Friday, July 15, 2011

confusion, part four

To recap, in part one I started the post with this:
“'For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.'
Working from the premise that deception is a product of confusion about truth, this passage foretells of a great confusion in the world; a confusion that not even the elect would escape save for the supernatural hand of God"

The forth "confusion" I would like to profile comes from more clandestine measures. Such measures make them more dangerous because of the difficulty in detecting the poison that they spread. This confusion comes from assemblies that are on the surface, and in statement, doctrinally sound. On the inside however they have become increasingly ashamed or afraid of doctrine in practice. They have succumbed to the fear of man, and the fear of division, and though they have not perpetrated the lie that truth is unknowable, they have placated the lie by simply avoiding the discussion altogether. These assemblies have chosen instead to focus on man or US, how God is interested in US, how God wants to know US, and bless US, and how WE are important to God. Now while this is true, and it isn't entirely doctrinally unsound, it misses the more important point that these things are not true because of anything we bring to the table. Rather, they are true because of the glory it brings to God. And there is a huge difference. In these assemblies there is a very real feeling that we are redeemed of God because it was the just and right thing for God to do. Such thinking brings about a hideous confusion because it is so close to the truth but veers quietly away from our true state at the last minute. That it is not readily obvious that confusion has even entered the mind and our midst makes this confusion especially dangerous.

Furthermore, this confusion is supported and masked by the comfort of our emotions. These assemblies are very concerned about feelings: good feelings about God trumps the truth about God, and good feelings about ourselves trumps the truth about ourselves. The leaders of these assemblies bend over backward to make God "likable" within the confines of the vain thinking of this age and in so doing confuse many about the Gospel and lead many astray.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Confusion, part three

Below is another thought pattern that brings about confusion. These contemporary patterns make their way ever closer to what is generally consider traditional "Church", and are born out of a desire to make Church more palatable to the masses. This pattern seeks Unity. Now while unity is laudable, it becomes an ugly thing when truth is sacrificed in order to bring it about. We must know that hiding truth leads to confusion.

In more severe cases the quest for unity has given way to a new theology known as "Emergent" theology. The churches that subscribe to this theology appear to have given themselves over wholly to unity, even at the expense of truth. Much of this fact is hidden due to the redefining of words. This can be especially seen in the redefining of Jesus. The real Jesus is exchanged for a symbolic Jesus upon which pet causes such as environmentalism, social justice, and self, can be placed. These causes are then elevated above the actual object of God's love for whom he gave his life on the cross to save: Man.

Except for the use of the same Christian words that have been redefined, this "Christianity" bears little resemblance to true Christianity beyond its worship customs. The redefining of words like love and compassion to suit modern day sensibilities is very confusing. Though such redefinitions help to bring about inner peace when all is well, it does precious little to carry one though the real trials and tribulations that are promised; not to mention the trials brought about by behaviors like premarital sex and divorce that come more easily as the result of a self-centered religion.

To a lesser degree, by giving in to the spirit of the age, many traditional churches are sacrificing increasing segments of truth at the alter of unity as well. They do this either outright, or in more passive ways by simply avoiding certain subjects or conflict. All of this increasingly contributes to an important fact. There is an increasing fog like confusion that now lays thick in Western Society.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coming To A NEA Unionized, Democrat Controlled Government School Near You

Teaching to not bully--Good
Teaching Homosexuality as normal--Bad
Using Bullied Children As An Excuse To Teach Homosexuality As Normal--Really Bad
Grade For California Schools-- F --

If anyone was wondering why prop-8 was so important for California, wonder no more. I have contended for years that homosexuals need access to your children through the government school system in order to make their lifestyle acceptable and to make those who disagree unacceptable. The extreme leftist California Supreme Court has opened that door. Do not be mistaken. This is coming to your school system, and by the time it gets there it may very well be criminal to disagree. Like it? Keep voting Democrat.

H/T Neil Simpson

Monday, June 6, 2011

Confusion, part two

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

In my last post I discussed the confusion brought about by Harold Camping's failed judgement day prediction. But if people were able to see Camping for what he is, an outlier to true Christianity, there are still other outliers spreading confusion with much greater efficiency. Some, of one type in particular, have become masters at harnessing the power of television combined with the method of making empty promises. With this powerful medium they are able to blanket the land with their shameless lies of the so called prosperity gospel. For most believers and unbelievers alike the antics of the televangelist, by his making promises from God to some poor soul in exchange for a “sacrificial” check or "seed money", is self-serving of the "preacher". It takes advantage of the weakest of these: the weak minded. Worse yet, it muddies the waters about the real salvation message to all and therefore brings about more confusion as well as more deserved mockery.

Not to be outdone in casting confusion however there is also the confusion wrought by the so-called “social gospel”. This religion is not much more than good old-fashioned communism repackaged in Christian wrappings. As is typical with communism this religion is political in nature and is in its inner workings a thinly veiled arm of leftist party politics. Right and wrong are not determined by scripture but rather is determined by what is in or out of favor at any given time with the party. This is why the social gospel is indistinguishable from its true head, the Democrat party while bearing very little resemblance to Biblical Christianity . It wreaks confusion by exchanging truth for increased government power while parading itself in Christian outer garments. It takes advantage of the least of these, the poor and down trodden, by confusing truth with a lie based on materialistic this-life ends while preaching hate and envy.

These are two more reasons confusion reigns in this day, perhaps more than in previous days. I will be adding several more to this list in the days to come.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Confusion, part one

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Working from the premise that deception is a product of confusion about truth, this passage foretells of a great confusion in the world; a confusion that not even the elect would escape save for the supernatural hand of God. Though we have our fair share of false prophets in these days, we have not yet seen from them, as far as I know, “great signs and wonders”. But we are most certainly living in a time of great confusion. That said, it makes me ask if we are living in a time of unprecedented confusion? I don’t know, but consider a few things.

Harold Camping's recent folly is but the latest of many such follies. One of the saddest commentaries on Camping's prediction is not that he ignored clear scripture, or that he had to torture scripture to make it agree with his hair-brained numbers game, but instead it is the amount of confusion he has wrought. Such nonsense plays right into the hands of the mockers of Christianity. Such deserved mockery brings about wide spread confusion.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Love does not envy, it is not self seeking, it does not delight in evil

This is a C.S. Lewis quote worth considering:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

At first glance this quote may seem to say nothing about love. But compassion by its nature is an outpouring of love, therefore, a misunderstanding of love can turn the outpouring of compassion into oppression.

Scripture tells us that in our last days the love of most will grow cold and that men will become lovers of self. What better way to love self than to claim for self the attribute of "compassion" while doing nothing to exercise compassion save being for compassion through political means?

Politicians love such a mindset because it gives them unlimited access to the nation's wealth through taxation for the purposes of exercising "compassion". This in turn gives them ever increasing power because each failure only demands more "compassion" when measured by intentions rather than results. To resist their political posturing is to resist their compassionate intentions, and what emotion based democracy is willing to resist compassionate intentions?

It's worth contemplating that the concept of envy found itself in the ten commandments(don't do it)and in I Corinthians 13(it's not love). In a strictly materialistic view of the world, which is arguably the predominate American view inside and outside of christianity, well-being is reduced to materialism, and compassion to material based "fairness". Such a view is a petri dish for envy. It denies the twin possibilities of happiness without wealth and wealth without happiness because in materialism, happiness and wealth are synonymous.

But scripture rejects this view and warns against the deceptions of material wealth. From a truly Christian perspective these two are not at all synonymous but rather are at war with one another. Furthermore, which trench one occupies in this war will reveal his true allegiance, whether to God, or to mammon. The love of mammon, which is a manifestation of the love of self, is evidenced by a preoccupation with material things while ignoring spiritual things.

There are many examples of this contemporary mindset, but one especially obvious one can be found in the financial black hole of our modern education institutions. In these cauldrons of loveless envy, God and objective truth have been expelled while simultaneously attempting to hold fast to ethics. This of course is Folly. Lewis has another famous and astute point regarding this:

We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

Love is not satisfied with material possessions, and it does not demand some arbitrary standard of fairness concerning them. It demands much more, and it grows out of a much more fertile ground... like the real and true compassion that is more concerned with eternity than gratifying the vain and temporal flesh.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shortly after I began blogging a wonderful lady stopped by to make a comment. She said she would be back. That was over three years ago and our relationship has grown over those years. I've never seen her, but our family and hers has become ever closer through the years. We were planning a cross country drive from Phoenix to Atlanta and were planning on routing our trip so that we might get to visit this family for the first time. Those plans are on hold now as her daughter lost her battle with cancer last night. I had no idea when I set out on this venture that I would become so attached to the people I would meet; people whom I've never seen with my own eyes, but feel as if they live just down the street.

Please join with me in praying for this family in this time of great loss, as well as thanking God that we do not grieve without hope. Her daughter was a believer, and as such, though we grieve with our friend, we also look forward to that glorious reunion.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


If the word "green" being constantly spouted by carbon-gobbling globetrotters like it's the new world savior grates on you like it does me, click here for a pretty cool story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Love And 1st Corinthians Chapter 13

This chapter consists of 3 sections. The first section discusses the futility in what all Christians do when what they does not come from a heart of love. Paul begins this chapter with those who are all about tongues. But Paul warns that speaking in tongues is nothing more than a bunch of annoying noise when love is absent.

And to the faith, prophet and knowledge crowd, he reduces their exercises to “nothing”; as in might-as-well-stay-home-drink-beer-and-watch-the-game nothing. And to those who think staying home drinking beer and watching the game is just fine as long as one loves his neighbor by redistributing to them other people’s money, he says such also gains nothing. In fact, forget the faux compassion of giving someone else's possessions to the poor, Paul actually proclaims that even if we did make a sacrifice personally, even if we sacrificed every material thing we owned--a feat far and above the trite and easy symbolism of redistribution--we still gain nothing. I gather from this that not only do we not “gain” the object of our enterprise--actually helping the poor--but we also gain nothing for ourselves. And if that isn’t enough Paul ups the ante further by including our own flesh in that sacrifice, and in a most painful way, by fire. To be sure, love is key in understanding the Christian life.

This chapter goes well beyond the sentimental wedding gift wall plaque; it demands a question. That question is, “What must I do to love", the answer to which is of the utmost importance. The first step to accomplishing that feat would be to correctly and accurately grasp the meaning Paul was attaching to the word in his attempts to convey this truth. Almost as if anticipating this problem, Paul takes the time to point out some of the fruit that will and will not accompany the person who has begun to grasp it. I will be taking a look at some of those fruit in a forth coming post.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


What does it mean to love? This is the question I have been asking myself for the last few months. The reason I've asked it is two fold:

1. I've felt sub-par in my ability to love.
2. How the word today is defined is not what is meant in the Bible; this goes for the world's definition, to be sure, but it also goes for the commonly accepted Christian definition as well.

So, I've been on a quest of sorts to solidify my understanding of that word. As I stumble down the road on this quest I am becoming ever more convinced that the prostitution of the "word"; indeed the flipping of the word onto its head, is a prime reason for the unraveling of our society. To wit, another denomination instituted sin just this past week in the name of love. Western civilization is drowning in red ink, in the name of love. Truth and sound doctrine have been evicted from many, if not most churches, in the name of love. Today a bunch of rot-gut sermons will be preached, in the name of love. Families are being laid waste, in the name of love. As one talented poet/musician asks, "what more in the name of love?" Sadly, much much more.

Here are some of the posts I've written as a result of this quest:

Leaving The Church

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Mystery Of The Missing Comments

I had some time and was going to respond to some comments to my last post and saw that three of them had disappeared. Blogger? Hacked?

Anyway, wanted to say that I always appreciate comments as long as they are thoughtful. I have a limited amount of time, and even though I don't always get around to responding to comments that are left here, I always want to. Sometimes I simply can't think of anything meaningful to add or say in response, generally because I agree. Otherwise, it is a time issue. I take the time to read any comments left right away, but it may take me up to a couple of days to respond. After that, I figure it's too late. Please don't see this as indifference, it isn't. I am always grateful. I say this because I love to get responses when I take the time to comment elsewhere, though it's fine if I don't, which seems to be the case about half the time. Also, I don't comment now near as much as I once did. Though I do try to read most of the blogs I follow on "reader". I have about 40 good blogs there.

Sorry for the missing comments. I have no idea what happened to them, though I know it didn't just happen here. It also happened on my other blog as well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ever Wonder How The Taking Out Of Osama Would Have Been Viewed By The Self Appointed American "Conscious" If Bush Were In Office?

America is entering a new political season, which is kind of funny when you think about it because in this age of "might-makes-right" there really isn't an end, or beginning, to political seasons. So suffice it to say that we are in the political season of the white hatted savior occupying the White House as opposed to the last season of the black hatted villain.

With this reality before us the question is often posed, can you imagine the outcry if the villain had done what this savior is doing? We really don't have to imagine though. We only need look outside of our sphere of might-makes-right politics to the socialist continent the savior seeks to follow as he leads us glibly down the road to serfdom, a glittering Jewell of which is Great Briton.

When an associate director of the Henry Jackson Society said on a BBC program, "question Time" that he felt elated at the news of bin Laden's death, he was booed and heckled. Another panelist was applauded when she said she was "depressed" because it "demeans a democracy and a president who has shown himself to be the Ugly American. He's degraded American democracy, which had already degraded itself through torture and rendition". More cheers erupted when a former Liberal Party leader said "I cannot rejoice on the killing of any man. I belong to a country that is founded on the principle of exercise of due process of law".

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams had these compassionate words to say: "I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done". Two lawyers in two publications, the Guardian and the Daily Beast, spoke out against human rights abuses perpetrated on bin Laden. And then there is, of coarse, the letter to the conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph warning that such inappropriate actions "by people who should have known better" (read white hatted savior) were going to wake up those dreaded sleeping cells.

So wonder no more.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Using Seashells For Money, How Silly

I can distinctly remember the teacher in my grammar school telling us that Long Island was sold to the settlers for seashells called wampum. I can also remember our response, which was laughter, including my own. That the clothes we were wearing, the homes we lived in, indeed the services of the very teacher who told us these things, were purchased with pieces of paper had totally escaped me.

Its funny how the passage of time provides those who come later with a different perspective on historical events than was held by those who lived through them. Yet the different perspective provided by that same passage of time is not objective, for the view of historical events through the lens of a different age comes with its on cultural prejudices and blind spots.

But scripture gives us a reference point that transcends the ages. By God's grace, and a true understanding of reality and scripture, perhaps we can seek to break free from the prejudices and blind spots common with our age and prevent travesties not yet etched into stone by their slipping from present to past. But such an undertaking must, to be authentic, not reek of conformity to the times, for such conformity was a mark of those travesties past.

If you like this article, you might also find "Living In The Here And Now" and "The Tyranny Of The Times" interesting.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To Clarify

More than one person mentioned the confusion surrounding my last post concerning this statement:

"Do we really believe that the message of the Gospel is the only message that offers salvation?"

As I wrote this statement I pondered as to how to quote the statement without the word "only" and without the use of an ellipsis. I settled on simply striking the word "only". My thinking that the remaining definite article "the", as opposed to the indefinite article "a", would suffice at directing the focus away from the question of relativism being asked by the 1960's denominations, and to the question of ramifications of such beliefs.

As to daily asking myself the question, "do I really believe the message of the Gospel is the message that offers salvation", I think this is a pertinent question for all believers in Jesus. Let me explain why by using one of the most poignant video clips from one of the most poignant movies I think I've ever seen.

It is found at the conclusion of the movie Schindler's List. As the movie portrays it, Oskar Schindler had a unique perspective of how his decisions effected others in that there was a definite price tag associated with each of the Jews he saved through buying them to work in his factory. The movie also portrays the reality of this fact settling in on him as those he did save gathered around him. Seeing them, he suddenly realizes that each of his indulgences could be quantified by a number of Jews he was not able to buy as a result those indulgences. It was not as if he didn't know this all along, or that he even questioned the reality of it. Still, it was after the fact that the weight of this reality settled in on him.

The Clip:

Just to be clear. I believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I believe that he cannot reasonably and sanely be proclaimed as only a way. He is either the only way, or provides no way. Jesus himself left us no other alternatives.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Leaving The Church

I have long held that that word "Church" definitely has different meanings for different people, and even different meanings for the same people in different situations. With that in mind, the name of this post might well be entitled: "In Search Of The Church".

I have become disillusioned in my experience of Church. Accusations of us-four-and-no-more hyper-spiritual elitism at one time might have poisoned the well of my thinking on this matter, but my need for more now trumps that.

I recently read an article by Albert Mohler that helps me to articulate my current dissatisfaction. In his article he cites a book "Why Conservative Churches Are Growing: A Study in Sociology of Religion" by Dean M. Kelley, and an article, Creed or Chaos by columnist David Brooks concerning Mormonism. Mohler focuses in on this idea at the heart of Brook's column: "the religions that grow, succor and motivate people to perform heroic acts of service are usually theologically rigorous, arduous in practice and definite in their convictions about what is True and False.

Brooks is an agnostic I would presume.  Yet he has the insight to see that the very things that define what modern western churches seem inclined to avoid, are the same things that "motivate people to perform heroic acts of service". Mohler, however, points out another probing question at the center of the true/false quandary for the Christian , a question I often ask myself as a guiding light in my decision making processes: "Do we really believe that the message of the Gospel is the only message that offers salvation?

Mohler attributes this question to the one that was asked by mainline denominations in the sixties, hence the word "only", and indeed it appears that the modern day mainline denomination did ask that question a half century ago, and for the most part answered it wrong. But for me, the question is still a pertinent one, absent the word only, and deserves an answer today; indeed every day. I am in search of the Church that is willing to ask this question daily, answer it daily, then practice life daily as if the answer is yes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How Do You Know If You're Making A Bad Argument?

The short answer is, if you can make that same argument against your own argument by simply changing the subject, it is a bad argument.

I was recently presented with just such an example when commented on a friend's Facebook status concerning earth day. A friend of the host responded to me and someone else with the following argument, which by the way, had absolutely nothing to do with my comment. (I have changed the names)

So Dan, "those who are spiritual" often disagree with one another on many interpretive issues. So are you saying that you and those who think exactly like you are the only ones who gets[sic] it right?

So this was my response. I simply copied and pasted his argument and changed the word spiritual to unspiritual:

So Bob, "those who are unspiritual" often disagree with one another on many interpretive issues. So are you saying that you and those who think exactly like you are the only ones who gets[sic] it right?

He subsequently sent me an email in which he claimed he had been sent information about me that was unflattering, which gave me the opportunity to employ his basic argument yet once again.

I call this living at the center of the universe. Situated there, every measurement of good and evil, right and wrong, and even in determining who can proclaim what is good and evil, and right and wrong, is taken from the center of the universe, which is self. At the center of the universe you can argue the truth of something based on the "fact" that we can't know truth, because YOU are confident that no one can be confident about anything. You can judge the judgmental, not tolerate intolerance, assert facts based on ignorance; why you can do all sort of things simply because it doesn't conflict with how it makes you feel, which we all know is a wonderful basis for appeal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oughts Ex Nihilo

Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning out of or from nothing. A quick Google search will reveal that the word is normally associated with creation. But I contend that worlds and universes are not the only things that are ex nihilo.

As it pertains to creation in modern day discussions, ex nihilo highlights the collision of the material and spiritual worlds. The strictly material worldview scoffs at the idea of a world created ex nihilo because it denies the existence of anything that cannot be known via the five senses. But no sooner than a person adopt this worldview than he becomes cognitively dissonant in the arena of morality. From the materialistic standpoint there is simply no foundation from which to assert any morality. Still, those who approach our beginnings from a strictly materialistic point of view are no less prone to preaching oughts than the most fervent of the faithful.

We can see this when we ask the question "why" to any kind of ought. Following this line of reasoning will always lead to nothing. Why ought every American have health care? Why ought I care if the planet overheats? Why ought I not shoot a bunch of kids in a school? Why ought I care about diversity? Why ought I not be a bigot? Why ought I not impose my beliefs on others?  Why ought it matter that the electrical signalling generated in one skull causes it to turn away from the sick and hungry and to self indulgence? The fact remains that for the materialist, any appeal to ought HAS to be made ex nihilo.

It is impossible to connect the dots from scientific facts brought about by materialisticly based thinking to moral values, and it is of the utmost importance to realize this. The material world, as interpreted by randomly involved intelligence, can only produce facts. Facts are not moral. They tell us nothing of oughts. To make the leap from 2+2=4, to thou shalt not murder, is a leap ex nihilo. Facts, the discovery of which is the ultimate goal of real science, (real science as opposed to the a priori pseudo science that is so common today) do not and can not produce moral values. No matter how complicated or sophisticated our science becomes, or how arrogant it makes us, or how much it can increase our faith in death being the end, a wall exists and will ever remain between cold facts discovered and moral codes that dictate how we ought to behave. The Ultimate and cruel reality then is that if there is no God; and even if there is a God and we can't know him, any "oughts" asserted by anyone are oughts ex nihilo.

John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Juxtaposition Of Sermons

My wife showed me this video from Face Book a few days ago. It is kind of funny and we both suppressed some chuckles.

I didn't say much before I went back to what I was doing. She soon asked me what I thought of the video, and did I think it was OK? Without answering, and with my computer in my lap, I went to You Tube and pulled up the following message somewhat randomly. I played it for her and then asked, do see the difference? Which one points more to a gimmick, or comedic-look-at-me-ain't-I-cute Gospel, and which one is serious?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Who Are They Talking To?

Harry Ried had this to say this morning:

"Republicans want to shut down government because they think there is nothing more important than preventing women from getting cancer screenings?" (source)

Now who was he talking to when he said this? The answer is simple, the politically unsavvy. He was certainly not talking to those who are going to pull the lever for "D"'s regardless of anything anyone might say or do. He wasn't speaking to those who understand that no nation can run trillion dollar deficits and expect to survive. That leaves those who kind of float and flitter this way and that depending on how they feel on a given day.

Like the baseball player caught between bases however, the options are narrowing for those running this way and that. Toward third base are slave making taxes, toward second are dreaded spending cuts. Stuck in the middle are the ones to which the media, leftist pundits, liars and others who are hoping to take America out by overwhelming it with debt are speaking. We shall soon see how persuasive the Reid's of the world were.

(update)Other comments that in a sane world would be outrageous:

In ’94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now they’re here to kill women. Rep. Louise Slaughter D-NYsource

Wow, this is like having a front row seat to a civil war except the bombs falling out side are verbal. That was a big one. I wonder if Old Glory will still be there tomorrow?

Update II
"This is the functional equivalent of bombing innocent civilians." Washington's Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton source

That one made the chandelier shake. I bet that sent some moderates scurrying somewhere. But where? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Neil's Apt False Teacher Primer

This is an Extranormal video created by Neil Simpson at "Eternity Matters". According to Neil the making of the first video is free after setting up an account. He also points out an interesting thought in the making of this video: "There is something unique about how the characters read the lines. It helps make points that get lost when there is too much emotion in the voices."

Neil says that the content is the result of years of debating false teachers and that many of the arguments made by the false teacher character are direct quotations from various false teachers he has encountered. Neil also provides sound Biblical responses through the other character. It's fun to watch... and educational to boot!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

love protects

Found hidden in "the love chapter" (1 Cor 13) is a little phrase of only two words: "love protects." If you're not careful it's easy to read right past it, and miss something of extreme importance. In this age of feel-good love one might in fact do well to spend a little time meditating on that little phrase. It might even give one reason to remember "buyer beware" when he hears the word "love" when protection is not part of its definition. Then, perhaps, when he sees it on the cover of a book like "Love Wins", or on a bumper sticker that says "love makes a family", he will not be so easily fooled.

With this in mind we can ask some questions that will help us hold to a Biblical view of love. This view has almost nothing in common the modern understanding of "love" because the modern view is devoid of truth. When one touts loving the poor, for example, we can ask, "does he also advocate the murder of their children through abortion?", for this is not love, it does not protect. When one speaks of loving the sinner, does he also speak of blessing their harmful behavior? If he does, he does not love, for it does not protect. When one preaches about God, does he preach that all roads lead to Him? If he does he does not love for that does not protect. When one speaks of loving the children, does he also advocate their protection from--as in the schoolhouse--the most loving thing that has ever happened in the history of man: our salvation from God's wrath through Jesus' death on the cross? If he does, he does not love for that does not protect.

In short, love is not always about feeling good, or doing things that make us feel good about ourselves. The truth is, love demands us do things that can make us feel pretty rotten. Often, on the other hand, some things that make us feel good about ourselves today will, in the long run, bring forth pain and suffering. But real love, in the long run, protects.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The One Good Apple Fallacy

The "one good apple" fallacy references the old adage "one bad apple spoils the whole bushel", except that it works in reverse. It is a fallacy that argues that because someone can point to some counter examples in a group, the group as a whole is insulated from criticism. Example: The Democrat Party is not Anti-Christ because there are a lot of Christians who are Democrats. This argument is fallacious because if a group is organized around stated ideals A and B, the fact that some members of that group claim to be opposed to A and B does not change the groups stated ideals.

Of course this is a fallacy that can be switched on and off as it suits one's needs in persuasion. The very next argument could be that one bad apple does spoil the whole bunch. An example: "The Republican party is immoral, just look at republicans Tom Foley and Larry Craig." Again, this argument ignores the groups stance, and its response according to that stance.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't Tell Me That You Love Me... II

Are these children being loved? Is it an attribute of love and mercy to not talk about the political party that is behind this? Is unity so dear that we would willingly sacrifice the minds of these children at its altar? What kind of hell will this morally retarded generation pour out on our children's children in the name of love and social justice? Where are you O church?

Hat Tip Geeeeez

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Is Obama's Libya Policy? That's Easy

Questions on Obama's foreign policies can be neatly distilled into three words: "I'm Not Bush."

News stories and headlines these days are awash with questions about Obama's doctrine militarily in Libya. There also seems to be plenty of uncertainty as to the end game there. Does he plan to take out Gaddafi, or not seek his removal? What is Obama's end game.

All of these questions point to much uncertainty about America and the world's future and serve to illuminate the importance of electing leaders based on something besides their ability to campaign for office. Robert Redford's character in "The Candidate", a movie about a political campaign, asked the poignant question after winning at movie's end: "Now what do I do?" Obama seems to have answered that question with "I'll do what I do best, campaign!" Since his inauguration, Obama has come off as one more obsessed with blaming Bush than fixing all the things he blames Bush for. Now that two years have passed, and the blame Bush tact has grown worrisome and predictable, he has transitioned to "I'm not Bush."

Nowhere does this mentality glare like it does in Obama's foreign policy. The Middle East is in turmoil as every day brings news of more slaughters and uprisings, and our president becomes the campaigner and chief; sloganeering his way through press conferences by dredging up his predecessor and ensuring all that he is not him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Living In The Here And Now

I could complain about my finances to anyone willing to listen. I could blame the limits of freedoms I experience due to lack of funds on the very large corporation that is my employer--complete with very wealthy CEO--if I wanted. But in order to do that I would have to live in the here and now. But I don't, and I'm glad.

You see, the here and now has no history and looks to no future. It's like the young girl clamoring for her right to choose to crush and dismember the growing life within her. She did nothing to bring herself to this point. Yesterday doesn't exist you see. There was no drunken fling, no bad decisions, no nothing. She simply needs to rid herself of the problem that she faces today. Then there's the woman whose husband has abandoned her and their children to fend for themselves. Forgotten are the pleas to the woman by those who loved her to not marry the abuser or philanderer. Those pleas never happened. They have all disappeared in the rear-view mirror of time along with any reason to grow up; become wiser; and escape the here and now trap she and her children are now in.

It is only logical that a here-and-now society will elect a here-and-now government to Lord over itself. Our welfare system is not going broke because of the sexual encouragement that that has been fed to the generations in the bosom of its government schools. There are hungry children who will starve today. The drug and crime problem have nothing to do with the meaninglessness and accountable-to-no-God relativist education it pours into the heads of its youth; an education that would naturally bring about such behavior. That was yesterday you see, and besides, the people need absolution from their sins... today. What better way to go about that than the claim that there is no such thing. We can exchange "sinful" behavior for "inappropriate" behavior. The consequences of this mindset are not important for they never happened, there is no history, no past decisions or philosophies to be reconsidered going forward, no consequences of past malpractice. No, those things are not in the here and now, they do not exist. Only the immediate problems exist and must be fixed by whatever means is "appropriate" in the here and now.

The Church is not immune. The youth are leaving as soon as they are old enough. There was no dereliction of duty to disciple parents, to hold them accountable, to pastor them in raising the next generation Biblically. That was yesterday. Yesterday does not exist. There were no words spoken against the hierarchy of government responsible for the expulsion of God in the institution that was put in charge of bringing up children in the way they should go either. That too didn't didn't happen, only the immediate problem of a shrinking and graying church is, and of course building mortgages.

Set before me have been many many opportunities that would have been paying very handsome dividends today had I taken advantage them. Many... well, perhaps most I threw away of my own free will because I then lived in the here and now. But there and then has given way to a here and now that produced a wish that I had done things different. But it was I, and I alone, who did it. It is part of my history, part of who I am today, and all my fault. On the bright side, I console myself with the fact that I have lived a free life, free to throw away wonderful opportunities in exchange for youthful whims and short sighted pleasures. But I also was able to escape the prison of the here and now by realizing that the there and then has brought me to the here and now that will give way to a future there and then that too depends on this here and now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Relax, It's OK, Obama Is A Democrat

If anyone is having difficulty reconciling the war-is-not-the-answer's dream president with Obama's war and his American bombs falling in Libya; don't feel alone. The only thing I can come up with as to how this could be is that he is trustworthy to do such things because he is a Democrat because he is an intrinsically good person. So, being a Democrat, we can trust his bombs will never kill Libyan children with flying shrapnel; or make Muslims want to blow American infidels up indiscriminately. But even if such horrors do happen don't worry, the media will make sure you don't hear about it; and that's the same as it not happening. As they say, you know: ignorance is bliss. Besides, we know he has good reasons in mind for starting a war. How do we know he has good reasons in mind? Because he's a good person because he is a Democrat. That makes it OK. So, we can turn calmly back to our shared American values of community organizing, Capital protests and what ever Sheen'ish scandal the tabloid minions are currently exploiting, confident that all is well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Tyranny Of The Times

In the midst of a recent discussion I was accused of being "behind the times". That was the best argument the person could put forth against my position on homosexuality; that position being that it is sinful. Of course this is but one of any number of hot button issues that we could have been discussing with the same response. But the sinfulness of a particular behavior is not my point here today. Rather my point is the foundations upon which the arguments against these positions are built. Those arguments, boiled down to their simplest terms, are based on the fact that they are simply out of sync with the consensus of our day.

So then, anyone who would openly insist in these days that certain behaviors are sinful is considered to be a bad person simply because that view is not now widely held... that's it. It should be no surprise given the strength of that argument that actual counter arguments mounted in favor of sinful behaviors are usually abandoned in favor of the much easier avenue of name calling. Assigning a derogatory name to someone with whom you disagree, as oppose to say an intellectual argument, is definitely not "behind the times".

This shallowness has its consequences however, one of them being the loss of freedoms. And in the same way that the man who has lived his life free, upon learning that he is now subject to a tyrant, must decide his course as it pertains to his willingness to submit to that tyrant, so too must the contemporary man who holds to the concept of absolute truths must decide his course under the tyranny of these times. Either way there will be a high price of some sort that will be paid.

Update: see also this article posted by Glen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Tale Of Two Equalities

America has always been about equality. The very document around which its birthday revolves introduces the idea "created equal" in its second sentence. Sadly, as is typical for these times it would seem, the very word "equality" has been corrupted so that we now have one word with two meanings.

Due to the education system's programming, most, I would argue, interpret the word "equality" from a socialist's perspective. This means simply that equality is seen through the lens of outcome. Outcome is key. One must realize however that to accomplish the lofty goal of equal outcome, liberty must be compromised, or even abandoned, for liberty by its very nature creates the opposite of equal outcome. Free men simply engage in unequal pursuits.

The equality mentioned in the Declaration of Independence however reflects a different meaning and understanding. This concept of equality simply seeks equality of opportunity. It desires that every person should be born with equal opportunity in as much as a limited government can provide such an environment.

Words have meanings. It is important that the meaning that is attached by the speaker is the meaning that is received by the hearer lest words simply become code talk to differing groups with differing designs. As for equality socialist style, government, limited or otherwise, cannot materially equalize all the inherent inequalities in our human experience. To attempt such is a fool government's errand and folly on a colossal scale. And when it is dispatched on this errand by those with high minded pie-in-the-sky utopian dreams, it will return, having squandered liberty, bereft of equality.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Calling Sin Sin

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. the Law Moses commanded us to stone [adulterers]. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him... he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her..." At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time...until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir,” she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin." (for the whole story click here.

To examine the idea of how to, and how not to confront sin let us consider Jesus and this adulteress. This is an oft repeated Bible story today, but more times than not some details are left out; either on purpose or unwittingly to propagate the deception that those who confront sin are unloving and Pharisaical. Those who are fund of using Jesus' words: "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" ironically are not much different than those who dragged the adulteress into the public square because of the similar motivations of their hearts. The Pharisees did so out of a desire to entrap Jesus. In the same way, our contemporaries drag her again into the courts, not because of their love of those who are destroying their own lives along with the lives of their spouses and children because of a sin they are practicing. No, they do so in the name of love to propagate the thinking that nothing should be said or done in opposition to sin.

Interestingly enough, never is it considered that Jesus never said to not stone the woman. To be sure, if there was anyone there who had the ultimate right to do so it was Jesus. But more importantly, missing is a defense by Jesus of the woman's behavior. On the contrary, Jesus admonishes her to leave her life of sin. The most important attribute of this story for many it would seem is Jesus' words: "neither do I condemn you". We are told that this is the true act of love that we should emulate. The problem with this take is that it is simply impossible for us to emulate Jesus here. WE no more have the power to condemn the sinner than to save her from condemnation.

In John 3:17-18 we find perhaps some clarification on this. Jesus says:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Jesus points out here that it was not his mission to condemn. One would presume that this woman was just as much an object of that mission as those who were attempting to entrap him. The fact is that all present, including the woman, were already condemned if they had not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Someone might say that Jesus' loving response would do more to draw this woman to a saving faith than the Pharisees' method of simply pointing out with indignation her sin. But the spirit of our age tends to distract us from a very important point here if we go down that road too far without all the baggage with which the text burdens us. I reiterate here that nowhere in the text is there the slightest indication that the woman had not sinned, or that her sin been renamed as not sin, or that Jesus was OK with it. So the fact that the woman was actually sinning must be a crucial part of our interpretation of this scripture. This truth is perhaps even more crucial in our day because there is a very real tendency to simply rename sinful behavior as either good and normal, or not that bad. At the root of the gospel message is not the message that we no longer need the good news because we have not sinned, but rather that we are in a state of condemnation and are in dyer need of salvation AND a changed heart, and that both are provided. Of coarse many interpret the need for a changed heart as "works" dependent salvation. I address this here

Lastly in considering this text I would like to point out the added caricaturisation that is often implied by "you who are without sin..." This defense often times is a an attempt to make those who call sin sin appear as rabid religious zealots with hands full of stones. Christians should not see themselves as being this caracature. In many cases these words are directed at people who are taking a stand; not taking a stand against any one person in particular, but rather are taking a stand, out of the motivation of true love I might add, against the embrace and exaltation of sins like promiscuity, shacking-up, divorce, homosexuality and of course the golden calf of abortion.

As for me I hate all of these things. I hate even worse that my culture is increasingly embracing them and heaping onto itself increased suffering. I hate this because it is ultimately destroying people. But what breaks my heart mostly is the fact that many of my brethren have been deceived into thinking that speaking out against these things that are so destructive is unloving. The way I see it, silence is the most unloving action we can take.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bob, The Evil Gas Station Owner

OK, so I'll simply bypass the dichotomy of "people are basically good" and "Bobs everywhere are looking for any opportunity to gouge the poor ol hardworking American at their gas pumps". This post is in defense of Bob. Well... not exactly. It is in the hopes of helping people who unwittingly show themselves to be economic morons in their vocal bemoaning of Bob.

Bob owns a gas station with three $10,000* gallon tanks in the ground. He has to refill those tanks on an average of once a month. It cost him $90,000 dollars to put fill those tanks at $3.00 a gallon. He hopes to sell it with a dime a gallon profit after overhead, taxes, lawsuit abuse insurance, and EPA compliance red tape, all of which effect the price we pay at the pump. That dime a gallon profit is part of his income and amounts to $3000.00. So far so good when we live in a stable world with relatively stable prices.

But Bob gets word that the cost of the gas he will be buying to refill his tanks next month will cost an additional twenty cents per gallon. So Bob is faced with a dilemma. He can raise the price of the gas in his tanks now by twenty cents a gallon and risk being called every name in the book because it cost the average person an additional $3.00 to fill his 15 gallon tank. Or he can leave the gas at the same price even though he would not only have no income that month, but he would also have to cough up another $3000.00 dollars out of pocket to refill his storage tanks.

But who cares about Bob. We all know that profit is evil. Bob should get up early and go to work every day, and he should risk the resources required to start a business, just so people can feel good about the fact that they are buying their gas for the same price that the person incurring the risk inherent in making it available to them is paying for it.

I am always amazed at the contempt and judgementalism that I see in many of the same people who are otherwise all about loving people where they are and raising the banner of grace in just about every other aspect of the world that they observe. The only difference seems to be that, even though it is only three dollars per refill, it is their three dollars. In other words, this is a case in which they are able to connect the sin of others, and the impact of that sin on themseleves... and they are indignant.

*Although I contend that the principals in this post are sound, all of the numbers are a product of my guestemations based on my distant experience working at more than one gas station in my youth back when buying gas was a matter of speaking the words "three dollars worth of regular" out the window.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pro Life Ad

A few seconds well spent. Some things embody the weight of truth. This short ad does just that.

H/T Neil

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Legalism vs. Legalism, No One Wins

It has been my experience that there are two kinds of legalism. One kind earned the Pharisees Jesus's most scathing rebukes. The other has pushed many in the modern church to the precipice of heresy... and beyond.

The legalism that made the Pharisees infamous is a kind of pre-salvation legalism and is built on the notion that one can earn his way out of his condemned position before God. It is "pre" because salvation is received only after a completed obedient life of works. However, according to scripture, the law was never meant to make one righteous, nor was it meant to lay out a road map by which one could earn his own salvation. On the contrary, it was meant to show that man is a sinner and is hopelessly unable to live up to the letter of the law. [1](Rom 7:7-13)

The legalism of our day on the other hand is a kind of post-salvation legalism that results in what is known as antinomianism. Antinominanism is based on the idea that once one has entered into salvation there is no moral law, only grace. It qualifies as legalism only in that it outlaws law. Instead of salvation being the result of obedience to myriad laws, it is now predicated on obedience to one: do not put anyone under the law. Not surprisingly, as with all bad doctrines and heresies, both legalisms have similar effects on the people to which they are taught. They both can be proof texted. They both lead to pain and suffering. They both are a result of bad doctrine. They both cause those who preach them to become hypocritical. They are both man centered. They both give their ardent adherents a sense of pride that causes self-righteous anger when challenged.

But possibly the most important similarity between these two legalisms is that they are both issues of the heart. Following Paul's discussion on the matter of legalism vs. grace in Romans 7, we get this wonderful picture of the war that wages in the heart of the true seeker of God. [2](Rom 7:13-25) This act of war raises what I think is a very pertinent question: If we are not obliged to the law, then why bother joining with Paul in his warring against his own members? The answer to this question can only be found by an examination of our hearts.

One of the evidences that the believer enjoys that reassures him that he is in fact saved is the brokenness he feels in his heart when he inevitably breaks the law. But it is in times like this that we discover that the salve of grace is not cheap, as some might suppose, but rather is a genuine treasure. It is through this grace that we experience our greatest joy in the Lord and our greatest gratitude that on account of our lack of ability to follow God's law our eternal fate is not sealed. [3](Phil 4:4-7) The realization of this truth is what transforms our salvation from a free, as in cheap, insurance policy to a priceless gift. But all of this is cheapened when there is no law by which to abide which means there is no threat being leveled against our mind from the members of our own body. [4](Rom 7:23) But there is a cumulative effect that follows this scriptural error as consequence follows consequence. One such effect is the onset of confusion. Jesus lived a perfect life; a life without sin. This necessarily demands that there was a perfect standard by which he was required to live. The confusion comes when we confuse our attempts to live the perfect life Jesus commanded us to live with our salvation. One type of legalism puts our salvation at stake with each failure, the other outlaws the very standard by which Jesus was declared righteous. Further, as consequence continues to follow consequence, it shouldn't surprise anyone that this predominate scriptural error has created, among many things, an environment by which relativism thrives, both in and out of Christendom.

[1] Rom 7:7-13 7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

[2] Rom 7:13-25 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!

[3] Phil 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

[4] Rom 7:23-24 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Multi-Faceted Beauty

This was a post I put up in my beginning blogging days (5/21/07). I still see the world through this lens. I just tonight went back and re read it and thought I would repost it.

What one word describes you in the body of Christ? I think most people who are planted near streams of living water would be able to answer this question. I realized years ago what that one word is for me. My suspicions that we all have that one word that describes us came to me while listening to R. C. Sproul Jr. speak of his Father. He said that his Father's whole life could basically be reduced to one word,  "Holiness", and more specifically, "the Holiness of God". Sproul went on to add that his own life could be summed up by the word Kingdom. This led me to think of my own life in these terms, and so I think for me the one word would be "truth." For my wife, there's no doubt what it would be. "Worship".

I like to think of this as a beautiful kaleidoscope portraying the Body of Christ. When it's just my wife and I interacting together, the Body of Christ represented by that interaction is two colors, so to speak, constantly interacting with each other as our life intersects with circumstances. As I observe my wife, I am constantly challenged in the area of Worship, and she also in the area of Truth. The result of our oneness summed up as a total becomes Truthful Worship. Add to the kaleidoscope another person along with their unique color and giftings and everything changes. As more and more are added, the result is the beautiful and fully functioning Body of Christ.

In the same way that in marriage humility is required to meld two different people into one, so it is within the local church as the Body assembles itself into one. The absence of humility could cause me to become upset with my wife about what I perceive to be her focusing too much on worship as opposed to truth. The same could happen with other individuals within the local church as they interact. In a worse case scenario, one could become discontent, surround himself with similarly gifted people, move to Tulsa and start a whole ministry built on that one theme. As for me, it has been my experience that truth by itself doesn't function very well. It needs to be seasoned with mercy and grace. And in the same way, mercy and grace don't function very well without truth.

As we walk humbly before our God, these varying gifts become the Body of Christ. We are all interdependent on each other, and ultimately it is God who gets the glory as we not only participate, but also experience the beauty of the Body as it functions in a way that is wholly beyond man's ability to orchestrate.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Which Jesus Do They Worship?

Neil at Eternity Matters asked the question "do they really care what Jesus would do". The "they" here is the apostate teachers: Chuck Currey and Jim Wallis; which incidentally is not an exhaustive list.

Way back in the beginning of the second half of the last century Francis Schaeffer answered this question by showing how a wall had been constructed by man between man and God. He cautioned that the new way of looking at man was as machines. This morphing of man into machine was the result of a strictly material view of man; there is no consciousness aside from that created by the cells and electrical currents in our heads; no soul in need of salvation; only material. With this view man necessarily is only a very sophisticated machine whose actions and decisions are determined by the programming that is the result of millions of years of survival.

This materialistic view of the world found itself in opposition to religion. As a result of the deconstruction of all thinking to preprogrammed electrical currents religion, along with the thinking that life had some eternal meaning beyond surviving for the purposes of consuming copulating and excreting, was expected to subjugate itself to this new thinking. To the extent that Wallis and Currie have been successful, this subjugation has been successful. As the mind of man has effectively closed all knowledge except that gained from empirical evidence has been rejected as "unknowable". "unknowable" is key to understanding the new "post" modern view of religion. More on this latter.

So what is the fallout of this new expectation of religion? The embracing and acceptance of religions that subject themselves to this new view of religion in general proves that the idea of religion is too tenacious to be eradicated from the minds of modern man even in the most materialistic of societies. It appears that upwards of ninety percent of all people are not willing to embrace their own meaninglessness. This brought about two results.

First, a truce was effected between modernism and religion. Modernism set forth the boundaries within which religion had to function and religion agreed to be irrelevant in exchange. Beyond the Prozac effect that comes with the creating of ones own god willing to subject itself/herself/himself to modernism's terms and conditions, religion lost its impact on culture. All western churches are to some degree held captive to these terms and conditions as can be seen by the extreme focus on temporal material, comfort and inner-peace, and the diminished focus on things eternal. Western churches therefore, to the extent they have knowingly or unknowingly bought into this new way of thinking, have been reduced to a Prozac of sorts for the soul. A feminized version of God: He loves you very much, He knows what you're going through, and He cares deeply about you is the central theme it seems these days, a theme that is used as a salve for our deep sense of meaninglessness. Gone are concepts of man's depravity, Hell, God's wrath, and the so-great-of-a-Salvation accomplished on the cross; these are not salve; they are not Prozac, they rightly provide no inner peace for the soul, but they are just as true.

Secondly, religion in general has been used quite effectively in history as a means of accessing power. This is where Christianity stands apart and why Christianity, as opposed to other religions, is attacked daily, and attacked no less from a position of proclaimed ignorance, read we-can't-know. Assertions of truth are made against the unknowable from this position of we-can't-know. But the attacks are not against those that have set of house keeping this side of the we-can't-know Wall like Wallis and Currie. No, the attacks are directed against those who refuse to mind that Wall and thereby deny those who embrace religion for the purpose of access to power the power they desire. In short, it denies political hacks posing as "reverends" of control over the thought life of Christians and their vote. How funny it is that this seems to be the number one complaint against those who have been termed by those who lust for power beyond their grasp using the language of power: "the religious right".

So how do we use this narrative to answer the question posed by the Title: "Which Jesus do they worship?", and Neil's question: "Do they really care what Jesus would do?". In my mind the answer to the first question answers the second. Schaeffer points out in "How Then Should We Live" that since a Wall was erected by man between God and man, anything put on the other side of that wall is only a symbol representing what man desires of the god he has created. This changes our language into babble, for the word Jesus no longer means the same thing to all who use it. For some, like the Wallis/Currie camp who see religion as an access point for political power, the word is symbolic of their Marxist/socialist/communist/leftest/atheistic/material centered redistributive political aspirations. So by pointing out that the Jesus they worship is only a word: "Jesus", that symbolizes anything but the Jesus that was born of a virgin, raised people from the dead, died on the cross to save from the wrath of a Holy and Righteous God those who deserve that wrath--all of which are an anathema for the materialist--we know that it is a different Jesus. So by being a different Jesus; a Jesus conflated into a symbol representing the utopian desires of depraved men, we can truly answer Neil's question with "Yes", they do.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Believe Or Not To Believe, This Is Not The Question

Whether intentionally or not, our choice of words can be deceiving. Since words are the material out of which we construct our thinking, the wrong material can cause a wrong thought.  We can see how this is so in the words we use to discuss our belief, or "non-belief", in God. We tend to categorize ourselves like so:
"Some people believe in God, and some people do not believe in God."
But this statement is deceptive.  The choice of words persuades us to think in terms of beliefs and not facts.  some do believe, and some do not believe. Belief is the constant in both cases. Whether or not belief is happening is the variable. It subconsciously suggests that those who don't believe in God don't "believe" anything. But nothing could be further from the truth. To explain let's look at the same statement rearranged:
"Some people believe there is a God, and others believe there isn't a God."
As we can see, this is the more accurate way of expressing the truth.  

So why is this important? Well, for two reasons: First, to speak in terms of "believing or not" is, as I've mentioned deceptive. But it's not only deceptive for the hearer, it's also deceptive for the speaker because it frames our thoughts in a deceptive fashion. In the end, we are all ultimately "believers" and are distinguished only by what we believe.

Second, this statement secretly opens the door for special pleading. Special Pleading is the act of making a value judgment about the actions of others while allowing that the same action is fine for oneself.  To demand that society be conducted according to the belief that there is no God based on the assumption that His existence is unprovable, while at the same time ignoring that His non-existence is unprovable is Special Pleading.

This may seem like a small thing but it by no means is.  It puts one side of the cultural wars at an advantage by allowing that it is based solely on science, which it is not.  Science cannot prove the non-exitence of God, and since it cannot prove God's nonexistence it should not be allowed to claim "science" as its foundation for disallowing the existence of a creator.

Ephesians 6 admonishes us that we do not war against flesh and blood, but against the powers, the principalities, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Christians should not be mislead into believing that Christianity is not reasonable and is unable to stand the onslaught by those who hold to the weak faith that there is no God, and the just-as-religious belief systems posing as science that are being preached from the pulpits of the institutions of academia.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wallace/Currie Hymnal Suggestions

This morning, for reasons that remain a mystery to me, I had the old song "Mercedes Benz" by the late Janice Joplin running through my head. I couldn't remember all the words but it became readily obvious to me that this song might well qualify as a worship song for the materialism-worshiping congregants of the Jim Wallace and Chuck Currie ilk. So... I found the lyrics. You be the judge.

"Mercedes Benz"

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

American History In Black And White

This documentary from David Barton by Wall Builders is a great find for those interested in a history of black Americans with the modern filters of political correctness and revisions removed. Below is a part of this documentary. It is apropos for these days for it sets the record straight, not as leftest and party-first loyalist "journalists" like Chris Mathews do by name calling and presenting opinion and wishful thinking as history, but by reciting many of the writings of the times. If you are a homeschooler, it is good. If you have children in public schools, it is most definitely a must. I admonish you to equip your children with the truth! It is well worth the money and you'll be glad you did! Also check out David Borton and Wall Builder's web site, and other helpful you-tube clips.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Documentary By The Man Woman Myth

Thanks to Laura at Full Of Grace, Seasoned With Salt for finding this series of videos on feminism. This one is part three of six. They can all be watched on You Tube. While I don't agree with some of the conspiracy sounding language (click here for an explanation), these clips resonated with me in many ways; like a frog in the pot suddenly feeling some water at a normal temperature for a change and suddenly realizing that the water around him has gotten really really hot. Still, these do not approach the issue from a Christian perspective as much as a materialistic perspective so be warned of some sparse profanity.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Insurance Refresher

Meet Bob. Bob knows a catastrophe could bankrupt him and he doesn't want to live his life with this hanging over his head. This creates a dilemma for Bob because the very fact that he is alive inherently involves risk, yet Bob wants to somehow reduce those risks.

While Bob knows he can't eliminate his risks entirely, he also knows that the odds of an encounter with that risk is somewhat remote. With this in mind he talks to many people and convinces 100 friends and neighbors to contribute a set amount of money into a pool with the knowledge that the money would be used to help any of them to off-set a catastrophe should one occur. Some, on the other hand, like John who preferred to instead buy a monster truck with chrome rims, forgoes joining in the cooperative effort. More about John later.

With the knowledge of the increasing amount of money in the pot Bob sleeps easier at night knowing that a much larger lump of money than he could possibly save is available should catastrophe strike. Furthermore, with the return they are getting on this pooled money it is grwoing on its on so there is now talk of reducing the required contributions.

Re-enter John. One day Bob gets a call. John has just wrecked his monster truck and wants to begin contributing to the fund in order to gain access to the now sizable amount of money in the fund for repairs.

What is the right thing for Bob and the 99 others to do?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Life Is Indeed Short

See an interesting video here about a young high school man, Nathan, with a terminal disease. Near the end of the clip He speaks to what looks to be his classmates about the advantage of knowing when he is going to die. As for me the reality of my mortality came relatively early I think. In my twenties I can remember lying on my back looking up at my arm. As I would hold it before me the crushing realization that one day it would rot would settle in on me like a ton of bricks. Morbid I know. I would remember all the milestones of my past that I had waited for so anxiously: a driver's licence, finishing high school, getting out of the military, the first paying job of my profession. These events came... and they went..., and just as certainly, I knew that a date with my last heart beat loomed just as certainly on the horizon.

As a non-Christian this reality would bring on a paralyzing fear. As a Christian it is only oppressive; but it is a reality. Once after attending a funeral I wondered aloud amongst friends what people would say at my funeral. A friend that knows me quite well spoke without hesitation saying dryly: "It finally happened".

Still, even with the seemingly heightened
awareness of my mortality I can't help but wonder: am I numbering my days so that I can present to God a heart of wisdom? This short video may guide your thoughts as well to some much needed soul searching.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't Tell Me That You Love Me

At some point in recent history the American Church took the tact that speaking out against laws being passed by the government caused division. It was political and politics didn't belong in the church. (the 5013c impact) There was a move instead to be more "loving". As this thinking increased the salt and light of the church decreased in the public square and the sanctuary. Acceptance has become the tenor as sins are being embraced in some segments of the church, or simply disregarded in others.

This gave those who wrote laws free reign to experiment on society as they wished with all kinds of man-centered philosophies with the promise of utopia . The family is now in shambles, the blood of the unborn cries out to God, and the government is bankrupt as a result of inserting itself between immoral behavior and its consequences. All of this is done under the guise of compassion.

That's OK I guess. It is the way of a society that has casted off all restraints. Just please, don't try to tell me, as the ponzi-scheme that is the morass of "social programs" collapses, as the children are trained to be barbarians and the fruit of the toil of everyone from the aged to those who have yet to survive the womb is being squandered on vain and futile fantasies, that you love me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Little More Perspective On Hate

Given the recent discussion on a certain kind of media causing us to do things that we wouldn't otherwise do, this Video Clip raises the question: do the people writing the tweets in this video listen to that media? If what we are being told is correct, these people would be warm and friendly to everyone to everyone if only they were not exposed to some outside corrupting influences. I say this becuase in this clip you will see not a word associating the man who pulled the trigger in Tuscon to the deaths that resulted.

Will someone eventually kill Sara Palin? I honestly don't know, but even if I had never seen this clip, it would come as no surprise to me if they did. The hatred for her spewing forth has for three years now been as thick as mud.

Here is the clip with a Hat Tip to "John Shuck Made Me Do It".

this is a look into the world of those who preach peace and love, though there is no sound, be warned that the language is very foul.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Imagine Consistency

Imagine that a massacre like the one in Tuscon was carried out by a Muslim. Suppose that that Muslim shouted Allah Akbar the entire time he was methodically picking off his victims? Would the media blame Islam for calling for that very thing out right; or would they defend Islam as a religion of peace and deny the connection? Hmmmmm... didn't something like that happen just recently? Does this event remind us more of that event, or say... an event that Democrats feel they are more capable of churning up political mud? Like say the Oklahoma City Bombing.

If Democrats and their media mouth pieces were consistent and they truly believed what they tell us about Islam, that is that we should not upset them lest they become angry and kill even more of us, shouldn't they try to disassociate as much as they're able the Tuscon Massacre with conservatism?

I'm not conceding that there actually is a connection that needs to be disassociated outside the minds of liberals, but because it does exist in their minds, consistency would demand, one would think, a similar reaction. But then again, it is not unreasonable for a group to treat their true enemies like true enemies.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Calvanist's Fear

There has always been scripture that scares me. I know that being afraid as a believer is not a popular doctrine these days but fear can be quite the motivator for self examination. There is the “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it" scripture. Narrow? Well just how narrow? Then there's : "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ".

Recently I was meditating on another text and the more I did so the more concerned I became: "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son". Now, I take this text to mean exactly what it says realizing that doing so puts me in the Calvinist's camp. The argument is made against Calvinists however that God doesn't want us to walk around worrying about whether or not we have been "chosen" or not, which, as it turns out, the very thing I worry about. But what am I to do? Ignore these kinds of scripture that warn us that our presuppositions might be false? For you see, I know me like no one else, and I know that I am not anywhere near being conformed into the image of His son.

Still, the fear is not my major concern here. I can deal with the fear in this temporal life. What I can't deal with is the eternal consequences of being wrong.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's A Harsh World After All

I can't deny that I have loved living in an affluent society. (1) It has truly been a blessing. But I can also see how affluence has skewed my vision and even blinded our society as a whole. We forget that this blessing is not normal in the wider view of history but rather is a deviation from normal. The reality that we live in an inherently harsh world in fact clashes with our life long experience. This experience sets us up for what is called a "Normalcy Bias". A Normalcy Bias is a state of mind that, according to Wikipedia, causes us to assume that "since a disaster never has occurred... it never will". This nothing-really-bad-can-or-ever-will-happen state of mind blinds us to the reality that we actually live in a very harsh world; a world that is way more hostile to our utopian desires than we can comprehend. (2)

While most, it should be safe to assume, have a reasonable understanding of the harsh realities of natural disasters, these disasters are quite tame when compared to the harsher realities of the political and economic calamities brought on by man. Natural disasters brought us building codes for constructing dwellings that could withstand its ire which mitigate the human tole of its wrath. But with all the seemingly randomness of nature's furry, and the unfathomable power it unleashes, its randomness actually becomes our ally for it is indifferent in its furry. Not so with the furry of man. Nature therefore, as it turns out, can't hold a candle to the destruction and suffering brought to bear against man by man.

Another tenet of normalcy bias, according to whoever the writer was on Wikipedia, is: "People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation." It is difficult for anyone who does not participate in an affluent society to take this perspective.

So what does this mean? It means that we can go about our lives interpreting the economic facts that our government is annually spending deficit amounts that are beyond the grasp of the human mind and, in a spiritual sense, that we can institutionalize then teach all our children the idea that there is no such thing as absolute right and wrong and that all our lives are the result of random chance and are ultimately meaningless in the most optimistic way possible.

But the reality that we live in a harsh world will not be thwarted forever. Creating "money" out of thin air to built a wall between action and consequence will work only for a little while, but it will have its long term ramifications, and those ramifications will demonstrate the forgotten reality that we do in fact live in a world inherently harsh to our adolescent ideas of a utopian existence.


1. Emphasis on "in" an affluent society; and by this I mean Western Society generally and American Society specifically. I am not claiming to be affluent myself, at least not according to the American understanding of that term, but I am able to realize that on a global scale, even in light of all the limitations placed upon me by my economic condition, that I do live an affluent life; and I do so along with the great majority of other citizens of this society.

2. I am a harsh critic of "utopian desires", but still understand all people's, including my own, desire of a utopian existence. The desire is not, in my opinion, the problem, but rather the willy nilly willingness to go on destructive and rage based rampages in pursuit of some future unrealistic and ever elusive state of being.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Great Football Play

This is a Middle School football game wherein an on-field lesson was presented to these youngsters.  It will come in handy in off-field life should for those who take heed: things are not always as they appear.