Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shoplifting by poor OK

I read a story in the Denver Post today where an Anglican priest in England said it is okay for the poor to shoplift. Click here for the story.

The Rev. Tim Jones in a sermon to his congregation said, “it is sometimes acceptable for desperate people to shoplift something they really need — as long as they do it at large national chain stores, rather than small, family businesses.”

How considerate that he makes the distinction between large faceless corporations and someone you may know. I wonder how his ethical system comes up with that difference.

Here is a guy who is supposed to represent God and Bible but his feelings and ignorance get in the way.

My thoughts went to Proverbs 6:30-31: People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. We may feel sorry for this person but stealing is still wrong and they will have to face the consequences.

The same ignorance can strike us if we fail to filter our thoughts by what the Bible says. We may know just enough to make us dangerous. Thoughts like, “how could a God of love send anyone to hell” or “divorce is an acceptable option because you are in a difficult marriage” or “it’s okay to steal some items from work because they don’t pay me enough”. The list is endless of ways we “soften” God’s word because it doesn’t apply in our situation or times have changed since it was written or it will make unbelievers think we are too harsh and out of touch.

Proverbs 12:10 says, the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Their good intentions end up causing harm to the ones they want to help.

If Tim Jones was a man of God he would instruct his congregation to walk with and trust God. Matthew 6:33 says: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (food, clothing and shelter) will be added to you. God doesn’t need sins help to provide for His people.

On the other hand, some people are just lazy or are making life choices that leave them needy. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. That hunger may motivate him to work if some well meaning person or politician doesn’t step in. True compassion sometimes requires us to take a step back and let God work.


Friday, December 11, 2009

If I Really Cared

I share this as an aspiration. It's not true in my life...yet.

Poem by Ruth Senter

I’d look you in the eyes when you talk to me;
I’d think about what you’re saying rather than what I’m going to say next;
I’d hear your feelings as well as your words.

If I really cared . . .
I’d listen without defending;
I’d hear without deciding whether you’re right or wrong;
I’d ask you why, not just how and when and where.

If I really cared . . .
I’d allow you inside of me;
I’d tell you my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my hurts;
I’d tell you where I’ve blown it and when I’ve made it.

If I really cared . . .
I’d laugh with you but not at you;
I’d talk with you and not to you;
And I’d know when it’s time to do neither.

If I really cared . . .
I wouldn’t climb over your walls;
I’d hang around until you let me in the gate.
I wouldn’t unlock your secrets;
I’d wait until you handed me the key.

If I really cared . . .
I’d love you anyhow;
But I’d ask for the best that you can give
And gently draw it from you.

If I really cared . . .
I’d put my scripts away,
And leave my solutions at home.
The performances would end.
We’d be ourselves.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I live in Colorado where Medical Marijuana Dispensaries are the fastest growing business in the state. A constitutional amendment in 2000 allowed certain people to use marijuana for eight specific conditions. The image used during the campaign was a cancer patient who may be given relief by marijuana. Another condition was chronic pain. It seems there are an incredible amount of twenty-some-year-olds who are suffering chronic pain. A quick trip to a pot doc, some money paid and they are “legal”.

Marijuana is still illegal on the Federal level. Recently the Obama gang announced that the Federal government would no longer enforce the law in states where there are medical marijuana laws. As a result we have a new growth industry and most of the clients are not really suffering from one of the eight medical conditions. Wink, wink, “stoner come get your pot.”

Another concern is who is supplying all of the dispensaries with the pot? My guess is that the illegal drug cartels have found new customers in these shops.

I’ve had a lot of personal experience in the use and effect of marijuana. I was around fourteen years old when I tried it for the first time. I fell in love but for two years, my use was limited by availability. At around sixteen, I used it more and within a year was smoking every day, all day. I was also selling so I had unlimited availability and some cash as well. This continued until I became a Christian at eighteen.

As I look back, I see two major problems with marijuana: it makes you stupid and lazy. You can even see that in movies that are sympathetic to pot use. The characterization is usually the goofy mess-up.

When I was smoking daily, that is all I cared about. My day was centered on pot. I had zero ambition concerning anything else. I had money and I had dope, that is all that mattered. My friend and I had great plans for the future but neither of us did anything to make it happen. The only constant was making sure the next pound was bought and that enough customers were serviced to keep the cycle going.

I came across some studies recently that cast an even darker light on pot use. It seems that the studies are showing that regular pot use can lead to psychosis. I’m going to give some quotes. If you are interested further you can look up the cites for more info.

Does Cannabis Cause Schizophrenia?

A meta-analysis suggests that cannabis use is associated with a 40% increased risk of psychosis in later life.

The risk for psychotic outcomes (defined as a range, with schizophrenia as the most severe manifestation) was higher in individuals who had ever used cannabis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.41) than in those who had not. A dose-response effect was observed, with increased risk in people who used cannabis most frequently (OR, 2.09).

— Leslie L. Iversen, PhD

Dr. Iversen is Visiting Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford.

Published in Journal Watch Neurology November 27, 2007

Cannabis and Psychosis: Two Studies

Evidence for the association is consistent across population-based studies, and cannabis use is associated with later worsening of psychosis.

Comment: Clearly, cannabis use is associated with heightened risk for onset or worsening of psychotic symptoms. Degenhardt et al. point out that their study showed only a small increase in psychotic symptoms in people with psychotic disorders and daily cannabis use. However, cannabis use is a modifiable risk factor and is associated with increased rates of use of other illicit drugs, which may also worsen psychosis. The evidence seems sufficient to justify warning people of cannabis-associated risks and to try to minimize its use by patients with psychotic disorders.

— Deborah S. Cowley, MD

Published in Journal Watch Psychiatry September 17, 2007
As I look at these studies and my personal experience, I have many reasons to oppose loosening the reigns on marijuana use. However, I don’t think any of it would mean anything to someone who wants to get high. They are in a different world. I know; I have been there.