Choose Your Train (You Must)

Recently I heard the track “Dark Passenger” by the group Fozzy. It starts off with:

Jesus is my co-pilot
Or that’s just what they say
But it’s not the Savior
Who guides me every day

Although the lyrics are a bit ambiguous, and it almost sounds like the anti-hero of the song wants to repent, you know it is the Devil who is guiding the tune’s subject every day.

Fozzy’s song brought another train one to mind (for some reason, when I hear the word “passenger” I think of trains…I give credit to my train-loving 6 year-old :-)). Curtis Mayfield wrote this classic (“People Get Ready”), which begins with:

People get ready, there’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
on’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

And…as my mind continued it’s odd way of traveling down the tracks…”Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne was next in line. It’s initial verses are:

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train

So…based on how they all start…which train would you like to ride?

But my brain didn’t stop there. It seemed to me that those three songs, in a slightly different order, also mimicked the choices C.S. Lewis wrote about who Jesus is in Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Jesus is either part of the Crazy Train, is a Dark Passenger, or He is Lord. What say you?

And…as Lewis says…”You must make your choice.”

(Not choosing is a choice against “Lord”…)

Now, in case you are interested (and understanding that YouTube links don’t always remain working), here are the three songs that inspired this post in the order they were mentioned: Continue reading Choose Your Train (You Must)

Normative Versus Descriptive

Oriental womanAs I continue my blessed journey through all 66 books in the Bible, I ran into what I thought could be a humorous example of why you want to make sure whether what you are reading is normative or descriptive.

What is normative? Per my Mac’s dictionary:

normative |ˈnôrmətiv|
adjective formal
establishing, relating to, or deriving from a standard or norm, esp. of behavior: negative sanctions to enforce normative behavior.

How about descriptive? Same dictionary:

descriptive |diˈskriptiv|

2 describing or classifying without expressing feelings or judging.

The Bible is literature in many forms (e.g. poetry, narrative); sometimes its message is telling us what to do (normative)…and sometimes it’s just describing what someone did (descriptive).  (Normative versus descriptive or prescriptive versus descriptive.)

Keeping that in mind, can you imagine how putting this in the wrong category would lead to a heap ‘o trouble?: 🙂

When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.” So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.

When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher (Genesis 30:1-13, English Standard Version).

If those verses are normative, then “barren” women should furnish someone (preferably cute) to provide children in their place, right? (Somehow I can’t imagine my wife Michelle buying that.) The Bible is just describing Rachel, Jacob, Bilhah, Leah, and Zilpah’s behavior…it is not telling us to emulate it. For that matter, we aren’t even supposed to follow their example by recreating the original polygamous state (Jacob having both Leah and Rachel as wives).

But, I will admit, I did think of having a little fun with Michelle and suggesting that if she was a Bible-believing woman she should…err…

It would have been worth the well-deserved slap. 🙂

P.S. Bonus video…Tim Hawkin’s “Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife”:

Continue reading Normative Versus Descriptive

“Local Church Full Of Brainwashed Idiots Feeds Town’s Poor Every Week”

the ONION logoOkay, you probably won’t find a whole bunch of the ONION articles linked on Traditores…and I’m not big on snarky…but this is hilarious. It is so short I can’t excerpt much, but it starts off:

MACON, GA—Sources confirmed today that the brainwashed morons at First Baptist Assembly of Christ, all of whom blindly accept whatever simplistic fairy tales are fed to them, volunteer each Wednesday night to provide meals to impoverished members of the community.

And it continues in that vein… 🙂

As a bonus, here is my favorite the ONION video (perhaps even my favorite YouTube one):


Hat tip for the ONION article to Ace of Spades HQ.

Evolution Vs. God

I think every Christian, well at least every one who speaks English :-), should see this video.

I am usually not impressed when Christian ministries claim they have disproven some secular view (or have proven some supernatural one). They are "preaching to the choir" with me, but that doesn't mean their arguments don't usually have gaping holes.

And, I am not going to claim that this video disproves evolution, but it does a great job of showing that a belief in evolution requires faith (and that means it does not meet scientific rigor). Kudos to Living Waters.


Please take time visit the Evolution vs. God site.

P.S. Of course, just because evolution requires faith does not mean it is false. Otherwise, Christianity would be false too. 🙂

My Favorite Song in 2012

The year is not over, but it’ll take a lot to knock this song off the top of my list of favorite songs for 2012:


Thank you TobyMac, Lecrea, & Nirva Ready…and especially to God for giving them the talent and me the forgiveness…

UPDATE: Proof that it's a great song. Augie asked for space so he could sneak in and watch the lyric video over-and-over with dad:

Augie and dad listening to TobyMac and Lecrae

Luther Plays “Amen” & “This Little Light of Mine”

Nothin&#39 better than an awesome artist (and great human being) singing a Christian song. I take that back, singing two Christian songs is better! 🙂

This is Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson playing at the Antrim Home & Harvest Festival.


A bonus non-Christian song by Luther: Continue reading Luther Plays “Amen” & “This Little Light of Mine”