message. I know that I may not always follow the straight and narrow. I know that I have a long way to go with my walk with Christ. I definitely know I’m not perfect and never will be. I know that not everyone believes as I believe. I know it’s not my place to judge. I am not sinless – who am I to cast a stone at someone else? Who am I to tell you you’re wrong in what you believe? All I can do is my best to lead and live by example. In my experience one of the worse ways to turn someone away is by preaching at them. And sometimes that’s exactly what someone might need. Faith is never easy. God gave us free will so we could follow Him by choice. Of course He wants us to join him in his Heavenly Kingdom, but he wants us to do it willingly and not because we were ordered to. I know that not all of my readers believe as I do and that’s okay. Again, I do not judge. I’ve always been hesitant to try to convince people that what I believe is ‘right’ because that can be a surefire way to lose friendships. And of course everyone believes that what they believe is right. If we don’t, why do we believe what we believe? Maybe it’s because I’m not confidant enough in myself. Do I believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light? Yes. Is that always obvious in my day-to-day life? No. But why do I have to be afraid that if I mention my beliefs people will either disregard me completely or start to harass me for it? Why do I have to be afraid to discuss what I believe in, but it’s okay for others to talk about their religions/beliefs without us saying anything for fear of being thought of as persecuting minorities? Am I even making sense? Am I digging myself into a hole? Am I talking about things I don’t understand? Oh, most definitely and it’s no one’s fault but mine. I just feel like sometimes it’s ‘acceptable’ to openly talk about every religion or belief system out there except for Christianity and everyone’s comfortable. But mention Jesus, well, unless you’re using it as a cuss word you need to stop right there.

I realize I may not be acting very fair or rash right now. But there’s a part of me that’s sick and tired of hiding behind this wall of low self-confidence and esteem, that’s sick and tired of worrying about trying to please everyone, to not offend anyone. I would like to think I’m open-minded. I would like to think that I can have an – if not intelligent – than at least calm discussions about hard topics without ranting and raving and talking complete nonsense (because we all know no one ever makes a point that way). I do hope that no one feels I’m behaving that way here. There I go again, trying to stay on everyone’s good side. I realize that’s not going to happen. What I want people to know is that even if I disagree with your beliefs (I think I’m allowed that at least) that doesn’t mean I dislike you. As a way of avoiding conflict I tend to adopt the ‘agree to disagree’ stance. I know that everyone was given free will and we all (or should all) have the chance to exercise it. I’m not trying to force my beliefs on anyone. Really, I’m not. I guess I’m just trying to let you all know where I’m coming from. And I realize this entire post is pretty much me ranting and raving.

There are just some things that force us to react. There is a man (or 2) on this video who say the Holocaust never happened. How can you deny an entire group of people as being human?  If you’re interested – and you have time – check out the video. If you think I’m completely talking about of my butt you can still watch the video. I realize it is long, it has disturbing images, and you may disagree with all of it. Then don’t watch it.

You have free will.

Use it.

                                                                                                                      

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12 Comments

  1. Thanks Holly for this lovely post; it truly encouraged me. I admire your strong conviction & the smart way in which you shared your faith. I cud give you a sista hug rt now. In the past I too have wondered abt the same touchy /cold response of people when we talk abt Jesus. Would you believe me that their strong reaction surprised me so much that I actually did an Internet research on this topic & found many well meaning Christians who faced similar responses when they shared their faith. It’s a huge relief when we understand that it’s not us but Christ in us that they reject. On a deeper level ,its actually the anti Christ spirit already operating in the world that causes this. Like you have rightly mentioned it is a matter of free will: we have the free will to speak just as they have the free will to choose. If even God Almighty doesn’t force anyone to become a Christian ,how dare we? But then again,when sharing my faith I feel like the hungry beggar who tells the other hungry ones where to find food. Will it not be pure selfishness to enjoy the meal while we see others whom we love hungry? Another thing that motivates me is that I know that it is not me but He who does the work. We may sow a seed ,someone else will water it ,another will add the fertilizer and finally He makes it grow. But unless we do our small little bit,the others also can’t do theirs. It’s all about being faithful rt where you are with what you have. I believe this post is your way of doing just that. Christ will honor you because you have dared to honor Him before men. I ‘ve seen the Holocaust movie, it is a good one and so I put it up in my other blog . Let me just leave you with this quote “If we wait to be perfect to do the good we can ,we will wait forever.”

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for commenting! I send a hug right back at ya ;).

      What you said about the spirit of Christ and it’s that and the anti-Christ spirit that turn people away, I totally get that. My Mom has often told me that she can talk to non-Christians about God as much as she wants, but mention the words Christ or Jesus and they get uncomfortable. You say that I encouraged you? You have opened my eyes and encouraged me as well. I’ve always known that I should share and why, but your analogy of the hungry beggar telling others where to find food made me see it in a whole new light. It’s not something that I’m going to be able to change right away, but it’s something I need to strive towards. That quote at the end is a great one and can apply to so many other areas in my life.

      I want to thank you so much. You never know when someone will say something that will help you, or let you know you’re not alone. I know I’m not alone, I have no reason to feel that way, but still, that you took the time to comment and you shared some simple, but amazing things brightened my day and reminded me why it’s important not to hide what I believe. I have a lot of issues to work through (who doesn’t) and a bit of anger at ‘the Church’ (my church, but I don’t want to point fingers at specific people) for things that I’m not sure I really have a right to be angry about, but may have had a small part to play in my ‘stepping away’ from the right path. I’m sort of just walking along side it instead of on it. I won’t say that what happened when I was a young teen is why I’ve strayed, but I do know that it was the thing that set everything else snowballing out of control. I guess since I’ve acknowledged that I should take responsibility for my part, which I do, and I should work at moving on and not dwelling on it. I tend to dwell, it’s a bad thing to do.

      Anyway, I really appreciate yours and all the other comments on this post. I’m glad it sparked some little bit of a discussion, but not a yelling match.

      Reply
      • Like you have rightly pointed out, there is a lot of deception in the Church that truly puts off sincere people. There was a time when I also got fed up with the artificiality I saw in the Church that I stepped away and wanted nothing to do with Church, but then God showed me that we go to Church to worship Him and not people. Even today I don’t believe in Christianity as a religion but a relationship with Jesus. It is my love for Him alone that makes me continue my spiritual walk. If we look around or even at ourselves ,we will always fall short. Our strength is when we look to Him. Don’t try to get your act right , go just as you are with childlike simplicity and believe that He will complete the good work that He has already started in you. Actually Christianity is simple and not as complicated as religion makes it. It’s all about LOVE. You start by accepting His love for you and you slowly grow to love Him so much that you want to obey Him by obeying His commandments and that causes you to love others. We all get side tracked some time or other ,it’s part of the growth but the important thing is to get back and keep running the race of faith- sometimes we sprint, sometimes we jog ,sometimes we fall,but all that really matters is that we get up and keep running always remembering that Christ is our Judge not anyone else . Another thing that encourages me is that our God always looks at our heart. We may say all the right things and seem “okay” to the world but what really matters is our heart and He sees us inside out. Don’t ever hide the light in you because of what other people think. We may fall many times but He will always be there to pick us up. Hope that helps.

        Reply
        • That definitely helped. I know that I’ve also been taught that ‘church’ isn’t the building – it’s a gathering of 2 or more of God’s children where they pray and worship him. Church can be anywhere. We tend to get hung up on the building I think. If not for God’s love I think I’d be lost. I wouldn’t stand a chance. And that’s what makes it so amazing. Forgiveness is something I struggle with sometimes. Actually, I think it’s really only one situation that I’m not quite sure if I’ve truly forgiven. I keep dwelling on it so something tells me I haven’t. It’s not as easy as some people make it out to be, but I do understand that it’s necessary and important.

          ^_^

          Reply
  2. What an incredible post and the replies too! Your post made me a bit angry along with you. I’ve also felt that it’s okay to talk about the other religions but when you mention Christianity you can physically see the listener retreat.
    Abortion? I am almost 50 and still not sure. I do know that is a step I was unable to take for myself when I was an unwed mother in her thirties. I never dated again. My daughter is now an honor student about to graduate high school and I could not love her with more of my heart.
    We are sinners. The best we can do is pray to the Lord, giving thanks for his mercy and forgiveness.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! This post was both easy and hard to write. Easy because I just let it flow, but hard because I really didn’t want to sound like it was a big rant. I think, there’s so much we don’t realize we can actually do until put into hard situations. Even though my ‘trials’ this year have been minor compared to having to deal with the challenge of being a single Mom, I know I never would have thought I could do what I had to do. That’s amazing about your daughter! You are so right (your last 2 sentences). It may not always be easy, but thankfully God is a forgiving God! I definitely struggle with the realization that he will always love me no matter what. Like most people I feel like (and know) that I don’t deserve it. And that’s what makes it all the more special.

      Thanks again for stopping by :D.

      Reply
  3. It’s an awesome and a very touching movie 🙂
    “sick and tired of worrying about trying to please everyone, to not offend anyone.” that’s exactly what I feel most of the time. Religion always tries to separate people, and create conflicts, and that’s sad because in every religion, every God said the same thing: to love others, to live in harmony…
    This is a very beautiful post! I can’t regret linking this movie to twitter lol! 🙂

    Reply
    • I don’t regret the post or anything! My tweet sounded like a bit of a downer, I didn’t mean it that way, lol. I’m super glad I saw your tweet and watched that film. I’m glad you tweeted it. You make a very valid point about religion; that part does suck. Big time.

      Reply
  4. Debate away, girlfriend, feelings or not, if we cannot debate, we cannot “think” and if we cannot think, we are, literally DONE. I’m with Lorna on this issue but I do try to see spiritual matters objectively because if we didn’t, again, we would all be done. There is no right, there is no wrong. There is doing what one must when one is in “their own shoes” walking their own path of life. No, I have never had an abortion. Lots of miscarriages but I cannot judge those who do because there but for the grace of … someone, something, somewhere, LOL 🙂 … go “I.” I do detest parental units who pound out child after child without so much regard for their safety or well being as for their cars for which they must pass a driving test. When working in the justice system, ran across many cases I wish I did not see photos of, hear or read details about but it’s happening every day. Still. Why can’t they just say “I am no good at this parenting thing at all” and give those babies to people who are? Oh, dear, I am not only blogging on your blog, I am starting to rant on it. My apologies. Back to my original point. Don’t ever be ashamed for the “bad” in any group, it is not our personal responsibility to bear their shame (or karma and that alone is such a *itch, I really truly believe it sucks to be them, they need no more balancing, their wheels are in for a complete rotation whether in this lifetime or the next) but in speaking out and walking our own path of goodness, Holly, whether Christian or other spiritual earth walk, we lift that negativity and it really does ripple out. Speak out, speak up, speak loud. Just don’t ever stop speaking. Or thinking! Love the way you roll in “goodness,” Crazy Chick 🙂

    Reply
    • Rant away! I think it can be so tragic how people who should never be parents will be the most fertile, but those couples who would truly give a child a loving home, nurture, and as good a life as they can have such a hard time. It’s not universal, but it happens. The one thing that I sometimes find hard with organized religion is the inability to look at anything ‘outside’ of it as being worth considering. There are so many things with my own faith that I can’t wrap my head around. I’m sure my mind will change on things eventually, once I’ve educated myself more, but for now I’m still so confused. I have the basics, but that’s about it. Ultimately I’m just trying my best to make intelligent, wise, fair decisions and opinions on things, taking into account my faith and my own moral code (which has been mostly molded from my beliefs/faith…yeah, sorry, that’s obvious I guess). I don’t always succeed, but at least I’m trying.

      My biggest fear is that people will feel/think I’m trying to force something on them. Having attended (on and off with uni and all that) an Evangelical Missionary Church for the last…13 years…I’ve been taught to go out and preach the gospel. It’s what missionaries do. I’m not very good at that. Ask me what I believe, I’ll tell you no problem. Ask me about my ‘religion’, I’ll do my best to give you the most accurate information possible. As for trying to convert people…well, it’s different for everyone, but a lot of people get turned off by being preached at (me too actually) and react better with actions than words. I think I’m kind of an oxymoron myself. Sometimes I don’t know which way is up and which is down and I’m too stubborn to learn, to set in the things that I like to do, that I want to do, to take the next steps, knowing that to be honest I’d have to give some things up or rearrange some things. Ah. I definitely have a long way to go and a lot of things to work on. Sometimes I feel guilty, like ‘I’m just going to keep on doing this or that because I know that God will forgive me when I decide to stop’. Life isn’t easy. I guess if it was it wouldn’t be too interesting.

      Reply
  5. Courageous post, Holly. Impassioned people on both sides of this moral issue will butt heads. I happen to be on the side of a woman’s right to choose. Where are all the religious zealots who advocate for the unborn after that fetus is born? Are they all there offering to provide resources to care for the born baby? That’s just ONE of the reasons why I think that the choice should be the woman’s: she faces the consequences of her choice. The anti-abortion advocates don’t have any responsibility to that baby once its born.

    Reply
    • Now, there’s the wrench in my opinion. I agree with you that more should be done to help women – especially rape victims – who decide to not abort. Logically I understand why some women do it, and we were given free will after all. Abortion is such a touchy subject. I guess I should point out that one of the reasons I would never abort is because I know that my family would be there for me. I know my Mom and Dad would do everything in their power to help me out whatever my situation. So apart from life not going the way I might have wanted to, if I ever had an unplanned pregnancy and was left alone, I wouldn’t actually be alone and would not have to face it by myself. I realize there are many women out there that no they would be completely on their own and just can’t cope with everything plus a baby. I get it, I do. It wouldn’t be my choice, but I still get to make one. I guess the one consolation I have is that with my faith I believe that all children – because they are still innocent – go to heaven.

      I know my Mom has a big problem with the words religion and religious. She’s one of the most faithful people I know. Because just as you pointed out in your comment ‘religious’ people tend to drop the ball a lot. The thing is, a lot of those zealots are hiding behind ‘religion’ the way others hide behind other things. They know the letter of the law inside and out, but not the heart of it. They can recite the entire Bible, but wouldn’t stop to help a stranger in need (no good Samaritans among the religious zealots – maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement). I for one know very well that Christianity and religion in general has created a bad name for itself through the misdeeds of a few – or more than a few. There are a lot of ‘Christians’ who sometimes make me ashamed/embarrassed to belong to the same faith as them. I’m not saying that I’m totally steadfast and sure in my faith – I have a long road to travel and I have (or at least had) a lot of questions. I’m sure I’ve had many hypocritical moments in my life and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Do I do that on purpose? No way, but I’m not always on the ‘lookout’ so as to stop myself before it starts.

      Wow, this reply is almost a blog post in itself :S. Thank you for sharing your opinion with me. I’m really glad that you did. Even though I try not to be, at times I can be very narrow-minded and don’t always look at things from every angle. While what you said wouldn’t change my mind if I was in a position to have to make a choice, you’ve given me a very good example of why women should have a choice. I usually tend to shy away from the hard or ‘courageous’ posts because they are hard and I don’t always have good arguments to back up what I feel. It’s a big reason why I hate debating because most of my opinions are based on what I feel to be right, wrong, or whatever and not on facts. And when you can’t back something up with facts a lot of people won’t take you seriously. If I wasn’t so lazy I would search out facts, but I don’t.

      Reply

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