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Posts Tagged ‘vasectomy’

So, I am not just quoting a John Lennon song, but introducing the topic of my blog:  What if there was no hell?  My wife subscribes to Time magazine, and this was their cover story.  It is in regard to Rob Bell’s new book: ‘Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived’.  Now, full disclosure, I have not read the book, but I am a huge fan of Rob Bell.  Bell has a video on sex that might be the best discussion of God and sex that I have ever seen.  Although I have not read his newest book, I found the Time magazine article interesting.

In Bell’s book, according to Time magazine, he proposes the possibility that Jesus Christ died for everyone, both past and present and basically, a loving God would not condemn anyone to hell.  Rob Bell is an evangelical teacher and heads a church of

Not your typical pastor

about 7,000 and apparently his evangelical brethren went crazy at the mere thought of a lack of hell.  Now, I know that some of my readers are atheists, so the idea of no hell is not a difficult concept to swallow, but for many people it is unthinkable.  Why?  Well, if you grew up in the church as I did, the idea that there is no hell is just about as heresy as saying there is no heaven.  For many people, evangelism without hell is like physical trainers without fast food, they both would be out of a job.

I may have mentioned before, I am a Christian.  I am not perfect.  I have made many mistakes in my life, both big and small, but I must ask myself:  Would my beliefs change if I was convinced there was no hell?  My beliefs wouldn’t change at all, and I am not convinced they should, nor should evangelists around the globe.  It has been my experience that very few, if any, have converted to Christianity out of fear of hell.  I am not going to try to convince my readers that there is a hell, but I do believe that hell exists.  In my opinion, hell is where God is not.  Like Bell, I believe in a loving God, and in His love, I believe He will not force anyone to be with Him that does not want to be, and therefore, the existence of hell.

I believe in the redeeming power of Christ, both on Earth as well as after, but have a hard time believing that Ghandi is in hell. 

In hell? I dont think so.

Now, keep in mind, I am not a preacher.  I did not go to seminary, and simply put, I am no theologian, but I can read and I consider myself pretty smart.  Let me share with you two Bible verses that might indicate that things are not as simplistic as many people believe them to be (which is the heart of the problem: people want their beliefs and lives to be simple and certain, but to discuss this would require another blog).

In the book of Matthew, chapter 19 (23-24), Jesus tells his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

If you google this passage, you will find a variety of different interpretations, but I want to give my simple take on this passage: Not everyone is getting in to heaven because they may be unwilling to do the things necessary to enter heaven.  We could argue at length what those ‘things’ might be, but I think Jesus is talking about those that put their trust and beliefs in non-God items, like money.  Again, it is just my opinion.

The second passage from the Bible I would like to share is from Luke 23:38-43 where we learn of a conversation among Jesus and two criminals being killed on the cross:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The above passage from Luke would suggest that getting into heaven might be a little easier than that whole eye of the needle business.  The point I am trying to make is that many people are going to be surprised at who they see in heaven.  On the same token, many will be surprised at who is not in heaven.  One thing I am certain about, if there is a hell, I do not decide who will be there and who will not, and I am quite thankful for that.  As many churches remain stagnant or are losing members, churches like that of Bell are growing and doing well.  I don’t think churches should abandon their beliefs, as I believe Rob Bell is quite biblically sound, but I do think the church needs to have a more open door policy rather than behaving like an exclusive social club with dress code, passwords and secret handshakes.

At the end of the day, whether you are a believer in God, an atheist, or think we were planted here by aliens, isn’t it at least worth considering alternative ways of thinking?  If your beliefs can’t survive alternative ways of thinking; then do you really believe what you believe?  It’s something to think about.

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Last Friday, I got a vasectomy.  It went great, thanks for asking.  I was going to regale you with the details of the operation, including the moment I laughed out loud and the nurse asked what was wrong, but I might save that for another blog.  I do, however, want to tell you about the Dr.’s instructions I received for post-operation, specifically, the “Call immediately if you notice:” section.  I am to call the doctor if, my temp is above 100.6 (normal), unable to urinate (makes sense), drainage, redness or bruising greater than quarter-size at incision site (of course, standard warning signs), and swelling greater than softball size (WHAT!?!?!)

Did someone call the doctor after their testes swelled to the size of baseballs and get shunned?  “Sorry sir, baseball size is pretty normal.  We are very busy here at the doctor’s office.  Please don’t call unless they reach softball size.”  Who draws the line for when to see a doctor?  Three hour erection?  No problem.  Four hour erection, get to the hospital immediately.  Who drew this line?  I have had zero problems, but trust me; I was not going to wait beyond baseball size, or even tangerine, OK, plum size and that’s my final offer.  I’m just sayin …

My line.

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So, in approximately four hours, if all goes well, I will be infertile.  You might think that I am nervous, but I am not.  I am looking forward to never reproducing again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, I just wish I didn’t have so many of them.  It’s a subtle difference.  I love them, but they can drive me crazy.  There are three kids in the house, and I think it’s too much.  I think about my sister who has three kids and how she raised them by herself.  It is a wonder that she is still standing right now.  I have a friend with five kids.  You read that correctly, FIVE!  She seems happy too.  Go figure.  My sister-in-law has four kids and they all have allergies.  I am pretty sure I could take out their whole family with a peanut and a slice of bread.

I tell my students that it is a good thing that babies and kids are cute; otherwise their parents would have killed them a long time ago. 

At an early age my daughter was safe. So cute!

This may sound cruel, but is true.  If you are reading this and have kids, you know it to be true.  Kids are messy.  They do stupid things.  My son, Isaac has literally fallen down the steps head over heels three times.  He is so fast pace, he simply does not think before acting.  I am convinced he will have several broken bones before high school.  Kids are super needy.  They can’t feed themselves.  They don’t clean up after themselves and they are constantly asking for things.  Some of the young ones even poop and pee on themselves.  It is like having homeless people live in my house, except I am legally obligated to take care of them.  In four hours, I am done, and I figure I have about five more years before my daughter is independent.  Kids are independent around five or six, right?

Another fascinating aspect of my impending vasectomy is the reaction of my male friends.  It seems that every male of procreation age has at least thought about the procedure of a vasectomy.  It ranges from paralyzing fear to extreme misconceptions.  For example, I am confident that some people think my balls are going to be cut off.  Others think that the doctor is going to stick a big needle into my scrotum or worse, my penis.  Basically, the procedure is simple. 

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I actually described the procedure in detail, but decided most of you would not care about it as much as I do.  If you do care about the anatomy of the male reproductive system, but do not want to do a google search on ‘testicle’ or ‘penis’; trust me, you REALLY REALLY do not want to do a google search with those terms, just google image search ‘vas deferens’.  What you get will be safe.

So, wish me luck and safety.  The procedure is not the issue, it will be the recovery.  I hope I will not add to the horror stories that I have heard about from other members of the ‘firing blanks’ club.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t be happier about losing my only super power, the ability to create life.  Anybody can make babies, it is the raising them job part that is seriously underpaid.

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There is one thing I am nervous about, my 3-year-old son’s height.  He is the worse height for this procedure.  He likes to punch.  I may have to tie his arms behind his back.  I’m just sayin …

My best friend for the next couple of days.

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