One man's view of theology, sports, politics, and whatever else in life that happens to interest me. A little bit about me.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How Cults are Born

This is something I wrote about three years ago. I have a few of these lying around. I will let you know when I post something that I haven't written about recently.

I try to stay out of theological debates, especially with people I don't trust. I don't feel like it's worth losing a friendship over, and I need all the friends I can get. But in the few I have been involved in, a tactic that comes up too frequently is when a person plays what he or she may think is the ultimate trump card: "No one who reads the Bible by itself would come to your conclusion." This seems to be a valid argument, but when you examine this argument more closely, it reveals a frightening lack of concern for the truth of the Christian faith.

We have a word for people who read the Bible for themselves without any guidance or help from other sources: cult leaders. Every aberrant religious system or idea since the time of the apostles has been the result of one thing: one person (or small group of people) reading the Bible for themselves. They "find" something no one else has come across, and they run with it. They do not heed the warnings of their elders or other faithful church leaders who try to correct them. They view themselves as being persecuted if they are put out of the church. This doesn't happen in every case, of course; sometimes egregious error is embraced immediately by a congregation or even denominations.

Our Christian faith was designed by God to be passed down from person to person. Ephesians 2:19-22 reminds us that we as Christ's body are a building built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Those who try to start a new building somewhere else are disobeying God's plan.

Of course we as believers have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, and a major part of His work in our lives is to guide us in the truth. I am not denying that. But many times our sinful minds get ahead of God, and we may feel like God is leading us a certain way, when in fact it may be the opposite. We must always be accountable to our fellow believers and elders, and we should actively work to hold our fellow believers and elders accountable, as the Berean believers did in Acts 17:10-12.

Is it possible to create false doctrine "straight from the Bible?" Peter seems to think so. He gives his readers a solemn warning in 2 Peter 3:15-16. As he closes his epistle, he reminds his readers to remain true to the faith "as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures." 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Blue and Brown World

This weekend is the first weekend of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, colloquially known as "March Madness." The first weekend is one of the most compelling events in all of sports: 48 games, all around the country, over the course of 4 days. There are upsets, near-upsets, and millions of people follow it all with their brackets predictions in hand. Great stuff.

I have to admit I don't follow it like I used to. Maybe it's just because I'm getting old and I remember all those previous years' tournaments and they all seem the same. Maybe it's because I'm married and now my definition of "must-see TV" has changed. 

One of the reasons for me that the tournament is not as interesting as it used to be is the generic floor with the giant blue NCAA logo in the middle they install in every venue. I remember when I was a kid one of my favorite parts of the tournament was to see the different floor designs in the various arenas. You could tell where the game was and who was playing just by looking at the floor and your tournament bracket. These days you can't tell where the game is until the camera pans all the way to the left baseline and you see the city's name printed. 

In addition to being boring, think of how expensive that is. Not sure exactly how much a new basketball floor costs, but I'm sure it's not cheap. And the floor can't really be used for anything else, unless you re-paint it after the games are over. 

Basketball arenas are kind of nondescript, especially on the inside. They're not like football stadiums or especially baseball parks, where individuality is part of the game. The floor is the only distinctive element in the building. Would it make any difference in the quality of play? No, of course not. But it would make it more interesting on TV, and let's face it: that's what the tournament is all about anyway. Plenty of arenas across the country have unique floors, and I think the NCAA should showcase them rather than keeping them in pieces in a closet while they roll out a boring brown and blue thing.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Real About Me

You won't learn much about me by clicking on my Google+ page, so here's the real deal (or at least the real deal I want you to know):

Darren R. McFadden was born and raised in Piedmont, Mo., and who now lives in Decatur, Ala., with his lovely wife Beth Anne. He is a former teacher and newspaper reporter who now just meanders through life, trying to keep out of trouble in the real world but maybe creating a little in his meager corner of cyberspace, enduring his legacy as the never-challenged leader of the mutiny of preverts, hence the name of the blog. You will find a variety of posts on here. I write about what interests me, and my interests vary widely.

I will try to be honest about what I think, but every once in a while I might just post something totally off the wall that I don't really believe, just trying to get a reaction. So don't take everything you read here too seriously. This is especially true if you plan to comment. Please understand that only I can be held responsible for what is written here. Nothing I write reflects the opinions or beliefs of my family, my church, my employers (past or present) or my friends, so please don't go to them if you find something you don't like on here.