Beit Gamaliel

The House of Gamaliel: The confluence of knowledge and faith.

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Whose Lives Matter?

On December 6, 1865, Congress passed the 13th amendment abolishing slavery in the United States. For nearly a century and a half, it has been illegal for anyone of any color to be enslaved within the boundaries of this great country. Since that time, black citizens have struggled to find equality in all aspects of American existence. But racial inequality has not been a priority in other parts of the world.

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Low-balling Life: What’s It Worth To Ya’?

Some time ago, I went to a flea market looking for a part for my Harley. I was looking for a very specific part that had slotted strips on the footpegs. I had gotten the originals in California and could not find a replacement after snapping off on a tight corner. After rummaging through a mound of junk, I finally discovered what I had been seeking. I didn’t hide my emotions well either. So when I asked the old gentleman tending the booth how much he wanted, he replied, “What’s it worth to ya’?”

This is a conundrum. I am in a flea market, so part of me thinks it should be $5. I had been searching for the part for months and had not come across anything close, and now I found exactly what I wanted. But it wasn’t a matching pair, and he certainly did not know that I only needed one. That fact is, I would have paid up to $150 for that part. But instead low-balled him and replied, “Not more than $10!”. “Well then, you got yourself a deal,” he responded.

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What’s God Got to Do With It?

Pastor Rich Villodas posted  this to Twitter:

Many are wondering whether God brought COVID on Trump. I actually think God had nothing to do with it. The President has routinely disregarded the guidance recommended by public health experts. As a pastor, I say, leave God out of this. It’s dangerous theology to believe that God is the reason someone suffers—especially when that person is regarded as our enemy. *Sometimes* our suffering is a result of our doing. Plain and simple.

https://twitter.com/richvillodas

Today’s “pastors” are more life coaches than theologians. Notice Rich adds credibility to his statement by adding, “As a pastor….” Ironically, no scriptures are used here, either.

This isn’t surprising in today’s culture. We want to choose our own destiny. We want the power to captain our own ship. So what does God have to do with anything? Or should we take the advice of this spiritual giant, and just “leave God out of this?”

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Evolution and the Problem of Self-Awareness

In Florida, there is an invasive species of toad that plagues the land every summer. The cane toad, also known as the bufo toad, is a poisonous amphibian that, when provoked, can produce a milky white toxin on its back. The poison produced by the toad is fatal for dogs, which unwittingly lick the toad.

What happens to a species that meanders down the road of evolutionary transformation, only to find in the end that they made a wrong turn about 50 billion years back? It seems that this is the story of the toad. Fat, clumsy, ugly, and slow, the toad is an example of evolution gone wrong.

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