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20150721

Love One Another: Being Nonjudgmental and Accepting of Other Faiths

In this article I begin by examining Jesus' commandment against judging others, thus demonstrating the folly of condemning others due to an exception of one of the Commandments of God.

For it is our love for one another as Christians who help each other realize the value of being nonjudgmental and accepting of other faiths.


In Matthew 7:1-3, Matthew, one of the followers of Jesus, wrote:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

These verses advise us to be nonjudgmental since we each see life from our own point of view, and rarely see it from another person's view point. Yet, through compassion and love for others, it is possible to see the whole picture by simply listening to their story about their lives.

In John 8:1-11 is the story of the adulteress. A woman is accused by scribes and Pharisees of adultery, but Jesus told them "he who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." After realizing their consciences were not clear, all of the men left, until just Jesus and the woman remained. He asked if any of her accusers remained to condemn her, which she replied "No man, Lord." In response, he said "Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more."

This quote tells us not to condemn others. With the verses in Matthew 7 and John 8, Jesus' commands are clear: judge no one, not even yourself and condemn no one of a sin.

By condemning that woman, the scribes and Pharisees will have committed the sin of murder despite their exception to God's commandment of it.

Only a person who is innocent of all sin may judge others, yet few of us are of such innocence. Yet, by repenting of a sin, we are ready to learn from the act of repentance to refrain from sinning again.

What Jesus commands is that a god-fearing man ought to refrain from judging others lest they condemn someone and commit a greater sin of false accusation (lying about another person's character or conduct).

In response to sin, Jesus commanded "that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that he love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34)

By loving one another, and remaining nonjudgmental, we as Christians refrain from condemning other people. In the process, the Christian becomes more accepting of others because of her love and respect for both herself and other people.

When it comes time to share your faith with others, it is wise to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:6:

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

In other words, share what is sacred only with people of like mind. For they alone will respect your faith and how you worship.

Be not foolish and preach to anyone who has shown that they refuse to respect your faith, lest they point out the differences between their faith and yours disrespectfully until the both of you commit littles sins in defending your respective faiths.

Instead only share the truth of your faith, be it doctrine or otherwise, using scripture with fellow members of your faith.

Thus, it is wise to agree with your fellow Christians of other faiths on the basic principles of the Christ-centered life: love one another - even your enemies - and judge no one (Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 22:37-40).

20150716

Jesus Said Love Your Enemies and One Another

Jesus said:
Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you,
and when they shall separate you
from their company, and shall reproach you,
and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy:
for, behold, your reward is great in heaven:
for in the like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
- Luke 6:20-24

He who loves money as much as he does God, yet persecutes his brothers and sisters of God for common law sins, he is yet a hypocrite that violates the two commandments of the Christ Jesus that ye love one another and that ye love your enemies, keeping them safe from harm.

Woe to those hypocrites that amass riches and hate their brothers and sisters whose only sin is to share their love in a strange manner, and are deprived of equality in marriage, promoting it as though matrimony is godly when it was assimilated from the Romans.

For the love of money truly is the root of all evil, more so than all sexual sins. Indeed, a miser - despite claims to love God - loves money more than the Christ himself, and clings in vain to it rather than giving it away out of charity. Though they may be rich in the flesh, the rich are poor in spirit by choosing filthy lucre over holiness.

What good is the bliss of the wealthy when in such ignorance, gold is more precious than the mercy of God?

It said by the Only-Begotten to love your enemies and to clothe and feed them, yet hate not the sinner whose sins you use to discriminate just because that sinner holds liberty of greater value than conformity.

For the love of money is a much worse sin than loving strange bedfellows, and likewise the hatred of one's fellow humankind because they are not of your tribe or considered less than you and your tribe is equally much worse than they who you hate.

It is better to hate the sin than to hate the sinner. Indeed, it is better to love the sinner and to condone the sin, save the sin of forgetting God (apostasy).

They who love God yet amass wealth to benefit only their tribe are no better than Pharisee or Sadducee alike. In the spirit of loving one another, the Christ urges us to share our wealth, both material and spiritual, with those of us less fortunate, regardless of whether they are Christian, Jew, Muslim, or apostate.

We need less of spiritual warfare against the devil and more spiritual welfare for people in poverty, both physical and spiritual. We need less hatred against the sinner and more love for the sinner, for none of us are perfect, not even the chosen ones.

Even if a sinner is not one of us - neither is he one of them - Jesus would ask of us to be humble and be charitous not only to the children of Abraham but also to the Gentiles whose sinful ways we dare not consider out of respect to God.

Hatred has no place at all in any faith. For loving-kindness is the fruit of the Christ's command to love one another and especially, to love your enemies.

20150715

The Folly of Offering a Spiritual Cure for Addiction

Last night at work, I spotted members of the local church holding an addiction seminar at the recreation center.

This church offers the cure of Jesus Christ for addictions.

Sadly they brought pamphlets, which would lead to pollution so I threw the four that I found in the nearest garbage can.

IMHO the cure for addiction is to be of service to other people. Even keeping the earth green is a higher calling. Yet a religious organization that is not eco-friendly is not keeping the earth that God created clean.

That these church members don't get this shows that their cure is merely a substitution of a deadly addiction with godliness and its potential to be abused.

All the paper pollution that these ex-addicts left behind show that they are the road to a spiritual addiction which will blind them to true service to their fellow mankind.

For godly people are sorely tempted to consider themselves better than a sinner who abases himself by praying meekly, "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner."

20150713

Honor Thy Mother

Recently I have been fighting with my mother. After a long prayer about the situation in my personal life, I have come to realize that the only way to deal with her is to tell her "I love you" regardless if what she says or does.

For Jesus said "love one another", and this applies especially to the commandment to honor my parents. Jesus also said "love your enemies" and dedicate yourself to their welfare. Yet my greatest enemy is always my selfish desires.

Even though I may mistake my mother for my enemy, the only true enemy is self-will.

So from this day forward I shall try to transform my selfishness into the selflessness as I listen to my mother in respectful silence.

Indeed, Love is the only response to a mother who misuses the commandment to "honor thy father and mother." For this is too the commandment of the Christ: to honor my mother by responding with love to anything she says or does.

All that I am capable of doing is to respond in a loving and compassionate manner, regardless of her behavior. For love conquers all, and my actions from this day forward shall reflect my determination to practice what I preach.

So shall I dedicate myself to honor my mother in a gentle and kind manner for the sake of our family.

The Light Outside of the Bushel

In Christianity Jesus is sometimes called the Light of Christendom. Similarly Amida Buddha is the Light of Buddhism wisdom.

Just as Jesus is the Light of the West, so too is Amida Buddha the light of the East. Though it is said that east is east, and west is west, but never in between do they meet, solely in the name of religious pluralism do I find that both Amida and the Christ symbolize the divine in the East and in the West, respectively.

Figuratively speaking, the Light of the West shines brightly in my heart while the Light of the East shines within the bushel of my life before being born again as a Mormon.

And in my heart, I am made whole as a spiritual being due to my faith in Jesus, and my subtle reverence for Amida. This is not a case of serving two masters but the affirmation of the spirit of religious pluralism.

For I serve only the Light, and have a deep spiritual connexion both with the East and the West, due to being born Japanese in Canada.

20150707

A Tale of Two LANs (satire)

It was the best of LANs, both wireless and wired, on my EPC1000HE but the speed test results were text, and not easily viewed from here. So I looked for the statistics as an image file and found them.

Here they are, simply placed with iamges and links to the statistics for both LANs.

Wireless LAN test results (asDSL WiFi):

Wireless LAN test results (access point):

LAN test results:


It appears that the wireless LAN is faster than the wired LAN, overall. You might think the download speed is a factor in determining speed but it is the ping of 22 milliseconds that indicates that WiFi is faster than a wired connexion.

Indeed, it helps too that the access point and aDSL modem/router are nearby, within 3 feet of my netbook.

My only pet peeve is Firefox makes the Adobe Flash Speedtest app by OOKLA flicker during each test.

However, this and the lofting of Chrome browser led to use of Firefox instead. Because it isn't Speedtest, I am only mentioning it to admit that this EPC1000He with 2GB RAM and an ATOM 270/280 CPU can't handle Chrome.

For advanced Linux users:

Regarding hardware, the Atheros 9280 lan/wlan PCI-E half-size card, sourced by AzureWave Technologies for Qualcom, has its 5G channel disabled in Linux. This is due to the driver, ath9k.

Here's a look at dmesg with grep looking for the string "9280":
$ dmesg|grep -i 9280
[ 13.197541] ieee80211 phy0: Atheros AR9280 Rev:2 mem=0xf8520000, irq=19

20150705

Why I Don't Have Issue With the Same-Sex Marriage Decision in America

As a Mormon, I would like to say that Jesus commanded us to love one another; he also told us who are Christian to love our enemies. In short, Christendom ought to be loving toward the LGBT community on this decision, because the State has ruled for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender People.

Thus any hatred against the LGBT is a bigger moral sin than homosexuality itself. If a gay couple is harmed because of this decision and it is found that a Christian did it, then he is anathema to Christendom, because he violated Jesus' commandment to love one another.

However, this is merely my opinion and it is mine to maintain and treasure. While everyone quibbles about the black and white aspects of this decision, my respect for the LGBT community is colored like the rainbow.

20150622

Yemen: Saudi-led Attack an Ideological Debacle

"These constant reports that the Houthis are working for the Iranians are nonsense, but the view is right out of the neocon playbook. The Israelis have been touting this line that we lost Yemen to Iran. That’s absurd. The Houthis don’t need Iranian weapons. They have plenty of their own. And they don’t require military training. They’ve been fighting Al-Qaeda since at least 2012, and they’ve been winning. Why are we fighting a movement that’s fighting Al-Qaeda?” — Michael Horton, Yemen expert

Since March of 2015, Saudi Arabia and its allies have been bombing Houthi forces in Yemen. Their intent was to reinstall a democratically elected President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.

However, the idea was bad from the beginning and despite supplying logistics and intelligence, the US was not an active player in the 9-state Arab coalition.

Overall, the consensus is that the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have killed mostly women and children. Political interference from Saudi Arabia has led to the failed Geneva peace talks, recently concluded on June 19, 2015.

However, the important thing to remember is that the US only provides logistics and intelligence to the coalition of 9 Arab states involved in one of the biggest humanitarian crises since the mainstream media labeled the 2011 Libya Civil War a humanitarian crisis.

Libya gives us an idea of the aftermath of that foreign policy. However it is a unique situation and different from the situation in Syria and Yemen, both of which have the perceived ideological threat of Iran and Hezbollah to Saudi Arabian government hegemony.

Yet the situation in Syria is different from Libya because the Assad government is also perceived as an economic threat. Four years after Arab Spring, Syria still has a functioning government.

According to what I have read online about the Yemen attack, the Saudi-led coalition attacked Yemen while implementing Riyadh's foreign policy in the Middle East. Its strategy is to attack a perceived threat, and to let other nations handle the fallout once the enemy turns out to be a formidable opponent.

Meanwhile it continues a propaganda campaign against the enemy and sends in militants loyal to Riyadh to terrorize the threat. When peace talks occur, the Saudi Arabian government will use its influence to frustrate a peace deal.

However, no foreign policy analyst or diplomat in the West is buying the idea that Iran and Hezbollah are as equal a threat as the Islamic State.

Here are recent events of note for June 2015:

According to a news report from Tehran as of June 9, 2015, Saudi Arabia is deploying pro Hadi extremists near border areas with Yemen. These extremists are purportedly in the guise of Bahraini soldiers. Additionally, the Saudi government is bribing Najran sheikhs to dissuade support for Yemeni forces.

On June 14, the Tehran source cites a UAE news website that Saudi Arabia is facing few options in Yemen which shall force them to accept Ansarullah's rule over Sana'a, the capitol of Yemen. Ansarullah is the Shiite movement which overthrew the Saudi-backed Yemen government of President Hadi, who was ousted out of power back in January 2015.

Recently on June 19, Press TV reported that Yemen's Ansarullah — aka the Houthis — said that its demands were not met in Geneva peace talks, due to interference by Saudi Arabia.

What good is peace talks when Saudi Arabia runs interference to prevent Ansarullah from getting what it wants from the peace deal, all because it fears Iran's influence in Yemen? Yet it is doubtful that Iran is in Yemen.

As well, the IRIB French Radio reported on June 19 that Iran and Russia advocate the immediate end of attacks against Yemen.

Both Russia and Iran support the Geneva peace talks on Yemen, and demand the military attacks end immediately so that the ceasefire may be established to enable sending humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Timeline on the 2014-2015 Yemeni Coup D'état (based on mainstream media reports, via wikipedia)

Back in January 2015, the Houthis, a Shi'ite Muslim minority group, had radicalized to the point where they ousted the Saudi-backed Yemen government of President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. At that point, the US government was still in talks with them.

After the situation deteriorated further, Saudi Arabia decided to launch an attack on Yemen.

When the Al Saud attack on Yemen to bring Hadi back to power began in March 2015, the US provided logistics and intelligence to the coalition of Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan).

That coalition was deployed to prevent Yemen from becoming a Shi'a dominated state. This problem started back in September 2004 when Saudi feared that the Shi'a Muslim Houthi movement could become a problem in Yemen and used force to assassinate its leader, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

Originally al-Houthi was a member of the Yemeni Zaydi political party Al-Haqq (The Truth). After the party supported South Yemen separatism, they were targeted by the Yemeni government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally of Iraq's Saddam Hussein. In response, the al-Houthi family (al-Houthi, his father Badr al-Din Tabatabai, and his younger brother Abd al-Malik) fled Yemen, first to Syria, and eventually settled in Qom, Iran. Reportedly al-Houthi formed a relationship with Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, and Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader.

In the 1990s Hussein established the Believing Youth (BY) movement to promote a Zaidi revival in Saada to counter the dominance by Saudi-backed Yemeni regime since unification. Originally the BY movement was a moderate theological movement which preached tolerance with a broad-minded view of Yemeni people. After 1995, over 17,500 students had attended BY summer camps, which included lectures by Lebanese Shiite scholar Mohammed Hussein Fadhlallah and Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Lebanon's Hezbollah Party.

Then 911 happened.

As a result of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Ansarullah was radicalized by the influence of Hussein al-Houthi. Youths affiliated with Believing Youth chanted anti-American and anti-Jewish slogans in the Saleh Mosque in the Yemen capitol city of Sana'a after Friday Prayers. This attracted the attention of the Yemeni authorities who were worried of the extent of the al-Houthi movement's influence.

So they arrested 800 BY supporters in Sana'a in 2004. Then Yemen President Saleh issued an invitation to Hussein al-Houthi to a meeting in the capitol which Hussein declined. In response, Saleh ordered Hussein's arrest in June 2004. This resulted in an anti-government insurgency by al-Houthi, which led to his death in September 2004.

Most of the insurgency was over by 2010 when both the Houthis and the Yemen government agreed to a cease-fire. Arab Spring in 2011 led to the 2011 Yemeni Revolution and the ensuing National Dialogue Conference, both of which Houthis were a participant. Yet their rejection of the provisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council deal meant that the revolution was not over.

Meanwhile, President Saleh is deposed in 2011 and his Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is made President in 2012.

By May 2012 the Houthis control most of Saada, Al Jawf and Hajjah governates, and have also gained access to the Red Sea. By the end of 2014 they control most of Sana'a and other towns such as Rada'. In response, a strong challenge for control of the region is made by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

At this point it is apparent that Iran was giving aid to the Houthis and that Saudi Arabia was aiding various militant groups such as AQAP and Islamic State.

In January 2015 the Houthis seized the presidential palace in Sana'a. During this takeover, President Hadi was present in the palace but left unharmed. By February, the Houthi Revolutionary Committee dissolved parliament and declared itself the acting authority in Yemen.

In retaliation, March 2015 saw the al-Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques come under suicide attack during midday prayers by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (now Islamic State).

On March 25, 2015 Saudi Arabia and a coalition of nine Arab states begin airstrikes in neighbouring Yemen.

Finally on April 21, 2015, the operation is declared over. However, the aftermath is still ongoing.

Behind the scenes, it turns out that former President Saleh is working as one of the leaders of the Yemeni coup d-etat led by the Shi'a Muslim Houthi militants. Tribesmen and government forces aligned with Saleh have allied with the Houthis.

Saudi Arabian diplomats failed to persuade Russia to abandon its support for the Assad government in Syria, and Riyadh is now containing a potential media fallout over its exposure.

References:

Background on Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention_in_Yemen
Background on Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemen
Background on Ansarullah aka Houthis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houthis
Background on al-Houthi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussein_Badreddin_al-Houthi
Background on Saleh: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Abdullah_Saleh
Background on Hadi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_Rabbuh_Mansur_Hadi
Background on South Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Yemen
Background on North Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Yemen
Background on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_the_Arabian_Peninsula
Background on ISIS/ISIL/IS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

US generals: Saudi intervention in Yemen ‘a bad idea’: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

The Huthis: from Saada to Sana'a: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/iraq-iran-gulf/yemen/154-the-huthis-from-saada-to-sanaa.aspx

Pentagon: US officials in communication with Yemen’s Houthis: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/americas/16668-pentagon-us-officials-in-communication-with-yemens-houthis

U.S. Backs Saudi-Led Yemeni Bombing With Logistics, Spying: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-26/yemeni-bombing-led-by-saudis-is-backed-by-u-s-logistics-spying

Saudi Arabia is deploying pro Hadi extremists near border areas with Yemen: https://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/riyadh-deploys-pro-hadi-extremists-near-border-areas-in-guise-of-bahraini-soldiers-saudi-govt-bribing-najran-sheikhs-to-dissuade-support-for-yemeni-forces/

UAE Website: S. Arabia Facing Few Options in Yemen Forced to Accept Ansarullah: https://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/uae-website-s-arabia-facing-few-options-in-yemen-forced-to-accept-ansarullah/

Yemen's Ansarullah says its demands not met in Geneva peace talks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0_833cJBlE

Yemen’s Ansarullah, Political Factions: Saudi Derailed Geneva Peace Talks
http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid

Iran and Russia advocate the immediate cessation of attacks against Yemen (French):
http://french.irib.ir/info/moyen-orient/item/373318-l%E2%80%99iran-et-la-russie-pr%C3%B4nent-l%E2%80%99arr%C3%AAt-imm%C3%A9diat-des-attaques-contre-le-y%C3%A9men

Deprived of Checkbook Diplomacy in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia Flounders:
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/06/26/deprived-of-checkbook-diplomacy-in-yemen-and-syria-saudi-arabia-flounders/