Saturday, February 28, 2009

Music, Mushrooms and Truth

John Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992), a contemporary American composer, believed that the universe is impersonal by nature and that it originated only through pure chance. In an attempt to live consistently with this personal philosophy, Cage composed all of his music by various means of chance. He used, among other things, the tossing of coins and the rolling of dice to make sure that no personal element enters into the final product. The result was music that has no form, no structure, and for the most part, no appeal. This is a video of one of his most well-known piece, called "4'33"":



Though his professional life accurately reflected his belief in a universe that has no order, his personal life did not, for his favorite pastime was mycology, the collecting of mushrooms. Due to the potentially lethal results of picking the wrong mushroom, one cannot approach a mushroom on a purely by-chance basis. Concerning that, Cage stated, “I became aware that if I approached mushrooms in the spirit of my chance operations, I would die shortly.”
John Cage believed one thing, but practiced another. In doing so, he is an example of the man described in Romans 1:18 who “suppresses the truth of God,” for when faced with the certainty of order in the universe, he still clings to his own novel theory.

(Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Atheist Counter-Evangelism (part 1)

"Evangelism is the systematic use of propaganda promoting a religious ideas for the purpose of gaining converts. Fliers, tracts and "witnessing" techniques are marketing tools to advertise a product."

There is a movement within so-called "atheist" circles called "Atheist evangelism" that promotes these kinds of ideas; however, if so-called "atheists" are concerned that "Evangelism is the systematic use of propaganda promoting a religious ideas for the purpose of gaining converts," then they must find another name and means to deliver their message. So-called "atheists" are doing the very thing that bothers them the most through conferences, seminars, websites, blogs, books in order to "counter-evangelize."

Immediately one cannot help but wonder why a so-called "atheist" would use the term "evangelism" to describe their anti-Christian movement. The English word "evangelize" comes from a combination of two Greek words εὔ = "good" and ἀγγέλλω = "I bring a message" which in it's final form means "good news." The meaning has been shifted to presently mean, "militant or crusading zeal." What has so-called "atheists" in an uproar that they would militantly crusade against an evangelistic message? Why must a so-called "atheist" stand against religious ideas for the purpose of gaining converts of his own? What is the message so-called "Christians" are bringing? Any message that says "get saved and go to heaven" is incomplete. Any message that says "join in how we think and be a member" is no message at all.

The central message of biblical Christianity is not a product that must be marketed and/or sold. The message of biblical Christianity is the glory of God in the Lord Jesus Christ, who by His death, burial and resurrection makes available forgiveness and cleansing from the penalty, power and presence of sin when He comes again. This is a message that must be proclaimed regardless of how it is received; hence, "good news." "Athiest evangelism" is dangerous because the movement seeks to convince that "Godlessness is good news."

Two facts come to immediate attention: first, what most so-called "Christians" today preach is not really the "good news." They might as well be preaching Godlessness because if God is not glorified by the work that He has done in Christ Jesus, then man gets the glory and this is idolatry. Second, most outside biblical Christianity know the message they are hearing is not quite right. The conscience is at work and they are looking for the truth.

Nowhere in scripture is there a mandate to go into all the world and market a product for the purpose of counting membership. This kind of religious ideology should be shunned! Rather, the mandate is to go into all the world and preach the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:18).

Salvation from what? Lack of church membership? Failure of being a convert? No. Salvation from the penalty, power and presence of sin.

The sum of the biblical gospel is found in verses like John 3:16:

1. “GOD LOVED THE WORLD” God created man to enjoy a perfect relationship with Him, but the first man (Adam) sinned. Because we are descendants of Adam, we also sin against God and the fellowship is broken.

2. “PERISH” Sin is when we break God’s perfect law. We see God’s perfection and our sinfulness by looking at just a few of the Ten Commandments:

1) How many lies have you told in your life? God commands that we do not lie.
2) Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of value or the reason? God commands that we not steal.
3) Have you ever looked with lust? Our Lord Jesus Christ says that lust is adultery, and God commands that we not commit adultery.
4) Have you ever hated anyone? God says that hatred is the same as murder, and He commands that we not kill.

This is just four of the Ten Commandments. Scripture says that if we break just one of these commands, then we have broken them all. Scripture says that sin is to break the law of God. Sin has broken our relationship with God. Scripture teaches that the soul that sins shall die; in other words, sin has separated us from God and we deserve to die in our sins.

3. “ETERNAL LIFE” God does not want anyone to perish, but for all to have eternal life; that is, enjoy a restored relationship with Him. God does not want us to die in our sins. The problem is that our good works are sinful to God.

4. “ONLY BEGOTTEN SON” Since there is nothing we can do to fix our sin problem, God has done it for us. God stepped into time and space in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and lived a perfect life so that in His death on the cross He could pay the penalty for our sin. Scripture teaches that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Three days later, He rose from the dead.

5. “BELIEVES IN HIM” This means that we confess our sins to God. He sees our heart and our sinfulness and simply desires that we agree with Him—we are sinners (liars, thieves, adulterers, etc.) and by faith as God ask Him to put all His righteousness on us, and all our sin on Him. “Believe” does not mean to look at Jesus on the cross and go on our way with our sin. It means to cast off your sin on Him.

6. “WHOEVER” This is you. Will you pray to God and trust that what He did for you in Christ Jesus will save you from the penalty, power and presence of sin when He comes again?

Please make Psalm 51 your prayer.

The Philosophy of Umpires

Three umpires were debating their philosophies of umpiring. "There's balls and there's strikes," says the first, "and I call 'em the way they are."

"No!" exclaimed the next. "That's arrogant! There's balls and there's strikes, and I call 'em the way I see 'em."

"That's no better," broke in the third. "Why beat around the bush? Why not be realistic about what we do? There's balls and there's strikes, and they ain't nothin' 'till I call 'em."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Desire

"If Dr. [John A.T.] Robinson is right in saying that 'God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get on very well without him,' then the church has no need to say anything whatever to secularized man for that is precisely what secularized man already believes."

(E.L. Mascall, 1905 - 1993)

************
"Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven on earth." (John Wesley, 1703 - 1791)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Relentless Passion

"Our method of proclaiming salvation is this: to point out to every heart the loving Lamb, who died for us; to never, either in discourse or in argument, to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the loving Lamb; to name no virtue except in Him, and from Him and on His account; to preach no commandment except faith in Him; no other justification but that He atoned for us; no other sanctification but the privilege to sin no more; no other happiness but to be near Him, to think of Him and do His pleasure; no other self denial but to be deprived of Him and His blessings; no other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in Him."

(Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf 1700 - 1760)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is Hell the Absence of God?

In his post on February 20, Filmmaker’s Company Name Rejected Due to Blasphemy Laws, Hemant Mehta rightly (though mockingly) describes hell as "an imaginary concept — a scary one." At the end of the blog, he states, "There’s nothing wrong with Hell" meaning there is nothing wrong with using the word "hell." To a point, I agree with the thrust of the blog--there is nothing wrong with using the word and the action that he is responding to is certainly questionable; however, noting the responses of his readers, I was drawn to how others were responding to this scary "imaginary" concept of hell itself:

"When told that I would be going to hell, I always replied, 'That’s ok. That’s where all the fun people are.'”

"If Hell is the absence of God, then yeah, it seems alright to me, at least at the moment. Though I could do with a sandwich."

"Hell’s a cool place, especially in the summer. It’s about 30 minutes NW of Ann Arbor. And you turn LEFT on DARWIN RD. to get to Hell. There’s a resturaunt/bar, an ice cream stand and a little touristy party store. The local weather people go there every year to do their 'Hell freezing over' story. It’s pretty much surrounded by state parks so there’s all kinds of outdoorsy things to do."

The second quote froze me in my tracks: how did this guy come to the conclusion that hell was the absence of God? Then it occurred to me that I grew up hearing this taught in church--that hell is such a horrible place because God is not there. Suddenly I realized that IF this were the case, then when an atheist dies, he goes to heaven . . . the atheist wins. Was the teaching correct?

Is hell the absence of God? What has God revealed about Himself in the Bible? Though I have already breached the subject of hell in another place, we may now consider further:

First, consider the omnipresence of the Triune God: He is everywhere; that is, He is present everywhere at once. There is no place God cannot be.

"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27. cf. Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24-28 )

Second, consider the omnipresence of Jesus:

"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:20)

"I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

"No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man." (John 3:13)

"For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)

"I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades." (Revelation 1:18)

Third, consider the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit:

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me." (Psalm 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23 )

There is no place that God cannot be.

The omnipresence of God is a comfort to the one who is at peace with Him.

"For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?" (Deuteronomy 4:7)

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1; 145:18 )

Consider further how God has revealed Himself to the nations:

"And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top."
(Exodus 24:17)

"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." (Deuteronomy 4:24)

"Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you." (Deuteronomy 9:3)

"From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire." (Isaiah 29:6)

"Behold, the name of the LORD comes from a remote place; Burning is His anger and dense is His smoke; His lips are filled with indignation And His tongue is like a consuming fire . . ." (Isaiah 30:27)

"And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard, And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire in cloudburst, downpour and hailstones." (Isaiah 30:30)

"Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. 'Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?'" (Isaiah 33:14)

"In fierce anger He has cut off All the strength of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand From before the enemy. And He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire Consuming round about." (Lamentations 2:3)

"For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29)

For further thought:

Hebrews 10:30-31 "For we know Him who said, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY' and again, 'THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.' It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:30-31)

Remember, by definition a lake is a body of water surrounded by land. One gets the distinct impression from scripture that the Lake of Fire is a distinct place as part of a much larger place. The Lake of Fire is not a place far removed from the presence of the Lord, or from the saints in heaven:

"The LORD says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'" (Psalm 110:1; cf. Luke 20:43; Acts 2:35; Hebrews 10:13 )

"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her." (Revelation 18:20 cf. 18:11-20 )

Jonathan Edwards pleads:

"Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do; everyone lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes won't fail . . . .

. . . The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given, and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. 'Tis true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God's vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the meantime is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are continually rising and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God that holds the waters back that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward; if God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.

The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and Justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood." (Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God )

Preach The Truth!

Says Mr. Shelby to Mrs. Shelby in H.B. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin.":

"I must say these ministers sometimes carry matters farther than we poor sinners would exactly care to do. We men of the world must wink pretty hard at various things, and get used to a deal that isn't the exact thing. But we don't quite fancy when women and ministers come out broad and square, and go beyond us in matters of either modesty or morals, that's a fact."

************

"What makes teaching the Word of God difficult is that you have to say things that you know people aren't going to like. It is inevitable that people will be offended about some of the statements in the Bible. But I dare not neglect to teach passages that are confrontive. Some people say that they can't tolerate my preaching because I am opinionated about what I believe. I often receive criticism for my apparent lack of love. But I realize that I have to say things that can wound people. However, I'd rather stand before God and hear Him say, 'You said the truth, MacArthur,' than to have Him say, 'You made everybody happy, but you didn't tell the truth.' That's the only thing I can do to live with myself in peace and to honor the God that I love."

Dr. John MacArthur, "Beware The Pretenders: Twice Dead Men (part 2)"

************

"What a great responsibility God has laid upon us preachers of His gospel and teachers of His Word. In that future day when God's wrath is poured out, how are we going to answer? How am I going to answer? I fear there is much we are doing in the name of the Christian church that is wood, hay and stubble destined to be burned up in God's refining fire. A day is coming when I and my fellow ministers must give account of our stewardship:

What kind of a gospel did we preach?
Did we make it plain that men and women who are apart from Christ Jesus are lost?
Did we counsel them to repent and believe?
Did we tell them of the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit?
Did we warn them of the wrath of the Lamb -- the crucified, resurrected, outraged Lamb of God?

With that kind of accounting yet to come, the question John hears from the human objects of God's wrath is especially significant: "Who can stand?" (6:17). Who indeed?

(A.W. Tozer, "Jesus Is Victor!")

************

A preacher came into a city and delivered his message every day in the market-place. Soon everyone ignored his all-too-familiar message, and if they did notice him, people only laughed.

A small boy asked, "Sir, why do you keep crying aloud like this day after day? The people here will never listen to you."

"I gave up hope," the preacher replied, "that they would listen to me a long time ago. I go on crying lest I begin listening to them."

Monday, February 23, 2009

"I Will Not Be a Velvet-Mouthed Preacher!”

Listen to (or watch) John Piper's biographical sermon on "The Life and Ministry of George Whitefield: Living and Preaching as Though God Were Real (Because He Is)."

Read the transcript here.

Defender of the Motherland Day (Russia)

Друг мой! Позвольте задать вам самый важный вопрос на свете, от ответа на который зависит чем будет полна для вас вечность - радостью или тоской. Этот вопрос - получили ли вы спасение? Речь идет не о том, хороший ли вы человек и принадлежите ли вы к какой-нибудь церкви, а о том, получили ли вы спасение? Уверены ли вы, что попадете после смерти на небеса?

Follow this link for an English translation.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slandering the Blood

One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God’s call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs and prostitution, but the change in her was evident.

As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. S he eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor’s son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began.

You see, about one half of the church did not think a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor’s son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand.

The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor’s son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be. He began to speak and his statement was this: "My fiancées past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of The Blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put The Blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?"

The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering The Blood of The Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Great and Universal System of God's Contrivances

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:36)

“The gospel comprises indeed, and unfolds, the whole mystery of man's redemption, as far forth as it is necessary to be known for our salvation: and the corpuscularian or mechanical philosophy strives to deduce all the phenomena of nature from adiaphorous matter, and local motion. But neither the fundamental doctrine of Christianity nor that of the powers and effects of matter and motion seems to be more than an epicycle . . . of the great and universal system of God's contrivances, and makes but a part of the more general theory of things, knowable by the light of nature, improved by the information of the scriptures: so that both these doctrines . . . seem to be but members of the universal hypothesis, whose objects I conceive to be the natural counsels, and works of God, so far as they are discoverable by us in this life.” (Robert Boyle, 1627 - 1691)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Response to Brad on “Richard Dawkins Stumped By Creationist’s Question.”

Brad, no I confess I did not research the video titled “Richard Dawkins Stumped By Creationist’s Question.” I was not aware of any resources “behind” this video. Thank you for pointing them out to me.

Here’s what grabbed me about the clip: it was not his being caught off-guard and silence in searching for an answer that seems to be portrayed. What grabbed me was the answer itself. I hear Dawkins support micro-evolution as opposed to macro-evolution; in other words, that every life-form descends from it’s own ancestor: fish from fish, people from people.

At :32 he discusses the “popular misunderstanding of evolution which says that, uh, fish turned into reptiles and reptiles turned into mammals” and in turn “look at our ancestors . . . to see the intermediates . . .” The misunderstanding, according to Dawkins, is that we would expect to see fish becoming reptiles. But we don’t. We see fish becoming fish, mammals becoming mammals, people becoming people—all from our ancestors in kind.

About 1:20, Dawkins falls into that very misunderstanding.

I agree, we are not descended from modern “anything” except our own ancestors. Just like the Bible says.

Sort of reminds me of a little bit of reading I’ve been doing in genetics. Did you know that if your parents did not have any children, there is a high percentage that you won’t either?

Response to Brad on “What Goes Through An Atheist’s Mind On the Brink of Death?”

Brad, as there is no other way to contact you, I will respond to your comment you left at “What Goes Through An Atheist’s Mind On the Brink of Death?” through this post.

My apologies for any offense concerning the title. I was merely attempting to stay in the spirit of Hemant Mehta’s title, “Atheist Thinks of Her Life on the Brink of Death.”

Just curious, but what does this have to do with the fact that you will face God on Judgment Day?

Response to Brad on "Christians are Communists?"

I would like to take a moment to thank Brad, over at Dimensionless, for taking the time to respond to four of my posts. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to respond directly to him (which is causing me to rethink how to go about nurturing further dialogues), so I will do so here in this post.

First, on “Christians are Communists?” Thank you for sharing Ebonmuse’s real name. The fact that he does not post his name is of no incident, just an observation. You said, “The Bible is portraying a small instance of communism. Caring for the needy implies distribution of wealth - although not anything systematic or top-down. It is not, however, proscribing it for all its followers, nor necessarily condoning it for the masses as a viable form of economy or politics.” The root question that seeks to be answered here seems to be “what is normative?”

Looking at passages like Deuteronomy 15:7-8 and Acts 2:45-46 and 4:34-37 we can determine an ethical response for “the masses” by considering first, the similarity of situation. Despite differences in culture (no matter how subtle) geography and time, the situations people face (in this case, poverty and wealth) remain ever present. In other words, the situation of the ancients is still present in our own time and place.

A second factor concerns moral directive: is there an authoritative position that transcends cultural bias? We live and move within God’s created order and in relationship with other people. Since God is Creator, the biblical ideal is theocratic, not socialist. Of course, if one attempts to dethrone God in so many various ways (such as denying His existence) then one sets up for himself a misunderstanding of the culture, directive and solution—but I get ahead of myself.

Also, moral law is absolute and does not succumb to the particulars of culture, geography or time. This is where God as provident sovereign, works through structures of human freedom, controlling cultural development as they are found within the created order. The choice for humanity is to be built on and conform to moral absolutes, or operate autonomously and without a foundation. Structures without foundations crumble quickly.

This brings up a problem: the form of the directive for “the masses.” In the case of prescription for followers or masses, there exists a principle stated in Scripture (Deuteronomy 15:7-8) and is carried out in scripture beyond cultural bounds (the Acts passages)—this deserves a second look for any culture. Again, should anyone choose to shrug off the rule of God, what is he left to do but construct his own . . . the principle of the absolute is still present. Man shrugs off God's Word and lives by His own? This is most curious because the Bible is often criticized for being untrustworthy because it was "written by men . . ." The logic does not follow. God's absolutes still make themselves evident, no matter how man tries to cast Him off.

The difficulty for me is the use of the word “communism” (and this will address your last point): I understand that Ebonmuse attempts to differentiate atheism from communism; however, Ebonmuse closes by saying, “But even today, hardly any advocate the socialist, communist ideal that is plainly envisioned by the Bible itself.” The biblical ideal is theocratic, not socialist. In other words, God is the ruler, not the state. God made all, so He owns all. Men, made in God’s image are to manage God’s creation.

Second, you said, “He doesn't admit to the historicity of Jesus (although it actually isn't uncommon for atheists to concede such a point) - he says the evidence is lacking to confidently conclude there ever was a Jesus. He talks about how Jesus could not just be a "lord, liar, or lunatic" (as a certain apologist put it), but also a legend.”

Here is what Ebonmuse said: “In the Book of Acts, chapter 2, verses 44 to 45, we hear a bit about how the first Christians lived following the departure of Jesus . . .” This is a plain, clear statement of the historicity of Jesus and how Christians responded to His departure. Please help me see where Ebonmuse infers lack of confidence in the historicity of Jesus or that He is legend.

"For Whom Did Christ Die?"

"The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

1. All the sins of all men;
2. All the sins of some men; or,
3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it must be said:

a. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved;
b. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth;
c. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

Your answer: because of unbelief. I ask, is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!"

(Dr. John Owen, 1616-1683)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"I did not ask to be saved."

Someone dropped me a line that said to the effect (I accidentally deleted it): "I did not ask to be saved. How absurd that God should go on a scape-goat blood-bath for me when I did not ask for it. I don't want to be saved. I love my sin."

Here's a thought from Charles Spurgeon:

"There is no other reason why God should save a man, but for his name's sake; there is nothing in a sinner which can entitle him to salvation, or recommend him to mercy; it must be God's own heart which must dictate the motive why men are to be saved. One person says, "God will save me, because I am so upright." Sir, he will do no such thing. Says another, "God will save me because I am so talented." Sir, he will not. Your talent! Why thou drivelling, self-conceited idiot, thy talent is nothing compared with that of the angel that once stood before the throne, and sinned, and who now is cast into the bottomless pit for ever! If he would save men for their talent, he would have saved Satan; for he had talents enough. As for thy morality and goodness, it is but filthy rags, and he will never save thee for aught thou doest. None of us would ever be saved, if God expected anything of us: we must be saved purely and solely for reasons connected with himself, and lying in his own bosom. Blessed be his name, he saves us for "his name's sake."

(Spurgeon, "Why Are Men Saved?" Sermon #115, Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 1, 1857, by theREV. C. H. Spurgeonat the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Christians are Communists?

In the today's post, "Little-Known Bible Verses: Communism", Ebonmuse (he does not post his real name) attempts to make that case that communism is a biblical idea. Edonmuse writes, "In the Book of Acts, chapter 2, verses 44 to 45, we hear a bit about how the first Christians lived following the departure of Jesus: 'And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.' This is communism in a nutshell - common ownership, no private property, redistribution of resources based only on need. The first Christians were communists."

Communism is not what the Bible is portraying at all. What Acts shows is a how early Christians held onto their possessions lightly, ready to help as needs arose. 2:45 says they sold their possessions to care for the needy, not for equal distribution. Consider also 2:46; 4:34-37. I found it intriguing that the "Daylight Atheist" admits to the historicity of Jesus. Also, I could not help but agree that Deuteronomy 15:7-8 is a command to take care of the poor.

So the problem is that people have been taking care of the poor for centuries. Communism and the biblical culture decried here are not at all the same. This is a poor excuse for atheism.

He Became What We Were

"From heaven’s perspective, those who break God’s Law are vile and worthy of all loathing. They are a wretched lot, justly exposed to divine vengeance, and rightly devoted to eternal destruction. It is not an exaggeration to say that the last thing that the accursed sinner should and will hear when he takes his first step into hell is all of creation standing to its feet and applauding God because He has rid the earth of him. Such is the vileness of those who break God’s law, and such is the disdain of the holy towards the unholy. Yet, the Gospel teaches us that, 'Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us -- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree."’ Christ became what we were in order to redeem us from what we deserved."

Paul Washer, on "The Cross of Christ."

Monday, February 16, 2009

What goes through an atheist's mind on the brink of death?

I've always been curious to know what goes through an atheist's mind while on the brink of death. Well, now we have an idea of what some actually thought (warning: watch out for "language.")

Here's a thought from A.W. Tozer: "Were all human beings suddenly to become blind, still the sun would shine by day and the stars by night, for these owe nothing to the millions who benefit from their light. So, were every man on earth to become atheist, it could not affect God in any way. He is what he is in himself without regard to any other. To believe in him adds nothing to his perfections; to doubt him takes nothing away.” (Knowledge of the Holy, p. 40)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Richard Dawkins stumped by creationists' question

Or to as Robert A. Heinlein puts it, "Ancestors are just people."

“The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing.” (G. K. CHESTERTON)

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Darwin's Birthday Poll: Fewer Than 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution"

Posted Thursday, February 12, 2009 on Fox News:

"A new poll released just in time for Charles Darwin's 200th birthday found only 39 percent of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution" and just 24 percent of those who attend church weekly believe in the explanation for the origin of life.

The Gallup survey, released Wednesday, found a quarter of those polled do not believe in evolution, and 36 percent say they don't have an opinion either way."

Read the full article here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin Day

Today is "Darwin Day." More than 350 locations around the world are celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. Many universities and even the National Geographic and Discovery Channels are planning to celebrate.

I don't see what the big deal is: there is no Darwin to believe in.

Is there anyone out there who can provide proof that Darwin existed?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

C.S. Lewis on Evolution

"Long before I believed Theology to be true I had already decided that the popular scientific picture at any rate was false. One absolutely central inconsistency ruins it; it is the one we touched on a fortnight ago. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears. Unless we can be sure that reality in the remotest nebula or the remotest part obeys the thought--laws of the human scientist here and now in his laboratory-in other words, unless Reason is an absolute--all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based. The difficulty is to me a fatal one; and the fact that when you put it to many scientists, far from having an answer, they seem not even to understand what the difficulty is, assures me that I have not found a mare's nest but detected a radical disease in their whole mode of thought from the very beginning. The man who has once understood the situation is compelled henceforth to regard the scientific cosmology as being, in principle, a myth; though no doubt a great many true particulars have been worked into it."

C.S. Lewis, "On Evolution."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Does Biology/DNA Dictate Behavior?

Let's try a little experiment to see (and I am sure that's no creationist sitting in the chair):

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Bankrupt Faith

George Bernard Shaw (1814-1885) is perhaps the most renowned in the world as a freethinker and liberal philosopher. In his writings, he says, "The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels, which would have established the millennium, led instead directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshippers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

"How can you help me to fully commit my life to Jesus without turning back?"

Last week I received this question via e-mail from a reader in Nairobi, Kenya, "How can you help me to fully commit my life to Jesus without turning back?"

My response:

A boy went to spend a few days at the river with His father. The father told the boy not to go in the water because of the crocodiles who lived in the water. Day after day they went down to the river and day after day they fished. The first day the boy noticed a boat nearby, and the father saw the boy looking at the boat. He told the boy that he must not get in the boat, but stay on the bank--do NOT go in the river, and do NOT get in the boat.

The more they visited the river, the more the boy wanted to get in the water. One day, the father was not looking and the boy got in the boat and drifted to the middle of the river. One of the crocodiles saw the boat, swam alongside and flipped the boat over, throwing the boy into the water. The father saw what happened and dove into the river. The father turned the boat back over, and just as he got his son back into the boat and pushed it toward the land, the crocodiles began to attack and eat his father. The father was killed while the boy got out of the boat and stood on the land.

If you were the boy, would you be sorry you had disobeyed the father?
Would you be thankful he gave his life for you, so you could live?
Would you live in such a way that you never went back into the river?
Or would you get back in the boat?

This is what God did for you in Christ Jesus. He saved you from the penalty of sin by dying on the cross and rising again. Turn from your sin and place your faith and trust in what He did for you.

Read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Suspension of Nurse Who Offered to Pray for Patient's Recovery Sparks Uproar

The British nurse who was suspended without pay for offering to pray for a patient's recovery has been reinstated and will return to work in the next few days.

Caroline Petrie, an evangelical Christian from Weston-super-Mare, was subjected to disciplinary action by North Somerset Primary Care Trust even though the patient was not offended and made no complaint.

Petrie, who was supported by the Christian Legal Centre, was summoned last week to a disciplinary hearing on the charge that she had failed to demonstrate a "personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity."

Read the rest here on Fox News.

Book Review: Wild at Heart


Eldredge proposes that we need "permission to be what we are--men made in God's image” and develops his point through twelve chapters of “discovering the secret of a man’s soul.”

Chapter 1, “Wild At Heart” extends an invitation with incomplete and out of context scripture references for men to live as God intended: “with ferocity.” The readers should be aware of the obscure and questionable sources of the author’s quotes and pagans who in their own writing use “God” and “Mother Nature” interchangeably (the reasons become obvious in Chapter 4). His many examples and stories used throughout the book regarding the undomesticated nature of men’s hearts are speculative and contradictory; consider one example here in the first chapter: if Adam was "was created outside the Garden of Eden, in the wilderness . . . born in the outback, in the untamed part of creation" then this explains why (according to Eldredge) that, "boys have never been at home at home indoors, and men have had an insatiable longing to explore." The implication is that women do not have this inclination because Eve was created indoors, right?

Chapter 2, “The Wild One Whose Image We Bear” suggests Jesus as a mixture of Mother Theresa and William Wallace, though Eldredge says that Jesus is whoever you need Him to be. This is idolatry, making for oneself a god of one’s own understanding. How does the author conclude that God is a “pick fight” God when the greatest battle He fights is for His own glory?

Chapter 3, “The Question That Haunts Every Man” is “am I really a man?” Here Eldredge confuses emotion and desire with “function.” A lion does not hunt because he loves to hunt nor does a man long for fight except by the sin nature and this is where Eldredge begins to make a measure of theological sense, but his conclusions are still questionable.

Chapter 4, “The Wound” attempts to answer the question previous given by suggesting that one must prove his masculinity or be “crippled by the answer they’ve been given.” The author concludes that masculinity is an essence that must be given by a man or by a community of men and this occurs through the process of what amounts to abuse: insults, berating and testing. This reader is confused by the suggestion that calling a boy “ @#!*% ” is helpful to instill manhood yet the author insists on quoting homosexuals to inspire manhood. Additionally, the author prefers to quote sources who in their own writing use “God” and “Mother nature” interchangeably. What message is really being communicated?

Chapter 5, “The Battle for a Man’s Heart” speaks strongly for validation of manhood, and that validation must come from woman. He builds this case following introductory pages describing the void left by missing fathers.

Chapter 6, “The Father’s Voice” calls for a knowledge of manhood that rises from initiation, an experience that is deeper than one’s relationship with God and the truths of biblical doctrine, replacing faith and trust with pagan ritual. Now that one’s masculinity has been validated by woman, walk away from her and find God. “What else is it we are seeking from the Woman with the Golden Hair? What is that ache we are trying to assuage with her? Mercy, comfort, ecstasy--in a word, God. I’m serious. What we are looking for is God.” Choose God over Eve.

Chapter 7, “Healing the Wound” opens with inspiring quotes from Glenn Fry and Don Henley (who sung of Satanist Alistair’ Crowley’s mansion in “Hotel California”), Wendell Berry (a supporter of homosexual marriage, among other things) and Brennan Manning (a proponent of a gospel without repentance). Healing is Christ setting the heart free (recall: not Jesus as He is, but the one you make for yourself--see Ch. 2) without repentance.

Chapter 8, “A Battle to Fight: The Enemy” is an encouragement to join God in a battle He is already fighting, to have vision and cunning against the false self (“the flesh”), against the world system built by collective sin (“the world”) and the devil by strength.

Chapter 9, “A Battle to Fight: The Strategy” teaches to out-maneuver the enemy by acknowledging there is an enemy, praying and cunning with truth to cover weakness. Don’t be intimidated or compromise. The weapons of our warfare are catalogued but not explained in one page out of twenty-one.

Chapter 10, “A Beauty to Rescue” returns to the woman encouraging her healing by offering masculine strength. His explanation of taking advantage of the woman goes contrary to the understanding of the previous chapters highlighted by the misapplication of scripture demonstrating “biblical femininity” as having a wild-side, too.

Chapter 11, “An Adventure to Live” suggests "asking the right question." Should the reader find it, he is to be congratulated. Perhaps this is the adventure presented by the author before heading off "into the unknown" with God.

Chapter 12 is the final chapter. That's about it.

************
The author’s proposition is difficult because mankind is created in God's image and needs not permission but direction on how to be God’s representative on this earth and that direction is no secret. Eldredge intends that that we need "permission to live from the heart and not from the list of 'should' and 'ought to' that has left so many of us tired and bored." In other words, men need something more than what God has already given us by living Spirit-filled lives in obedience to His unchanging Word. Eldredge clearly communicates a deep misunderstanding of biblical anthropology and infers that God’s Word is insufficient. Eldridge makes God out to be a risk-taking God based on a misunderstanding of His sovereignty.

A few comments on boredom, which the author cites as a necessity for wildness: A Christian man who is the head of his wife, loving her as Christ loved the church is not bored. A Christian man who is raising his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is certainly not bored. A Christian man who does his work for his boss as unto the Lord is far from bored. A Christian man who dares to walk up to any other person who is dead in their sins and points them to the cross is anything but bored. If manhood is about adventure, then get outside and proclaim the gospel through Spirit-empowered witnessing and preaching--test your manhood with that one. If a Christian man is bored, it's not because he is a "nice guy." If a Christian man is working for the Kingdom, toiling and persevering in the faith through spiritual warfare, not tolerating evil men and putting to test those who call themselves apostles and endure for the name of Jesus, holding fast and remembering his first love then he is obedient not bored.

I have so many questions:

1) Why does mankind need permission to live from the heart, which God describes as being, “more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Why would a man need permission to live wickedly when He already made man in His image? When does a biblical man live from what God says in wicked and deceitful? Remember: man got this way because he disobeyed God.

2) How is it possible for man to live ethically, apart from “the list of ‘should’ and ‘ought to’”? When is obedience boring?

3) Why would I want to win the old heart back?

4) How is there freedom apart from living obediently as God's representative on this earth?

5) Is there such thing as an untamed spiritual life when the fruit of the Spirit is self control (Galatians 5:23)?

6) How is gender determined at the level of the soul, when God created with specific physical distinctions that define gender?

7) If film is a way to measure the heart, then how did men measure their hearts before film?

8) Why can man not receive validation of his manhood from God? Is there perhaps a different role for women that is overlooked?

Perhaps the best conclusion would be to echo the advice of a fellow faculty member: read books that make you mad. This one does just that--because this madness drives one to think.

Thoughts on the National Prayer Breakfast

Yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama gave the following speech wherein he made some very particular comments. USA Today also carried a concise run-down:

Regarding the history of the Prayer Breakfast, the President said it "strikes me that this is one of the rare occasions that still brings much of the world together in a moment of peace and goodwill."

The President said, "There is no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same. We read from different texts. We follow different edicts. We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we’re going next – and some subscribe to no faith at all."

The "Friendly Athiest" remarked, "It’s strange hearing a politician mention non-religious people in a positive, inclusive way. I could get used to this."

The President went on to say, "But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know." I wonder what he meant when he said that?

John Piper preached on January 25, 2009 a "Sanctity of Life" sermon ("The Baby In My Womb Leapt For Joy") where recalling how on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the President said, “We are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters.”

The President continued. "Whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to 'love thy neighbor as thyself.' The Torah commands, 'That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.'" In Islam, there is a hadith that reads 'None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.' And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule -– the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth. It is an ancient rule; a simple rule; but also one of the most challenging. For it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship with or agree with on every issue."

In case you missed it, even neo-pagans are included by mention of the "ancient rule."

"Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. This is not only our call as people of faith, but our duty as citizens of America, and it will be the purpose of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that I’m announcing later today.

"The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another – or even religious groups over secular groups. It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state."

Our community faces the challenges of crime, murder and drugs. One group says "live and let live. Who are you to tell us what to believe and how?" These are the criminals in my community. Yet, I know of Security Guards and Law Enforcement Officers who know that if they let allow me (among others) to present the Law of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, preaching that men should repent of their sins (like lying, stealing, covetousness, adultery, etc) and put their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ, their job of law and policy enforcement will be easier. I've actually heard a Security Guard in a store breathe a sigh when I came through the door of the store, "Oh, good. You're here!" I fail to understand how people who choose to live without restraint can call the police when they are victimized . . .

This is the most important paragraph of the President's speech: "I was not raised in a particularly religious household. I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist, grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of organized religion, even as she was the kindest, most spiritual person I’ve ever known. She was the one who taught me as a child to love, and to understand, and to do unto others as I would want done."

He goes on. "I didn’t become a Christian until many years later, when I moved to the South Side of Chicago after college. It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation, but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck – no matter what they looked like, or where they came from, or who they prayed to. It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods, that I first heard God’s spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose – His purpose."

Consider this comment by Ray Comfort in The Evidence Bible: "Many people do similar things. They may steal from their employer or cheat on their taxes, then give to a charity or spend Thanksgiving helping at a soup kitchen. They think they are balancing the scales: they have done bad, and now they are doing good. However, the Bible reveals that the motive of guilty sinners is one of guilt (see Hebrews 9:14). They are at-tempting to bribe the Judge of the Universe. However, the Judge in this case will not be corrupted. He must punish all sinners. Good works cannot earn mercy; it comes purely by the grace of God. He will dismiss our iniquity only on the grounds of our faith in Jesus."

The President concludes, "We come to break bread and give thanks and seek guidance . . ."

From WHO, Mr. President? And when He guides, who will obey?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Follow-up from yesterday's post at "Friendly Athiest."

Yesterday, I posted a link to a conversation going on over at "Friendly Athiest." Richard posted his thoughts on the comment I left, but he did not leave a way for me to contact him in reply, so here it is:
************

Thank you for taking the time to write a response to my comment and thinking with me.

I said in my comment, "AA does not work because of the absence of God as Objective Personality" to which you replied, "Let me guess. And that “Objective Personality” is only described in the Good Book, right? But we do have to have that description filtered through a human being’s subjective interpretation, right? Someone like perhaps………..you?"

Why call the Bible the "Good Book?" Where did you get that idea? The Bible records stories of people being burned alive, children being torn from the womb, mass killings, cannibalism, heads being cut off, hangings, stonings, rape, incest, adultery, lust, prostitution, bodies being eaten by worms, “men of God” running around drunk and naked, and so many other distasteful things. The Bible does not hide human atrocities, our lusts, hatred, love of violence . . . it exposes our sins and warns that God will bring every work into judgment. He will punish murderers, rapists, thieves and all liars. How will it be with you on Judgment Day, when all sin will be punished?

Also, what do you mean when you say, "we do have to have that description filtered through a human being’s subjective interpretation, right? Someone like perhaps………..you?" Don't think for one moment that I speak for God. He speaks for Himself. Are you trying to say that subjective interpretation, reason and propositional truth are incompatible? Please clarify.

I also said, "God conforms to no one. This is idolatry. Including so-called atheism. The reason for the failure rate is this: unless one surrenders to the true and living God, there will be 100% failure rate." To this you asked, "When you say “no one,” does that include you? Or do you mean God conforms to no one except for your favorite set of concepts and descriptions? How can you claim to possess the knowledge of the “true and living God” if he conforms to no one?" Yes, that includes me--God does not conform to me, or anyone else or their concepts and descriptions for that matter. I can claim to possess the knowledge of the True and Living God because He has explained Himself in time, space, history, conscience and through propositional truth.

You also said, "You are also ignoring the details of the study. By saying that there will be 100% failure rate without surrender to your favorite “true and living God,” you are disregarding the people who do gain on-going recovery without doing whatever you mean by surrender. People do recover without using your method. They exist. Making your assertions with your eyes closed does not make those people disappear."

I am sorry to have misled you to think that one must surrender to my "favorite 'true and living God'" simply because I say so. God Himself has asked this of mankind, not me. It is not His will than any should perish but that all should come to repentance; that is, turn from their sins and put their faith and trust in His finished work through Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.

You said, "I provided addiction counseling to ten thousand patients for ten years. I was very good at my job, testified by both my patients and my colleagues. We tried everything and anything we could; Psychotherapy, 12-step programs, secular programs, pastoral counseling, church-based support groups, medical treatments. NOTHING WORKED WELL. Most of the patients eventually failed and eventually died. From where I was I could see no difference in the outcome based on the method. Generally, addiction treatment is like picking through bodies in a blasted building and stumbling upon a few live ones."

First, thank you for sharing your extensive background and your hard work with people. As a counselor, you understand the necessity of looking for symptoms and cures. You also know that if it were possible for any one person to deliver himself from any one of his troubles, he could deliver himself from all troubles. Why does mankind keep stumbling and falling? "By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." (2 Peter 2:19) This is not my method--God has provided the cure, only men love their sin too much to take it--they prefer the disease and its consequences.

I am sure you strove for excellence to the best of your ability; however, you confirmed the fact that 10 out of 10 people die and no program, group or treatment can provide any help whatsover to turn that tide. This merely confims what the Bible says, "the wages for sin is death." One cannot be counseled or programmed out of death.

The truth of the matter is that every person is caught in addiction--it's called "sin pattern behavior." God has provided the cure in the Lord Jesus Christ which includes freedom from the power of sin while we still live, freedom from the presence AND penalty of sin when we pass from this life.

Anniversary of the Mexican Constitution

Cuatro Leyes Espirituales

1. PRIMERA LEY

Dios le AMA, y tiene un PLAN maravilloso para su vida. (Los textos de las Sagradas Escrituras contenidos en este folleto, de ser posible, deben leerse directamente en la Biblia.)

El amor de Dios"Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en El cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna." (San Juan 3:16)

El plan de Dios(Cristo afirma) "Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia" (Una vida completa y con propósito). (San Juan 10:10b)

¿Por qué es que la mayoría de las personas no están experimentando esta "vida en abundancia"? Porque...

Carnival (Portugal)

Meu amigo! Faço-te a mais importante pergunta desta vida. Tua alegria ou tristeza por tôda a ETERNIDADE depende dela. Eis a pergunta: Estás SALVO? Quer dizer ... ESTÁS CERTO de que irás para o Céu quando morreres? Não te pergunto se és membro de alguma igreja, mas ESTÁS SALVO? Não te pergunto se és pessoa de bem mas ESTÁS SALVO? Ninguém pode gozar das bênçãos de Deus ou ir para o Céu, sem estar salvo. Jesus disse a Nicodemos, em João 3:7 - "Necessário vos é nascer de novo." Deus nos deu na Sua Palavra um ÚNICO plano de Salvação. Esse plano é simples. Podes ser salvo HOJE.

O Plano Simples De Deus Para A Salvação

Follow this link for an English translation

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Is God to blame for not helping Alcoholics Anonymous?

Hemant Mehta, over at “Friendly Atheist” posted a thought-provoking blog, ”Alcoholics Anonymous Not As Helpful as Secular Alternatives”. In the event he chooses not to publish my comment, I offer it here for your perusal:

************
You said, “God seems to just make the problems worse.” AA says that one can “make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

The first problem is God has not made any problem worse, but one’s understanding of Him. If one “understands God” to be one way and someone else “understands God” another way and both are wrong, then that is not a failure on God’s part.

Also, please make certain that atheists who also attend these meetings and choose to disbelieve (a god of their own understanding) are also caught up in the same failure rate.

AA does not work because of the absence of God as Objective Personality.

Another problem is that mere decision does nothing for any individual for he can make one decision one day then decide another day to do something different. Is it God’s fault that a person decides (for some reason or other) to quit drinking, yet he intentionally decides to look in his wallet, count his money, get in the car, purchase the drink, drive back home (if that’s where he goes), put the drink to His lips and get drunk? Hardly. If the individual obeyed God, there would be no problem–God is not the one to blame.

God conforms to no one. This is idolatry. Including so-called atheism. The reason for the failure rate is this: unless one surrenders to the true and living God, there will be 100% failure rate.

Thanks for thought-provoking posts!

Misc. Head-dibs

1. They know that time never erases a crime.

2. Can he handle the job?

3. Five "things" evangelism is NOT.

4. Five reasons to turn it down.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stimulus Bill Discriminates Against Religious Activity

From the American Center For Law And Justice (ht: Tim)

BREAKING NEWS : Stimulus Bill Discriminates Against Religious Activity

Our legislative team has unearthed a little noticed provision in the economic stimulus bill that is simply unacceptable. There's a provision in Section 803 of the measure that provides money for the modernization of university facilities. However, as written, the stimulus bill would prohibit schools that accept this funding from allowing religious activity to take place in those facilities.

Here's the language included in the stimulus bill:

"Grants awarded under this section shall be for the purpose of modernizing, renovating, and repairing institution of higher education facilities that are primarily used for instruction and research. . . ." Funds may not be used for the "modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities--(i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission."

This is a discriminatory measure that must be removed from the stimulus bill.

This provision would, in fact, prohibit universities that allow student groups to use facilities for Bible studies or worship services from receiving federal funds under the stimulus package.

Read the full post here.

Setsubun 節分 (Japan)

神は私たちを愛しておられ、個人的に神を知ることができるように、私たちを造ってくださいました。
神の愛
「神は、実に、そのひとり子をお与えになったほどに、世を愛された。それは彼を信じる者が、一人として滅びることなく、永遠の命を持つためである。」(ヨハネ3:16)
神の計画
「その永遠の命とは、彼らが唯一のまことの神であるあなたと、あなたの遣わされたイエス・キリストを知ることです。」(ヨハネ17:3)
では、私たちが神を知る上で、妨げとなっていることは何でしょうか?

More here.

Popular Posts