C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Comment Policy: No profanity or blasphemy will be posted. You do not have to agree, but if you would like your comment posted, you will have to adhere to the policy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Global Warming or Hot Air

Apparently, among the emails, phone calls, and conferences regarding Climate Research, there is some indistinguishable Hot Air among the Global Warming speculations.

Al Gore recall
Hacked email

The article (above) notes:
But several scientists whose names appear in the e-mail messages said they merely revealed that scientists were human, and did nothing to undercut the body of research on global warming. “Science doesn’t work because we’re all nice,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA whose e-mail exchanges with colleagues over a variety of climate studies were in the cache. “Newton may have been an ass, but the theory of gravity still works.”

What exactly does it mean, ‘scientists [are] human’? That they are capable of hiding evidence that contradicts their theory, that they are capable of falsifying data to promote their job security? I understand, as Schmidt declares, that some persons (scientists or other) may be more difficult to understand or get along with, but outright lying? How can lying and falsifying data NOT at least somewhat ‘undercut the body of research on global warming’?

Interestingly, such accusation, which many scientists (and others) deny should be now used against them and their data, is the very thing they often wish to use against their counters, the Creationists.

So, do I believe in Global Warming? Somewhat, I suppose, based on the reading of The Day of the Lord in 2 Peter 3:

9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Should We Examine Self Rather Than Chase The Tiger

By now, most everyone has likely heard at least some part of the story(ies) of Tiger Woods, and the numerous allegations of unfaithfulness to his wife Elin Nordegren. I admit, I have not really followed much of this story, but it is quite amazing how quick such articles circulate around the globe in regards to high profile personal lives. There simply seems to be no privacy, no sacred ‘off-limits’ areas, for those who are famed. Even now, it appears that his daily actions, along with those associated with the accusations, are being put under a microscope for all to watch and judge.

I am not saying that break downs in character from one who has become a role model for our children should be simply pushed under the rug, as if to insinuate or ensure an image that they are somehow perfect without fault (sin). Though, if such claims are true, the person would first owe repentance to God, then an apology to his wife and kids, and all without the help or advice of the media and population. And, though as parents, we would like to see an acknowledgment of any wrong doing and the acceptance of responsibility to work at restoration to positively influence our children to do the same, it is neither our right nor our privilege to demand we know everything surrounding the issue within all the personal lives touched by it.

Rather than jump on the bandwagon of chasing down the Tiger, why don’t we take a moment to examine our own hearts and lives? Are we quick to call him a cheat, while we lust and flirt after persons other than our spouse [boyfriend/girlfriend] at work, church, and elsewhere? Do we desire to look upon him as a poor father figure, while we take no time out of our busy lives to spend quality moments with our children? Have we now made him a disgrace of a role model, while we have never done anything to positively influence the next generation? Can we hold ourselves to the same standards we desire to place on others, or do we merely point out their faults to try and justify ourselves?

We should all desire to be a positive role model to those around us. Part of that is striving to live up to the principles we profess to believe, and the other is accepting responsibility and repenting of our actions when we fail to meet those values.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One’s Faults Are Not Another’s Excuse

As Christians, our beliefs and actions in regards to those beliefs, seem often called into question by those from without as well as those from within the church (and by church: I mean both the local congregation, and universally all who profess Christ). Once again, such relevant questions, which should cause us to examine ourselves, are brought to our attention by vjack at his blog: Atheist Revolution.

Vjack draws from the thought of another atheist blog, The Secular Thinker, who observes ‘as an atheist attending a Catholic college, noting that it was difficult to distinguish Catholic students from non-Catholics,’ and therefore poses the thought, ‘I know so many people who believe that the God of the Bible (which one?) actually exists, yet they break the 10 Commandments all the time. Honestly, if you believe this all knowing, all powerful, ever present being exists, then shouldn't you be doing everything you can to do what he/she/it says?’ From such thoughts, vjack declares, ‘nobody is perfect and that these students cannot be expected to never violate god's laws’ is not a good response to the rendered question, and further proposes that, ‘if one really believed that one's eternal soul was in jeopardy, wouldn't one be able to avoid breaking whatever version of the 10 Commandments one was taught?’

And, whether he realizes it or not, vjack’s conclusion is precisely the point every Christian and non Christian should take note of: ‘Observations like these lead many atheists, and more than a few Christians I suspect, to question the sincerity of the beliefs professed by some Christians.’

First, considering the Christian, the fact is many times we do not live up to the standard we profess to believe, wherein we draw the claim: ‘sola Scriptura – namely, that the Bible, as the inspired Word of God, is our final and solely infallible authority for faith and practice.’ [r] Vjack acknowledges (possibly somewhat sarcastically), there are those who profess Christ, but do not actually know Him nor are known by Him. There is also the realization that genuine Christians are not sinless (nor is any man, even by common consensus), nor will we be till we are glorified, but this does not excuse us from our responsibility to live a life according to the teachings and examples of Christ in Scripture. We must earnestly contend for the faith, by mediating on and obeying the Word of God in everyday life (both openly and in private), while finding ourselves quick to repent when we are found in error (i.e. sin).

Secondly, considering the non Christian, one is not justified by the failure of professing Christians to adhere to the teachings of Scripture through their actions in everyday life. Although, vjack declares the observation of professing Bible Believers often causes atheists ‘to question the sincerity of the beliefs professed by some Christians,’ the non Christian must realize that One’s Faults Are Not Another’s Excuse; meaning, though one may judge one’s fruit (as to claim one is not living as they profess to believe, which can be done both inside and outside Christianity), the authority and authenticity of Scripture is not and cannot be based on an individual’s lifestyle in conflict with it. Truth is not made null by one’s actions, but rather one’s actions are either justified or condemned by truth.

Thirdly, as considering an atheist, one should find it rather odd that any would assert that their belief/or non belief of Scripture is based on whether or not the professing Christian ‘walks the talk;’ for to be an atheist one expresses a denial of the existence of God (or gods), and therefore must also reject any trust in the written Word of God. So, any dismissal of Scripture based on the actions of a professing Christian appears to only be an excuse in search of justification of one’s lack of belief. For the unbelief comes not from the action of others, but from the heart of the one who does not accept God and Scripture as true. If Scripture be true, its truth is not based on man’s interpretation or actions, and therefore a professing Believer’s failure to adhere to Scripture in every detail does not and will not justify the sinner in his unbelief before God.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Observations Regarding Halloween and Fall Fest

As a status line in Facebook, I posed the following question:

Is having a fall fest in place of Halloween a good substitute, a compromise, or hypocrisy for churches/Christians?

In asking such a question, I expected to receive many different responses, based on numerous lines of reasoning. From those who contributed answers, I believe all are professing Christians, though the ideals regarding the stated question appears to differ some more than others. Following the nature of my initial request, be it for thought and not to determine one to be right or wrong, I would like to post my observations of the input here for persons to ponder to themselves; as it may contribute wisdom as to how we view Christianity and its principles as a whole.

Here are my observations in no particular order:

Observation 1: Some avoided the question, whether willingly or unknowingly, by giving a reply that did not directly answer the question at all.

Observation 2: Some stressed they had previously allowed their children to take part in Halloween, yet not to the extent other parents had allowed their children to take part in.

Observation 3: Some expressed their dislike of Halloween, but that it really wasn’t a matter worth much of their concern.

Observation 4: Some felt Fall Fest was better, for it gave the children a safer environment, allowing them to miss the more sadistic side of Halloween, but did not make them feel as though they were missing out on something others were enjoying.

Observation 5: Some chose their answer based on childhood experiences, based on their participation or lack thereof, as to what they would allow their children to take part in.

Observation 6: Some appeared to justify the celebrating of Halloween (though the question did not approve or condemn the holiday), by declaring that the church celebrating Fall Fest was neither better nor any different in principle.

Observation 7: Some believed that none should judge nor be judged in such a matter, but to allow each one’s own conscience to approve or condemn them.

Observation 8: Some mentioned that persons should study the birth of Halloween, which would lead to a further understanding of its roots, and possibly enlighten others as to why it should not be celebrated.

Observation 9: Some asked persons to seek God, to ask Him as to the holiday of Halloween, regarding whether or not it glorified Him to be celebrated.

Observation 10: Some admitted the celebration of Halloween was merely for their children’s enjoyment.

In conclusion, I would like to ask for us all to consider the following. Regardless of how we may deem such a question, in reality it does fall into relevance regarding Christian living. It cannot be simply passed over as having no merit, for all that we say and do leads us (along with those who observe us) either closer or further away from God; and all that we declare by word and deed ultimately shape and mold our children into what they become.

Note: I am still not declaring for you whether Halloween/Fall Fest is right or wrong, but merely stating the reality that the question itself cannot be avoided as having no merit. Consider the fight for the foundational principles of the gospel and Christianity. How would have the above observations aided or hurt the church in its battle of truth, if you replace Halloween/Fall Fest with the many battles Christianity has had regarding doctrines and beliefs? Where would we be had not men and women stood firm upon their beliefs, grounded in Scripture, willing to give their life for the cause of Christ over compromise, indifference, and being men pleasers in both great and small matters?

Judge thyself each matter, laying it hold upon the purifying fires of Scripture, giving opportunity to the Holy Spirit to cleanse us all of sin that we may walk diligently in His ways, teaching them unto our children, that we may all be conformed into the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us not wavier in our service to God, but be found to be a good and faithful servant.

God Bless!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Call To Evolve Contrary To Scripture?

Sometime ago I happened upon an atheist’s blog entitled ‘Atheist Revolution’, and although I no longer visit to comment, I do often read what the author has to say. Even though I seldom, if ever, agree with what is written, I read the articles more to try and understand the mindset of atheists (or at least one) than to simply argue with them at this point.

Today, I happened upon the author’s post, ‘Church of Sweden Votes to Allow Gay Marriage’, and the part that really caught my eye was the comment ‘I admire the progress the gay community has made in forcing some churches to evolve when it comes to human rights’. The writer acknowledges ‘The Christian bible is undoubtedly anti-gay’, and appears to suggest that churches need to evolve away from such.

My dispute is not really with the author of the article, for I would expect a non Christian to vary in their opinion regarding Scripture and homosexuality. It is rather directed more so to those who profess Christ and proclaim to trust in the Word of God; for, as the author declares, it is impossible to claim that the Scriptures are silent or pro homosexual.

The Bible clearly defines marriage was one man and one woman, and although one can find mankind living various lifestyles, the fact remains ‘from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.’ And likewise, Scripture declares, ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination’, along with being against nature, unseemly, in error, reprobate, etc.

For any person or church to profess Christ, claiming to trust in such through the Scriptures whereby the gospel is declared, yet holds not to the foundational teachings of marriage and homosexuality, it is not an evolving to a higher plain in spiritual understanding but is rather as one of the commenters said: the church ‘"softening up" a bit.’ Clearly, the embrace of homosexuality, whether of clergy or by marriage, is a declaration of the person’s or church’s degeneration from the truth, and from God. One cannot claim to uphold the oracles of God found in Scripture, yet deny sin as sin.

If one must repent, by confessing and turning away from sin to Christ, to be forgiven and saved by the work of Christ upon Calvary, according as it is written in Scripture, then to embrace homosexuality and the marriage thereof is in clear violation of Scripture and of God, and will send the sinner ignorantly on their way to hell, having only a corrupt blessing from a church, being in sin themselves, which has no merit with the Almighty. Not only does the homosexual need to repent and trust in Christ, but the church who embraces such sin must also.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When You Think No One Is Looking

Okay, so it has been a while since I have posted a thought here, but I was recently sent an email entitled ‘When you thought I wasn't looking.....’ It is one of those generic emails which get sent around from person to person, most often mass mailed to everyone in a person’s contact list. Displaying a cute picture of a little child with their arms crossed, it declares, ‘A message every adult should read because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say,’ as it shares a list of positive things children may see us do in our daily lives. And, as always, the email ends with ‘send this’ on to others.

Well, call me a pessimist if you must, but I cannot help but consider also the negative aspects we must share with our children, or any person for that matter, when we think they aren’t looking. This goes especially for the Christian, being this is a Christian blog, but also for the non Christian as well; given we are not only often judged by what/how people think we should act, but also by how our actions line up with our ideals we share aloud.

When I was in the US Army, a sergeant, one I invited to church a few times but never did he come, shared a story with me. He said one evening as they set down for supper, he bowed his head to pray over their food. After the prayer, his son asked his him why they were praying over the food since he had just cursed moments before.

Even a child can see hypocrisy, and quite frankly they don’t understand it until we teach them (by our actions) so very well how to do it. So, how much more can those who spend the majority of their time looking around the beam in their own eye spot our inconsistencies of voice and action?

We are teaching our children and most often others, while displaying what we really think about our voiced ideals, many times silently by our actions. Even as we endow positive ideals into the minds and hearts of persons by our good deeds, we also provide them opportunity to evolve into our own hypocrisy and/or find reason to ridicule us and our ideals by our contradictory actions.

However true, our own failures to stand firm in our actions toward our voiced Christian values – or any positive values for that matter – should not invalidate them, the reality is it most often does in the hearts and minds of those wishing to find a way to dismiss them already.

Let us not give one a reason to blaspheme or deny that which is right.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Missing Link Without A Chain

Here we go again with another few scientists wishing to market the idea they have found ‘the first link to all humans ... truly a fossil that links world heritage,’ says Hurum. Dr Jorn Hurum’s claims are that ‘Ida’ is supposedly at 47 million-year-old fossil of a 9 month old female, with ‘a foot bone called the talus bone links Ida directly to humans.’ Not to mention her dental analysis (‘the lack of a "toothcomb" or a "grooming claw"’), and optometrist examination (‘forward-facing eyes’).

So, surely if she had eyes, teeth, and feet similar to modern humans, she must be the ‘missing link’. I mean, she ‘shows characteristics from the very primitive non-human evolutionary line (prosimians, such as lemurs), but is more related to the human evolutionary line (anthropoids, such as monkeys, apes and humans).’ There is even a marvelous redition of a ‘Death scenario’ to accompany the story also. And look at the above portrait, ‘how Ida might have looked.’ I am thinking that looks pretty close to humans for sure.

Of course, Dr Jens Franzen declares, 'She belongs to the group from which higher primates and human beings developed but my impression is she is not on the direct line.' And ‘Dr Henry Gee, a senior editor at the journal Nature, said the use of the term 'missing link' was misleading.’ Along with ‘Dr Chris Beard, of America's Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said: 'I would be absolutely dumbfounded if it turns out to be a potential ancestor to humans.'’

I realize that some people like Dr. Hurum may like to claim they have found their ancestry in the creatures of history, but the fact remains all so-called ‘missing links’ are without a chain to connect them to humans; who were directly created by God Himself, without evolution from the other animals He also created.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finding Ourselves and Rest in Christ, Not in Self

I recently visited my grandmother in the nursing home for her birthday. When I made my way into her room, she was reciting multiple letters of the alphabet. I could not comprehend what she was trying to spell, until she said, ‘Can you help me spell Whittington?’ Whittington is her maiden name, but she was unable to spell it. Through our conversation, she declared, ‘I don’t know what to do’, and ‘Can you help me help myself’. I quietly told her, all she needed to do was simply rest, and she replied, ‘I can’t. It’s not in my vocabulary.’

My grandmother has dementia, and possibly Alzheimer I suppose. They have arranged for her to have hospice, so they aid the nursing home in caring for her. She seems almost always in a state of worry and unrest, along with having problems remembering some persons and even the most common elementary things about everyday life. I cried. Why? Because I have felt and sometimes do feel the same way she expressed to me she does.

Have you ever stood in front of the mirror, and just wanted to shout out ‘Who am I? Do I even know who I am or what I am doing?’ Have you ever spent the night kneeling in prayer and weeping, finding no peace or understanding in the situations that surround you, what you should be doing, or how to do that which you know you should?

Consider we have something more comforting and a greater Physician, than that of hospice. I told my grandmother that we all feel lost sometimes with unrest, and are often at a loss for what we should be doing. I asked her if she knew Jesus, and she declared, ‘Yes, I talk to Him everyday.’ Her recollection of our Lord and Savior, through all her forgetfulness, moved my heart. Praise God through all her loss of memory, she can still recall the very One who will save us body, soul, and spirit.

Have we not professed to have put faith in Christ, and claim to trust in the very Word of God? Why then do we allow the flesh, the world, and the devil to toss us to and fro into all kinds of worries and dismay? How can we let the testimony of the Scriptures, and the moment of our very salvation fade somewhere into dark forgotten parts of our mind, while we try to survive in this corrupt world by the means of the flesh? We cannot hold onto faith and Christ in one hand, while refusing to let go of the worries and cares of this world in the other.

Scripture declares ‘the Son of man is come to save that which was lost,’ so by grace through faith we repent and are no longer lost. Christ bids us unto Himself, by His words, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ Do we not find the most rest, and see the clearest direction when we converse with God through prayer and mediate on His given Word?

May we all draw from the wisdom of God, as we prepare, work, and live our daily lives as diligent servants subject to Him. May we find who we are in Him, while trusting in His help, finding peace and rest in knowing He loves and cares for us more than we can ourselves.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Entrance of the Donkey

Okay, this is apparently 'old news' but interesting nonetheless. Apparently on January 19, 2009, a sculpture of Barack Hussein Obama attached to a donkey was paraded down the street, where 'onlookers waived palm branches' as they were followed by 'a motorcade consisting of 4 black SUVs...and secret service agents.'

Have people really gone this insane, to even suggest such a sight of a so called 'mile long triumphal entry' to be in anyway similar to that of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

Something tells me that even Balaam's donkey would have had something to say about this...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Imitation Is Never the Real Thing

My department manager came in to work this morning asking if we had seen the new painting of President Barack Hussein Obama, which would soon be unveiled. I had not, so I did a quick Google search. To my interest, I found this news article, and the above picture of the painting.

The article: The 30" x 54" acrylic painting on canvas depicts President Obama appearing much like Jesus Christ on the Cross; atop his head, a crown of thorns. Behind him, the dark veil being lifted (or lowered) on the Presidential Seal. But is he revealing or concealing and is he being crucified or glorified?

The artist: D'Antuono insists that this piece is a mirror; reflecting the personal opinions and emotions of the viewer; that "The Truth" like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. D'Antuono expects that individual interpretations will vary as widely as they do in the political arena. The work will be seen by one viewer at a time behind a voting booth-inspired public installation.

So, since the artist ‘expects that individual interpretations will vary,’ I would like to share mine.

It appears to me to be a portrait of Barack Hussein Obama, the current President of the United States, slightly bowing his head in counterfeit piousness. While he holds the likeness of the crown of thorns of which the Lord Jesus Christ wore upon his brow at Calvary, the care and love for the souls of mankind the Savior displayed in His ultimate sacrifice appears missing from the continence of smiling Obama. At last, we see Obama’s arms stretched forth to the sky, though not in victory, but in the closing of the show as he draws the curtains on The Great Hypocrisy; whereby all the people are left in darkness.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Question for Calvinists? Or, Non-Calvinists As Well?

On a forum I frequently visit, the following question was posed as a ‘Calvinism question’:

1. Did God create some people for hell?

On the surface, such a question may appear to be directed only to Calvinists, with the possible inclination of leading into an attack upon it. The idea of election, foreknowledge, predestination, and possibly limited atonement may come to mind rather quickly, but that is limiting the scope of the question to one set of teachings, namely Calvinism. But, the question actually supersedes Calvinism, and encompasses also non-Calvinist Christian theology regarding the salvation and punishment of sinful man.

Sometimes the non-Calvinist will confront a Calvinist, immediately claiming that the Calvinist theology makes God a tyrant that chooses to create some persons just to go to hell. Just the thought of such would make most people cringe. How could a holy God create a person and predestine them to go to hell? How can holy God do such a thing, and not be guilty of sin Himself?

The answer may come in a variety of ways, ranging from ‘I don’t fully understand it myself’, to the quoting of scripture such as Romans 9:19-24 regarding vessels of wrath and mercy.

With this, the non-Calvinists may find themselves puffing out their chest, considering they have exposed the flaw of Calvinism once and for all. Prideful they smile; sharing with everyone it is they who hold to the true doctrines of the faith regarding salvation and punishment.

Now, pose again the question to a non-Calvinist, and one will most likely answer, ‘No.’ Whereby I must ask, ‘How so?’

Most Christians (at least that I know – whether Calvinist or not) hold to the belief that God is omniscient (all knowing), and therefore His foreknowledge would include having knowledge of who will and will not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before they are ever created. If God creates a person knowing they will not accept Christ, has He not basically created one for hell? A non-Calvinist cannot escape such a question, without denying the perfect foreknowledge of God. So, the question becomes more personal, and cannot be simply directed at others.

* The purpose of this post was not to prove, disprove, or explain the question, but to show that this question [Did God create some people for hell?] is more than just a Calvinist one. It is a question that needs much prayer and meditation in the Word of God, and not just something that can be tossed about like a grenade to seemingly crumble another’s theology without also causing one to take a look at their own.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Someone Is Always Watching

On my way to survey the camp for our mission trip to the Navajo (Dine’) in July, I passed by this scene in New Mexico. It reminded me of the verse, ‘The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.’

Isn’t it interesting how true the scriptures are when it comes to the depravity of man, whereby mankind loves ‘darkness rather than light, because [our] deeds [are] evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.’

How often do we try to veil our sin in the shadows and the darkness, in the secret when we believe there is no one else around that may condemn us? Do we somehow believe this will keep us from judgment, or allow us to save our image by living a double life? Has not the scriptures declared, ‘A double minded man is unstable in all his ways;’ whereby we are called upon to ‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.’

Have you not seen family or friends, coworkers or church members do things you felt were unbiblical yet remained silent? Even to this day do they have no knowledge that one they know has witnessed their behavior? Shall you deceive yourself into believing that the same is not true of thy actions also? Hmmm…what of your spouse or children, or the children of others you hold company with?

Someone Is Always Watching. May we always be quick to repent and turn from our wicked ways, and dwell in the fellowship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in obedience.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Discrepancies within Stem Cell Approval

Apparently Obama has decided to sign ‘an executive order Monday repealing a Bush-era policy that limited federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research.’ While I read the article from CNN, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of inconsistencies in the ideals of the quoted supporters of such an action.

Barack Obama: "In this case, I believe the two [sound science and moral values] are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research -- and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."

[Comment] I assume we are just not responsible enough to have the humanity and conscience to exercise our faith in ensuring the unborn child also does not suffer and is cared for.

Nancy Reagan: "Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases."

[Comment] I assume we are to allow the death (or destruction, as some put it) or suffering of some children to benefit the children chosen to live, since apparently a cure for a disease is more important than the life of an unborn child.

Faith and responsibility….indeed…I would say America needs some.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Does Faith Combat Anxiety

Today, I read the short article entitled Study: Believing in God can reduce anxiety in the Health News section of UPI.com. According to the report, apparently the studied showed that those who believe in God were less stressed about their errors than those who profess to not believe in God.

"We found that religious people or even people who simply believe in the existence of God show significantly less brain activity [in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain] in relation to their own errors," Inzlicht said. "They're much less anxious and feel less stressed when they have made an error."

I found this report quite interesting, and my initial thoughts surrounded the idea of believers. Why would a believer feel less anxious and less stressed even after having made an error? Would such arise from the scriptural teaching that through Christ all is forgiven, that all men error and should merely strive to do better, or that making an error simply didn’t matter that much to them? But, then I thought, surely the unbeliever would also acknowledge that all men error and should strive to do better, and clearly there are those who obviously don’t care if they error at all. So, as the study shows, we are left with the only real difference is the believing or not believing in God.

Interestingly, a similar article on the same topic from Medical News Today.com goes a little further in declaring, ‘The stronger their religious zeal and the more they believed in God, the less their ACC fired in response to their own errors, and the fewer errors they made.’

So then I wondered, does this reflect the thought that believers acknowledge a forgiveness of error through repentance and faith in Christ, or is there a belief that the weighing of the scales (good deeds vs. bad deeds) in the hands of God will lend them mercy and grace? Basically, is there a faith vs. works doctrinal difference among believers, yet lending both to have less anxiety regarding their error? And not only does the report show believers as ‘less likely to feel anxious about making errors,’ but also about ‘facing the unknown.’

Given just the little we have in these two articles, it should cause us to ponder two quick thoughts: (1) the further away from believing in God one becomes, the more likely they are to be anxious about their mistakes and the more they are likely to make; (2) although a believer in God becomes less anxious about their mistakes as they become less frequent, this does not guarantee true conversion has occurred even if profession has been made.

How so, one may ask. Scripture tells us that believing in God is not enough, for ‘the devils also believe, and tremble.’ Scripture also acknowledges that though there will be many who claim their works should be counted to save them, believers are saved by faith and not of works. So, dear unbeliever, maybe you would consider believing in God to ease a little anxiety. And to both, make sure your belief is grounded in faith.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Chemical Reaction not Evolution, of Fishes and Men

According to Discovery News, ‘Around the world, increasing numbers of male fish are developing female traits -- growing new sexual organs and sometimes even producing eggs.’

As I began to read the article, I must admit I fully expected to see some type of promotion of a proof for evolution. I mean, clearly a fish mutating from its normality would give some type of credence to an eyewitness account of it, would it not? To my dismay, there was no attempt to tie in the discovery with evolution (whether macro or micro), but ‘the phenomenon has been blamed mostly on chemicals that get into the water and mimic the female hormone estrogen.’

With this, I can’t help but ponder the possible similar affect within humans. For a moment, if we consider the article as written, we see the science/research community noticing a change in the fish genetically producing the mutation of male fish becoming female (whether in part or in addition). They reveal their belief of such actions is due to the fish coming in contact with a chemical which blocks male hormones, in conjunction with a chemical which mimics female hormones. But, with this study, it appears that they also realize the affect such could have on humanity, given the thought, ‘the new research found that there are far more of these chemicals in our lakes and streams than anyone realized.’

It must be noted that these researchers see the chemicals as harmful, to fish, mammals, and humans, along with acknowledging the mutation of male-female hormones within the fish is not normal. So, since this blog is Christian in nature, this brings us once again to the thought of homosexuality, transsexual, and possibly hermaphrodites in light of the Scriptures.

Regarding hermaphrodites, I would admit I don’t recall Scripture mentioning such, but all would have to admit that such mutation during birth is clearly out of the control of the individual. I do not believe there would be any stretch of the imagination to assume they do not choose to be born with both male and female organs, but will have to adjust and determine where they stand as individuals as they mature and live in society. Though their physical body may lend struggles in life, I would venture to say they have both the ability of choosing the heterosexual or homosexual lifestyle.

Now, concerning homosexuality (which would include the hermaphrodite who chooses such) and the transsexual (which I suppose is merely homosexual in nature), we have previously cited Scriptural references regarding God’s displeasure with such. Here, we now see the researchers’ claim that a male fish taking upon itself the character and possibly even the physical appearance of a female fish is not normal, but rather a mutation and corruption of nature by way of chemicals, etc.

With this said, my conclusionary thought is: If researchers see the mutation of male fish taking upon themselves the characteristics and physical properties of female fish as abnormal and something to try and fix, why is it that we are told that homosexuality and transsexuality is normal and something to be embraced? ‘After all, people and fish have similar hormonal systems.’

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Current of Love

The wind blows from whence it will
Flowing from its source rippling the still
A gentle touching upon the skin
Sharing the soft presence it lends
Tickling the smallest fibers of the face
A deep breath of its freshness embraced
A tear or two from an eye so moved
By the flowing of air lightly cooled
Giving of itself free without cost
Sometimes remains though the feeling is lost

So moves the heart of one to another
Giving love whether received from the other
It does not bestow that it may obtain
But rather desires the others' happiness remain
Offering of itself all that it has to present
Caring for the wellbeing of another it’s content
Always there whether known or secretly held
It remains faithful desiring to be felt
Quietly oft times it tenderly waits
Forever true with or without being embraced

February 23, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Keeping Proposition 8 Alive

Last week, a video circulated by the pro-gay marriage group Courage Campaign was circulated heavily on the Internet. The group asked same-sex "couples" who had been married in California to send in their video pleas to allow this immoral practice to continue in the state. It is in response to the legal brief former prosecutor Ken Starr filed on behalf of the "Yes on 8" Campaign. If you would like to see the video here, you can visit the Courage Campaign web site but there is really no need as it is the same propaganda we have been seeing on this issue for years and offers no new insight into why this should suddenly be legal and acceptable.

In the video the happy "couples" and their adopted or artificially-conceived children hold up signs that read "Don't Divorce Us," which is interesting if we think about the fact that these people were never married in the eyes of God and the state of California's political grandstanding is not being well received by the majority. After all, Proposition 8 would not have passed if the majority of the state's voters had felt the way these few liberals feel. They are demanding understanding for something that is not natural or reasonable and is not accepted by most of the rest of the country. California was not the only state where we saw a ban on gay marriage proposed and the bans passed elsewhere too.

And, it is offensive to any reasonable person that a federal judge declared (in early February) that it was lawful for those against proposition 8 to divulge the names of donors to the cause. Because this is such a hot-button issue, it could be dangerous for these names to be made public. The backlash has already started as one donor experienced picketing and boycotts of the store he owns.

This is going too far. These people keep pushing even after the voters have spoken and voted the ban into law. I can't help but wonder what would be the response if Barack Obama had won the popular vote and not been allowed to take office. It is a similar situation and those who realize gay marriage is against the laws of God must continue to stay true to their beliefs and hold their ground on the issue. If there is not a unified voice, there is a very real danger of this ban being overturned and the gay population will be free to flaunt their sexuality and make a mockery of a sacred institution.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of a Bible college [http://www.christiancolleges.com/]. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com

Monday, February 16, 2009

Abortion: Thoughts From the Next Generation

Friday, February 06, 2009

Are Quotes as Good When Misquoted

I was recently sent a motivational email - you know the type - that attributed the following quote to Maya Angelou.

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

I thought to myself, ‘This is a powerful quote.’ So, I took a moment to look up the lady and read her short biography. Then I did a search to find the association of her and the quote. What I found was that not only is the quote not from Maya Angelou, but the quote has actually change slightly also.

The actual original quote is apparently from Max Lucado:

‘A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.’

In my search, I also came across a poem entitled ‘Christians’ attributed to Maya Angelou, but was actually the original writings of Carol Wimmer entitled ‘WHEN I SAY, "I AM A CHRISTIAN".’

I’m not placing blame on Maya Angelou, for I don’t believe she has tried to acquire fame through the writings and quotes of others. What I would like to say is, for I have been guilty myself, if we as Christians wish to take the time to pass along motivational emails and such, we should at least take the time to check out the original author, original writings, and ensure such are indeed Biblical. Author Unknown is really just the easy way out, and attributing it to someone other than the author is simply deceitful at worst and sloppy at best.

Back to the quote, both the original and the variant are well spoken in my opinion. But whereas the original with author is worthy of note, the variant and invalid association makes it unworthy of repeating.

Simply put, variant misquoted quotes lose meaning, and just aren’t as good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Painting a Colored Picture

According to the WashingtonPost.com, the following apparently comes from Rev. Lowery's Inaugural Benediction for President Barack Hussein Obama.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around...
... when yellow will be mellow...
LOWERY: ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.

1. black will not be asked to get in back
2. brown can stick around
3. yellow will be mellow
4. red man can get ahead
5. white will embrace what is right

As one who sometimes writes poetry, I realize within written lyrics there can be both a face value and deeper meaning behind the mindset of the author. I also understand that as a reader of such poetry, we can sometimes attribute meaning beyond that which the author originally intended.

With that said, I can’t help but wonder what exactly Rev. Lowery was trying to express with these words, and if they would have been equally accepted had they been spoken by the yellow, red, or white and changed ever so slightly.

I find it interesting that even in times of claims of calling America to unity, there yet remains a clear division of colors. For where we could suggest that America be a nation where no one is asked to get in back, where all can stick around, where each of us will be mellow, where each man can get ahead, and where we will individually embrace what is right…we would rather keep reminding each other to continue dividing ourselves into individual Crayola crayons.

We’re Painting a Colored Picture; we’re just on different sheets of paper.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Color of Change

Today, Barack Hussein Obama II becomes the forty-fourth American President. One of the most often heard statements of this election has been and continues to be, ‘Barack Hussein Obama will be the first African American to be elected President of the United States.’ Indeed, today marks a historic point in American history.

My concern is that we as Americans are placing too much emphasis on color concerning the well-being of our country. Comments like, ‘This country has been run by Caucasian men for so long and look where its gotten us, now is the time for an African American President to bring great change to all Americans.’ If you are looking for this exact quote you won’t find it, but the premise behind it has spread all through the media and persons I’ve heard talk here and there.

The truth is, the color of Barack Hussein Obama’s skin (noting he is actually both black and white) does not ensure, in and of itself, that America will somehow miraculously rise to some new heights in morality, economics, etc. simply because he takes office. I pray that he will show integrity of character, make good decisions, and will ‘abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good,’ but pigment (the amount and type of melanin) alone will make President Barack Hussein Obama no better or worse than his predecessors.

As with Christianity, our talk is merely breath upon the breeze if done without action. It is our walk that actually produces a positive change; as it is written, ‘faith without works is dead… I will shew thee my faith by my works.’

The next four years will declare unto the American people the faith and character of President Barack Hussein Obama, just as our daily lives expose as much concerning ourselves to those around us.

Pray for America, pray for her President, and pray for her people.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Purity For Sale

A friend of mine sent me a link from the LA News, talking about triplets that work at McDonalds in Forth Worth.

To my dismay, on the side panel labeled Most Viewed News, there was an article entitled ‘Dad Sells Girl, Calls Cops to Complain He Wasn't Paid’ and another titled ‘22-Year-Old's Virginity Auction Bids Hit $3.7M’.

As a father, whether Christian or non, is there not something in everyone of us that desires to protect our daughters? Or, has this world become so entangled in self-gratification that we no longer care for anyone but ourselves? Apparently the father of a fourteen year old girl attempted to sell his daughter ‘for $16,000 and 100 cases of beer, along with several cases of meat and other items.’ Is that all his precious daughter’s purity is worth to him? May the God of Heaven never allow my senses to desensitize to such levels concerning my children.

From there we move to the girl who would sell her purity to the highest bidder. Has she no self respect or self merit, as concerning the value of her abstinence of fornication and the keeping of herself a virgin for the future husband worthy of her purity? Does her father find himself in prayer and weeping, as she looks to guidance in that ‘her sister was able to pay for her college education after prostituting herself for three weeks?’ How is one that wishes to fulfill their ‘advanced degree in family and marriage therapy’ able to offer their most blessed possession so frivolously to any man with the most money? May the Spirit move upon her heart, to have her see the folly of such a proposition.

Heavy upon my heart are these stories, having a daughter myself. What then were the things which led these people down these certain paths? Have they ever been told of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the blessed hope of the forgiveness of sins? Do these stories bother you? What are we doing about it, concerning our witness to our own children?

Unfounded Perverted Thoughts of Christ

It is amazing just how far some minds wish to twist and misconstrue the things of Christ to somehow prove a point that makes no sense whatsoever.

Regarding my last post entitled, Should One Really Visit ‘The Shack’, with my mentioning of my dislike of the author’s use of a woman called Papa for God the Father, one of the commenters has apparently went off on a tangent concerning Christ and homosexuality. Thus, I have moved this out of context discussion to its own post.

The commenter begins his tale with, ‘Remember that Jebus was quite feminine: Long hair, soft features, likes to hang around with 12 (Or 13, if you include Judas) disciples, etc, gets chased around by a naked young man, etc. I am quite positive that Jesus is in fact gay. And it wouldn't be surprising for me if God actually is a woman.

I cannot help but laugh as they have apparently bought into the Hollywood version of a Christ they have never seen nor placed faith in. Even paintings, such as some would call art, are merely the interpretations of a Christ man would have in their imagination. Isaiah declares, 'he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.' There is no reason for one to believe Christ was a man who held the appearance and characteristics of a woman.

The crutch of the commenter’s argument seems to be Mark 14, whereby he writes, ‘Mark 14:51-52 suggests a lewd appearance of a young man chasing after Jesus, which suggests that Jesus is either gay, or have certain attractive qualities which make him attractive to a gay,’ giving us the following points:

This could suggest a few things:
1. Jesus didn't disapprove of gays.
2. Jesus was gay (highly likely)
3. And if he was attractive to gays, he may be a bit of a girly like, since Jesus has always been portrayed as such since antiquity.

Although there is no mention or even a subtle hint of homosexuality anywhere within these verses, not to mention the entire chapter, the commenter reveals there is really no point to his argument but to somehow give credence to homosexuality by the misuse and misunderstanding of Scripture.

1. We know that Jesus did not approve of homosexuality, for we find that He is both God and the Word incarnate (John 1), and both God and the Word declare homosexuality to be both sin and against nature (Leviticus 18, Leviticus 20, Romans 1).

2. There is no evidence in Scripture or without that suggest Christ portrayed any type of homosexual tendencies or lifestyle. First you state, 'a lewd appearance of a young man chasing after Jesus, which suggests that Jesus is either gay.' Scripture declares 'there followed him a certain young man' not that the man was chasing after Jesus. There are countless assumptions we could make regarding the why the young man was dressed in a linen cloth or why the young man followed after Jesus, but the fact remains the act of the young man in no way declares the character or actions of Christ to be homosexual in any way. Again, feminine or homosexual paintings and imaginations of man of Christ and/or his disciples does in no way make such true concerning Christ or his disciples.

3. Second you state, 'or have certain attractive qualities which make him attractive to a gay,' which is even a more illogical argument. The definition of being homosexual is to have a desire for one of the same sex. Just as the lustful desire of a man toward a woman does not make the woman heterosexual, neither would the lust of a man toward a man make the man being lusted after homosexual. If you recall the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, there were two angels which visited the home of Lot. The men of the city lusted sinfully toward these men, and desired even to take them forcefully to do wickedly. It was not the angels, but the homosexuals of the city which did lust and 'burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.'

You cannot blame Christ for the perversion of man, no matter how hard you try.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Should One Really Visit ‘The Shack’

The Shack
Wm. Paul Young

I have heard more than one Christian speak up concerning Wm. Paul Young’s book entitled The Shack. Even the front cover boasts, ‘This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!’ [Eugene Peterson] There was even a lady that went so far as to say that every Christian should read this book, and possibly even teach some of its principles in Sunday school. Such being said about a fictional book, certainly it perked my interest a bit. Apparently it was published in 2007, so I am a little behind the times I suppose, but I went ahead and purchased it from Walmart.

From the first page till around chapter five (5), page eighty-two (82), the book appears to resemble a dramatic story with a terrible loss in the life of a man with a family. Trying to refrain from giving too much of the story away, because of circumstances written within those pages, Mack (a man of shaky faith) returns to a location somewhat expecting to meet God there. Oddly, what he finds is ‘a large beaming African-American woman.’ Now, I would ask that the reader pay close attention to what I write here, so there will be no attempt at any accusation regarding racism.

I have no problem with the author having Mack (a Caucasian) meeting a friendly African-American woman at a cabin, but having a female represent the masculine Holy Creator God is a bit disturbing. The author even goes so far as to have this female tell Mack that she likes to call herself Elousia, but that he may call her Papa; the name Nan (Mack’s wife) called God. Then there is the casting of an Asian woman assumingly as the Holy Spirit (named Sarayu), and a Hebrew man whose common name is Jesus (but whose mother had called him Yeshua, while others had also called him Joshua or Jesse). So, in short, the author has the Almighty Father casted as an African woman and the Holy Spirit of Promise as an Asian woman, but at least he gives some similarity to our Lord and Savior with portraying Him as a Hebrew male.

One may like to call me sexist, but there is no doubt that the God of Heaven and Earth is represented as masculine throughout the entirety of Scripture. To have such a Father portrayed as a female – even though a fictional novel – is absurd. Please note, I am not attacking the author’s sincerity of his faith, ideals, or hopes for his book, I am simply pointing out that I disagree totally with the judgment of character types used for the Godhead, along with some of the human characteristics given to such. And though the author uses the following pages to seemingly explain and make light of the appearance he chooses to portray of God – with those who profess Christianity already desiring to removed the masculinity of God from the very Scriptures in new translations, along the struggle against the feminism takeover – I believe a little more discernment may have been considered regarding the Persons of the Trinity even in a fictional writing.

I must admit I cringed quite a bit as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit became more and more human as the story continued from the end of chapter six (6) into chapter (7). Things like them all laughing at Christ for dropping things with his slippery fingers, along with the Father telling Mack that even though Christ proclaimed, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ at the cross, Jesus only felt like He was forsaken but wasn’t. So, Christ was deceived by His emotions? Maybe I’m confused. When Mack explains his conclusion that the recorded miracles performed by Christ in the Scriptures proved that He was God, ‘you know, more than human,’ the Father says, ‘No, it proves that Jesus is truly human.’ As I, Mack questions this response. God answers, ‘Although he is also fully God, he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything.’

At this I must further question the author’s premise and to what point he desires to take us. If Christ never drew from His nature as God, then is it within the power of every human being to do that which Christ did? Do we too, as professing Christians indwelt by the Spirit, have the supernatural ability to perform also the miracles of turning water into wine; casting out evil spirits; multiplying the loaves and fish; healing the blind, lame, and dumb; and walking on water? What about the forgiveness of sins? Christ proclaimed, ‘the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.’ Did the forgiveness of sins come from the human or divine of Christ? Did not even John the Baptist (no greater born among women) say, ‘one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose.’ Was it also human for Christ to declare, ‘I lay down my life, that I might take it again… No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again?’

If the above did not make me hesitate to read further, chapter eight (8) appears to dismiss the Scriptures by dismantling the structure of both the Godhead and the family. Among the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), the god of The Shack tells Mack, ‘we have no concept of final authority among us, only unity. We are a circle of relationship, not a chain of command…’ No final authority within God? Such sounds strangely familiar from the Atheists and those who profess Christ yet live as though they do not. In fact, Mack questions the ‘no hierarchy’ bit, mentioning even its use in marriage; whereby, God declares, ‘Such a waste…Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you.’ Then this god goes on to basically try to explain that there cannot be a relationship if there is final authority or hierarchy, for that would be independence and ‘you become a danger to each other.’

Does the author forget the hierarchy of the Godhead, whereby the Son was obedient to the will of the Father, and the Holy Spirit obeyed the voice of the Son? What then of the hierarchy of the establishment of marriage, whereby the man is head of the wife, even as Christ is of the Church? Such cannot be so easily explained away by the telling of a fictional book, though sold as Christian literature. In chapter ten (10) the author future sews tares among the wheat of Scripture by having his jesus state to Mack, ‘The world, in many ways, would be a much calmer and gentler place if women ruled. There would have been far fewer children sacrificed to the gods of greed and power.’ Does the author honestly dismiss the reality of feminism, abortion, and the fact that attitude and climate of many women prisons surpass the filth of those of men?

The further this chapter (8) goes, the slicker the mudslide seems to become. Even here do we see god telling Mack that He (yes, the Trinity) ‘respects your [man’s] choices.’ I can’t help but ponder the conclusion of the author concerning this statement within the context of this chapter and the book as a whole. For if respect is not enough, the author bows his jesus further unto man by having him tell Mack that the Trinity is submitted to one another equally, and further states ‘In fact, we are submitted to you [man] in the same way.’ Even Mack has to question this, as most honest Bible believing Christians would, ‘How can that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me [man]?” The author’s god’s answers, ‘Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship.’ In Scripture, man is told to submit to the LORD, God, one another, a wife to her husband, those that rule over us, and the younger to the elder, but never once do I find God submitting Himself unto man to have a relationship. Man is always told to come on God’s terms, which is through submission and faith in Jesus Christ.

My current conclusion: This shack should be torn down and burned, not promoted and shared.

Honestly, if you are a professing Christian or not, and have read this book and believe it to have a positive message...please take a moment and share that experience with me.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.