October 12, 2017

Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood's Redemption



"...but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more," (Romans 5:20b ESV)

Harvey Weinstein’s daughter called 911 on Wednesday morning out of desperate concern that her father was "depressed and suicidal" as sexual allegations continue to mount against him. We should probably pray that Weinstein has an epiphany about the reality of God and the need for salvation in Christ. Hollywood in general seriously needs an awakening and this is something that only God can do. As an extremely powerful producer and partner of Miramax, it is believed that Weinstein is just the tip of the iceberg regarding entrenched sexual abuse in this industry. And it is well known that Hollywood has a history of suicide and drug overdoses. But a recent film about Steve McQueen and testimonies by other actors show another side of Hollywood, a side of redemption.

September 25, 2017

NFL Hypocrisy and the Warped Ethics of the PC Anthem Protests



I have zero sympathies for the revenue losses of the NFL because of their extreme hypocrisy with regard to selectively enforcing their rules, especially with regard to offending veterans and the worship of their corporate sponsors and false politically-correct narratives as their highest good. For example, a study in 2016 by African American Harvard professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. showed that there was no racial bias at all with regard to deaths and shootings by police. However, the main basis of the NFL protests is that there are systemic racial killings by the police. And so fallacious political correctness is at the root of the NFL anthem protests. In addition to hypocrisy, there are at least five illogical aspects of the NFL protests that I'll outline in this article. On a deeper level, there are forces intent on fragmenting and destroying the U.S. through exploiting such protests.

The most pronounced feature of the NFL protests might be the manner in which political correctness is being displayed as a divisive disease more so than as a helpful cure. People are being told what they are supposed to feel and how they are supposed to react based on the illogical actions of protesters. This entire spectacle is helping to show that true and valid ethics are not based merely on feelings, but must be based on facts in order to be valid and convincing. Many people that embrace relativist secular-atheist ethics and political correctness simply do not seem to understand that the toppling of statues, the rejecting of white professors at college, the demand for reparations for white privilege, kneeling for the anthem and flag, and the forcing of their PC opinion, in general, is a trend aimed ultimately towards the destruction of the United States and the removal of the very civil rights that it exploits and uses towards this end, as I'll show in this article.
   
In terms of NFL selective rule enforcement, some may remember that a Christian player, Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III (pictured), was basically forced to reverse his Christian T-shirt inside out for an off-field interview because there were explicit requirements to wear only Nike brand clothes. According to an eyewitness, "NFL Uniform Inspector Tony McGee (former Skins DE) approached Griffin...McGee told Griffin he couldn't wear the shirt because it wasn't a Nike product. Made him turn it inside out for the press conference." Player Ryan Kerrigan, at the same press conference, was wearing a non-Nike T-shirt that was not Christian and he was not confronted. Additionally, protests of the National Anthem and Flag are opposed by the rules, but the NFL commissioner basically defends the kneeling for the flag and anthem. But for some reason, simple decals of 9-11 tributes on clothes and tributes to murdered cops were forbidden by the NFL. And then you have the ridicule and harassment of Tim Tebow for kneeling to pray, whereas, kneeling in opposition to the anthem for political reasons is somehow supposed to be far superior.

By all accounts, the NFL is arbitrary in selecting which free speech rules it enforces and which it does not. Likewise, the praises and scandals are selectively promoted by the leftist media. The types of sponsor rules and overall reactions to player behavior ultimately seem to be dictated mainly by corporate sponsor greed, but also by some perceived politically correct need to appease the demands of only minority players. The NFL can seek to modify their player and sponsor rules if they want to, but they don't seem interested. If you look at the anthem rules and guidelines, these are completely ignored by the commissioner. Players are technically required to stand for the anthem. But perhaps since no sponsors and profits are immediately involved in this question, the NFL commissioner selectively ignores these guideline rules:

September 13, 2017

Christian Charities' CEO Salaries that Support Disaster Relief




The Daily Caller highlighted that “Christians Provide More Aid To Hurricane Victims Than FEMA” and this is a good thing. UMCOR was mentioned, which seems to be a top charity choice. Key questions for me are: Is the CEO salary reasonable? Is the money actually going to the cause? Is there transparency in the finances?

To gain some perspective, a list of mainly secular charities shows 17 CEO salaries of over $1-Million per year. While Franklin Graham's annual salary of $572,145. at Samaritan's Purse is merely half of this, it still seems excessive to me. The purse strings might be a little loose compared to the following five choices. The "Compensation of Leaders" section at Charity Navigator will the CEO salary if it is transparent and public.

1. World Relief (Evangelical relief agency)

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, this organization founded by the National Association of Evangelicals offers this as a mission introduction: "We believe God has equipped the church - the most diverse social network on the planet - to be at the center of these stories, leveraging time, energy and resources to join the vulnerable in their time of need..."

The President, CEO Stephan Bauman has a salary of $124,419. while the Senior Vice President of International Programs, Kevin Sanderson has an annual salary of $129,423. according to Charity Navigator.

This is a link to their hurricane relief page.

2. HOPE International (Christian micro-finance faith-based organization)

Based in Lancaster, PA, has a long-term mission “to invest in the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities as they proclaim and live the Gospel,” HOPE International now operates in 16 underserved countries and has assisted hundreds of thousands of people through over 2.7 million loans. This linked post that they do not supply emergency relief, but long-term building assistance in places like Haiti after a hurricane in 2016.

The CEO / President Peter Greer receives an annual salary of $137,683 according to Charity Navigator and has their top rating of four stars.

3. Convoy of Hope (Non-denominational relief agency)

September 03, 2017

ARGUMENT AGAINST CHRISTIAN HEDONISM FROM AUTHORITY





ARGUMENT AGAINST CHRISTIAN HEDONISM FROM AUTHORITY

1. All doctrines that deny that the Lordship of Christ is at least one of any valid and prime basic motives for obeying Christ are false doctrines.

2. Christian Hedonism denies that the Lordship of Christ is at least one of any valid and prime basic motives for obeying Christ.

3. Therefore, Christian Hedonism is a false doctrine.

Is the ultimate basis of our worship and service of God feelings? Or simply who God is? It's who God is. Because God is manifold in his perfect majestic nature, there are many nuances in our relationship with God. Ultimately, knowing God, not feeling God, is the basis of eternal life:

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, NIV)

God intends that we acknowledge Christ, in all that He is and represents, as the foundation of our lives and what we think and do. Our personal relationship with Christ is of utmost importance as a part of this foundation:

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11, NIV)

When feelings of LGBT physical attraction challenge Christ's definition of marriage between a man and a woman in people's minds, the choice is often not Christ's authority, but human desires. And the doctrine of Christian Hedonism by John Piper also bases moral decisions mainly on feelings, but feelings that are attuned to God. Feelings are emphasized in Piper's doctrine to the degree that simply obeying God's word towards honoring God's authority is not a valid and prime basis for obeying God, according to Piper.

To be clear, I'm not claiming that Piper consciously or intentionally denies Christ's authority, rather, I'm outlining that his doctrine is false because it denies that simply obeying Christ's authority is a properly basic and prime motive, in addition to other valid motives. The manner in which Piper changed the fulcrum of the SWC summary from "and" to "by" shows the resolute primacy of pleasure in his doctrine and how enjoyment negates any basic and prime sense of honor and duty towards God:

September 02, 2017

ARGUMENT AGAINST CHRISTIAN HEDONISM AS IDOLATRY


This message does not go over very well in our society that is based on seeking personal happiness as the highest human end. But it's an important subject. Let me be clear that I am not denying that we should find our greatest joy in God. Rather, that seeing God merely as a means to our greatest joy is not glorifying to God and is actually harmful to our relationship with God. Objectifying any person for the sake of pleasure necessarily diminishes the value of the relationship itself by comparison. If you embrace Piper's Christian Hedonism, I'd suggest that if you cannot disprove either of the points in the following argument then you should probably accept the conclusion as true. I understand that people, in general, do not have a lot of interest in logic. But it does help in order to test the validity of doctrine. I believe that the logic and form of this argument are airtight. If the premises are true and the form is valid, then the conclusion that follows must also be true. That's the beauty of the syllogistic form.

September 01, 2017

The Nashville Statement - A Response to Totalitarian Secularism




The Nashville Statement is a recent declaration created to be affirmed by Christians that believe in and support the traditional biblical descriptions of ethical sexual relationships, even as confirmed by Jesus Christ Himself. A key goal by the organizer of the event was outlined by Jim Denison: “It was our aim to say nothing new, but to bear witness to something very ancient.” The increasings threat against traditional views was summarized by the following somewhat euphemistic quote in the preamble:

"This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church."

Jim Denison highlighted a quote by Albert Mohler, one of the authors: “It would be much easier to be quiet, to let the moral revolution proceed unanswered, and to seek some kind of refuge in silence or ambiguity.”

Well, getting into specifics, we live in a society that is increasingly governed by subjective secular emotive ethics, and harsh penalties if you don't happen to agree with that. The Nashville Statement is a defense, not an attack. If a person "self-identifies" as any particular gender, then not using the "correct" PC gender pronoun, that is, other than the "incorrect" biological birth gender, can result in jail time for committing a hate crime. In ancient Roman times, Nero would use true Christians unwilling to compromise as human torches. But we are only in the first stages of this current trend. Jesus predicted that things would become progressively worse.

The Nashville Statement addresses behavior and not the important foundation of ethics. It appears to be more of a line in the sand than light in the darkness or a topic for discussion. This is one of the problems of society today, a lack of discussion on logical foundational ideas. Ethical decisions are increasingly shallow, emotive and reactionary. The Nashville Statement is not likely to slow down the rush to bully and criminalize anyone that believes in religious freedom of conscience. And without a spiritual awakening, deep changes and increased ethical literacy in society are not likely.

In choosing authors of the Nashville Statement, it would've probably been wiser to enlist teachers that employ more logic in assessing doctrine and ethics. For example, Greg Koukl shows basic understanding that Christian essentialism is an important understanding in ethics: "Morality is grounded in the immutable character of God, who is perfectly good. His commands are not whims, but rooted in His holiness." When properly understood, Christianity offers the most cohesive and logical explanation of ethics.

August 22, 2017

Video: Car Attacked Before Ramming Crowd vs. The Narrative
















A rare video capture of the Charlottesville ramming incident shows James Fields's car moving slowly and then suddenly being hit very hard by a man with a metal pole before Fields speeds up and hits the crowd. The fact that he was able to hit the back of the car implies that the car was moving slowly when the counter-protester swung the pole. The fact that the pole did not snap indicates that it was probably metal. This all has incredible implications and completely disrupts the false narrative being widely promoted.

I'm not justifying what James Fields did. Even if he feared for his life, that is no excuse for recklessly speeding on a crowded street. But based on this video, there should not have been metal poles or weapons allowed, there should not have been cars driving through angry mobs, and there should not have been antifa and alt-right groups mixing together. These were combined as a recipe for disaster.

If you look for this video at mainstream news sites, you probably won't find it. I saw on the Internet the first day or so after the Charlottesville demonstration and death occurred on August 12, 2017, and have not seen it referenced by any mainstream news source. This video is important, though, because it disrupts the narrative that a white supremacist came to the rally with the premeditated intention of ramming the crowd and it actually underscores that the mayor might hold a great deal more responsibility than initially claimed. I am personally neither alt-right nor antifa, and neither republican, nor democrat, but I do not like to see the country being ripped apart based on false narratives.

The most important video of Charlottesville and James Fields' Car:

August 18, 2017

They Should Probably Replace Confederate Statues With Margaret Sanger Statues




There is a statue of a woman that did her best to exterminate all "negroes" through eugenics abortion and her statue is sitting in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, that of Margaret Sanger. Her horrific racist goals and quotes are far more egregious than anything Robert E. Lee ever offered. So, where is the angry mob? Oh, wait. She is a demigod that is still being worshipped despite her reprehensible racism.

For every Confederate statue that is removed we should probably set up a statue of Margaret Sanger in its place so that we can display the true heroes of those that dictate the cultural imperative today in the U.S. Shouldn't there be some honesty regarding the true beliefs of the cultural elite while we are on the subject of statues and heroes?

August 16, 2017

There Can Be No 'Hate On Both Sides' In A Totalitarian State





The war of words just keeps on getting escalated. I wonder what the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Washington would say if it could talk? Apparently, statues are extremely powerful all of a sudden and must be immediately destroyed. But what about old Vlad? There are no calls for the destruction of Lenin's statue as a symbol of repressive totalitarianism and mass killings of innocent people, outside of the ethics of war. Perhaps his views are a little too close to Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's? We know now that Hillary was a major fan of Saul Alinsky and that there are at least 22 ways that Obama's America was more in keeping with a socialist state than with U.S. principles.

President Trump's comment that there were hate and blame on "both sides" and "many sides' of the clashes at Charlottesville, Virginia has become a lightening rod used by CNN and other MSM news outlets to keep the attacks on President Trump coming. The fact that Wes Bellamy, the Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville, holds very anti-white sentiments and was instrumental in fomenting a violent situation holds no value for the narrative. Some people actually believe that African Americans cannot be racist because they believe that only whites can be racist. I'm not kidding. This is just the beginning of the many issues that should probably be discussed. Another issue is the gross negligence of Mayor Mike Signer in his oversight of this volatile event.

Contrary to CNN, it's not "stunning" or "remarkable" for Trump to point out that there's hate on both sides and blame for the violence in Charlottesville on both sides of the conflict. Groups of people from both sides basically came ready for a fight, if not looking to start a fight. And both sides made racist comments. The roots of racism are based on both false concepts and ingrained bitterness and ideally these types of issues would be addressed towards healing and unity. Racism is slavery of the mind. And one of the basic needs is to address any denial of racist bitterness and to heal its roots. A war of words will not address the root and will only escalate into more violence. But discussion, healing, peace, and unity are not a part of the progressive agenda.

August 15, 2017

Truth is Made Perfect in Love



Over 50 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commented on the racial divide in the American church: "It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning…,". With the problem of racism in America being highlighted from both the left and the right, it can't hurt to look into this issue.

There've been improvements since King made his famous quote on the lack of diversity in U.S. churches, but where are we now? Maybe the question of racism in general for Christians is a good one to reflect on. I'm more interested in raising a dialogue than in making dogmatic claims.

Questions on racist "white privilege" suggest that whites should ensure equality and a level playing field. However, is the demand for repayment of white privilege realistic? Is this more of a sign that there is a bitterness that is unresolved and needs healing?

To one degree or another, I believe that there is some deep underlying bitterness from slavery and the U.S. Civil War that is in need of healing, just as there's also long-standing nationalistic and cultural bitterness in other countries, such as between Ukrainians and Russians.

As far as whites are concerned, there's some cultural racism passed down from generation to generation that is based on false concepts and this probably will only become increased by vandalism, anarchy and the tearing down of Confederate monuments.

While there are no simple answers or easy solutions, Scripture offers wise counsel on the subject of racism and I believe that Starlette McNeill offers good points on this issue, such as this one:

"How we continue to believe that we are worshipping “in spirit and in truth” while maintaining the racialized desires of our heart in God’s holy temple is a question worthy of discussion."

August 14, 2017

Wes Bellamy's Racist Tweets and Quotes


Well, if it seems that a civil war is being agitated in places like Charlottesville, Virginia, we might as well look into who personally is being used as a tool for this. I'd written posts on the underlying causes of racism recently. But it can be helpful to know which politicians are most provoking antagonism and violence in Charlottesville. The web-clip of the Charlottesville government site was taken when this post was written, showing Bellamy still sitting as a public servant in Virginia, despite his incredibly anti-white racist Tweets. This underscores that Charlottesville, Virginia harbors a very anti-white bias in its politicians.

As the MSM news has been harping away on talking points regarding everyone except for those that are actually vocally racist and agitating unrest, let's take a look at who is really responsible behind the scenes, let's take a look at Wes Bellamy, the Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville. Based on his self-published quotes, he harbors extreme racism against white people. The language isn't any worse than the average Hollywood movie, but I feel that I should offer a language warning because of the vulgarity of Bellamy's Tweets.

This link describes the background how there were two votes in which Bellamy and Kristen Szakos lost twice in their attempts to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. Because each vote was a tie, 2 to 2, the statue would stay based on the representative system. But that was not good enough for Bellamy, who apparently continued to oppose the vote results and would not accept the decisions.

The MSM news has been promoting a narrative that white supremacists were responsible for violence in Charlottesville. But, apparently, the main issue originally was simply based on whether to allow the Confederate statue of Lee to remain, which is also an issue of historicity and not just simply a promotion of white supremacy.

The following Tweets were sourced from the Internet, and include link sources.

Racist and Misogynist Tweets by Bellamy:

Racism Reveals Slavery of the Mind


 
 

Racism is basically inner slavery. It's based on false concepts. When people say things like "stop hatred" and "end the hate" it shows a focus on the fruit and not the root. In order to address the true cause of racism, it's necessary to look at the basis of ethics and to see if people's views are logical.
 
One of the ironies of the recent clashes between white supremacists and ant-fa protesters in Charlottesville is that both sides of the same conflict had extremely racist factions. In other words, Nazi whites were racist and Antifa non-whites were also racist. This underscores that there is a very deep and foundational misconception guiding the minds of both sides of this conflict.


While many people are trying to pin the violence in Charlottesville on either whites, Christians, or radical protesters bussed in by George Soros, I'd like to point out that there are much deeper issues at play that have to do with the basis of ethics. When you break it down, it's clear that ethical literacy and self-deception are most serious problems in society today. This outline shows why it's not logical to blame Christian conservatives for this type of violence, and that on the contrary, the basis of Christian ethics is very much against racism.
     

Racism Reveals Slavery of the Mind

Racism is based on personal slavery to idolatry and self-centered relativist ethics.

True Christian conservatism is based on an objective foundation of ethics.

God's perfect, unchanging and eternal nature is the true objective foundation of ethics.

Therefore, true Christian conservatism has nothing to do with racism.
 
Today, it's widely taught that ethics are ultimately based on relativistic feelings. In order to address the problem of racism, it's helpful to discuss the true basis of ethics. God's perfect, unchanging and eternal nature is the true objective foundation of ethics. This has been established as the most logical and cohesive explanation of ethics through interactive debates between Christians and atheists. If you look into actual debates with William Lane Craig and top defenders of atheism, you'll see this and understand this subject better.
 
Albert Mohler went so far as to label racism as a damnable heresy. This is because it is an affront to the value of all God's creation and thereby undermines the gospel to the point where people would be considered as not being worthy of hearing the message:
 
"But I would argue that racial superiority in any form, and white superiority as the central issue of our concern, is a heresy. The separation of human beings into ranks of superiority and inferiority differentiated by skin color is a direct assault upon the doctrine of Creation and an insult to the imago Dei — the image of God in which every human being is made. Racial superiority is also directly subversive of the gospel of Christ, effectively reducing the power of his substitutionary atonement and undermining the faithful preaching of the gospel to all persons and to all nations."
 
Hateful racism can originate with a strong root of bitterness that controls the mind and heart. I've touched on this more in another post. Bitterness enslaves both the mind and the heart.
 
Another side of racism has to do with scientific racism, wherein elite intellectuals believe that there is over population and the "lesser races" should be culled for the sake of the survival of the planet. This view is also based on relativistic ethics and is not in keeping with Christian conservativism. Any form of racism reveals an underlying denial of God as the basis of ethics and these views are necessarily based on a non-cohesive and illogical framework of ethics because there is no ultimate frame of reference without God. You cannot derive "ought from "is" no matter how much wishful thinking is involved. The following article explains this more in depth

Why Science Still Cannot Answer Moral Questions

If you would like to better understand the reasoning behind why powerful people and organizations today are interested in dramatically reducing the world's population based on racism and genetic considerations, the following article can help you to understand their reasoning:
 
How Richard Dawkins' Evolution Justifies Racism and Genocide

The irony of liberals attempting to pin racism on Christian conservatives is that secular liberalism supports racism in many different facets, from Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sangar to eugenics, and true conservative Christianity is the true and logically cohesive defense of equality based on the objective basis of ethics in God's nature.


Posted by Rick Warden

Tags: What is the basis of racism? Racism is inner slavery, what is the reasoning behind racism, how to end hatred, why Mohler considers racism heresy

August 13, 2017

Answers to the Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia



Note: This is the first article of four on this subject and is mainly an introduction. For the latest articles following this one, see the following articles:
 
Racism Reveals Slavery of the Mind

Wes Bellamy's Racist Tweets and Quotes

Truth is Made Perfect in Love

There are a lot of questions surrounding the violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Who or what is mainly to blame for the violence?
Was this violence brewing for a long time?
Is this violence mainly President Trump's fault?
Were both sides supporting racism in some form?
Were both factions provoking violence?


A lot of people seem to be trying to pin the actions of white supremacists on all conservatives and all Christians in general. But according to common opinion, the alt-right is not a form of conservativism but is an alternative to it. And any form of Christianity associated with the alt-right is not true Christianity. I will show why in this post.

Lately, there's been an increase of white supremacists waving Nazi flags and Antifa Front supporters calling for violence against whites. They've handed out leaflets since the Trump election with text advocating the killing of all white people: "After the purge, we will live in a worker's paradise..." (attached)



What a mess. The most helpful thing is probably to first look at underlying causes, rather than to simply focus on the violence displayed by both sides of that conflict. The following notes address root causes and are from a separate article that I'd written a while earlier: 

August 11, 2017

Signs of a Good Teacher





A good teacher does not just teach you what to think, but how to think clearly by testing ideas to see if they are true or not. A good teacher knows the love of learning, the inherency of values in everything, and especially the value of dialogue. The love of wisdom leads to foundational questions and ultimately to seeking the logical explanation of our meaningful existence.

The scriptures advocate that we reason together, that we test all things and hold onto what is good, and that we apply our hearts to wisdom as we grow in both grace and knowledge.[1] Ultimately, a good teacher is one that teaches you to love learning and that ultimately you teach yourself, as with the help of the Holy Spirit if you are a regenerated Christian.[2] I remember the school teacher that taught me to love reading and learning, Mr. Bob Petrus. And this life lesson from him was a great gift. I've tried to keep this in mind as I've taught as a missionary in colleges and high schools in Ukraine, and as a missionary pastor. And I try to keep this in mind when teaching about God through the Internet.

Albert Einstein taught at Princeton and his quotes on teaching and learning are insightful:

July 24, 2017

Jonathan Edwards' Gospel And The Great Awakening Paradigm

Before the American Revolution, there was a spiritual phenomenon named the Great Awakening in which the gospel was presented in such an effective manner that people listening would cry out in the middle of the sermons and ask what they must do to be saved. There is only one true gospel, but it can be altered to the point where it is unrecognizable and essentially different. What was the gospel preaching like during the US spiritual Awakenings? How was it similar or different to the paradigm of gospel preaching today and in the book of Acts?

The pattern of the repentance-type preaching of the Awakenings was kept alive in towns such as Ocean Grove, N.J., that was designed as a camp-meeting center, in which a large wooden auditorium still exists. It was a place I used to love to go to when I was younger, a couple of hours away at the shore. I love the beach and was impressed by the small town that was set up as a place for spiritual renewal and revival. There was a sense of God's presence.

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) was founded in 1869 with a simple mission to "provide opportunities for spiritual birth, growth, and renewal in a Christian seaside setting." And this ties into these questions that I've been thinking about. It was very powerful to experience concerts and meetings and to be in the midst of such a large group of people seeking God in such a place. The attached post card shows a colorized photo of a historical meeting at Ocean Grove with banners that read: 'HOLINESS TO THE LORD ...SO BE YE HOLY."



While scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit moves unpredictably at various times and in various ways, there are some key points that stand out on the subject of revivals and revivalism and one is the centrality of God's presence and power. The American Awakenings relied on the fact that the Holy Spirit will convict people's hearts of sin when the Word of God is proclaimed prayerfully, purely, and powerfully.[1] This was underscored by a quote of Jonathan Edwards:

"Persons are first awakened with a sense of their miserable condition by nature, the danger they are in of perishing eternally, and it is of great importance to them that they speedily escape and get into a better state… Some are more suddenly seized with convictions-it may be, by the news of others’ conversion, or some thing they hear in public, or in private conference-their consciences are smitten, as if their hearts were pierced through with a dart. Others are awakened more gradually…"[2]

July 03, 2017

Share the Secret of America's Original Greatness on Independence Day






I've been thinking about this holiday and was impressed by some of the spiritual history surrounding the radically innovative concepts introduced in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, that helped codify the desires for a new kind of government.

In the U.S., it seems that we've come more to celebrate fireworks and parade floats on "the 4th," rather than the civil freedoms and the significance of what helped to cause the country to become great, to begin with.

Before there was a rebirth of a nation, there was a rebirth of souls across America. Historically, this great country was preceded by a great awakening, a spiritual awakening. This is the secret of America's original greatness.

"Nathan Hatch argues that the evangelical movement of the 1740s played a key role in the development of democratic thought, as well as the belief of the free press and the belief that information should be shared and completely unbiased and uncontrolled. These concepts ushered in the period of the American Revolution."

John Adams suggested that the spiritual aspects of Independence Day should not be forgotten, along with a deep sense of gratitude to God, in addition to the celebration:

"It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other..." - John Adams' letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776


June 21, 2017

Discerning God's Master Plan in an Age of Deception


What is God's Master Plan and the Main Purpose for Existence?

This question is especially important today because institutional churches are increasingly shifting towards more progressive and humanistic ideas of doctrine that run far afield of what the Bible clearly teaches, all based upon a flagrant disregard for the authority of God's word and the whole counsel of God in the body of scripture. The following summary Bible verses briefly outline the core essence and focus of God's ultimate plan and purpose:

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen." (Romans 11:36 NLT).

According to the preceding verses, the central and highest meaning and purpose of all existence is to fulfill God's perfect will and to give God maximum glory. Only God is worthy of all praise and glory because God is perfectly good and eternally good. God's eternal and unchanging good nature is the objective basis and solid foundation of ethics and morality. Existence ultimately has a theistic-centered meaning and purpose, not mainly a humanistic-centered meaning and purpose. One of the reasons that Christian teachers get sidetracked with humanistic teachings is because they take a one good thing, such as pleasure or prosperity, and elevate it to a priority or goal of existence inordinately above its rightful position of importance, and in doing so deny the fullness of God's will and the fullness of God's glory. Also, verses such as Revelation 4:11 in the King James Version are often misinterpreted to propose that God is a hedonist. But the phrase "for thy pleasure they are and were created" does not refer to feelings, rather, it refers to God's will. All things were created for God's purposes. C. W. Booth uses Psalm 135 in his article "Is God a Hedonist?" to underscore the correct interpretation.
 
The purpose of creation in the deepest sense is simply to glorify God, for God's sake. 
 
Next, consider that God's greatest purpose is exemplified in God's greatest command. Of the Ten Commandments, the first and foremost one exonerates humanity not to worship or prioritize anything else but God as the central focus: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:1-3).
  
Jesus clarified the greatest commandment as follows: “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(Matthew 22:37-40). The main purpose of creation is to glorify God with maximum glory, which is the essence of the first and greatest command, to love and worship the person of God above all else.

God's greatest purpose for creation is exemplified in God's greatest command given to humanity.

If we idolize any aspect of God's creation, or any benefit of knowing God, then we are not only missing God's central purpose, we are also disobeying the greatest command of God. If you notice, both the greatest and second greatest commands, according to Jesus, are both others-focused. This is not by accident, but is simply a reflection of God's dynamic glory, the focal point of all that exists. God's good nature and glory were highlighted at the cross, the focal point of all human history.

The work of the cross displays the essence of God's nature and glory, in showing grace and mercy to others, so as to reestablish relationship with God.

June 15, 2017

Video: The Best Debater in the World


Watch the attached video and see if atheist Luke Muehlhauser is correct, who suggested that William Lane Craig is perhaps the best debater in the world. The Global Debate Blog article titled, "Christian Debater Beats all Atheist Opponents" explains as follows:
  

"William Lane Craig is a prolific Christian philosopher, apologist, author, and public debater. He is the best debater – on any topic – that I’ve ever heard. As far as I can tell, he has won nearly all his debates with atheists. When debating him, atheists have consistently failed to put forward solid arguments, and consistently failed to point out the flaws in Craig’s arguments. I’m not the only one who thinks Craig has won nearly all his debates. For some atheists, it is rather maddening."

  

Muehlhauser goes on:

"This is especially embarrassing for atheists because Craig’s arguments and debates are easily available, and he uses the same arguments all the time. So it should be easy for atheists to prepare for a debate with Craig."
     

A good example of William Lane Craig's debate skill and the effectiveness of his basic arguments in favor of God's existence is shown in the following live debate video of Craig debating Christopher Hitchens. The April 4, 2009 Debate between Craig vs. Hitchens was filmed live at Biola University and is available at YouTube. Christopher Hitchens has been considered one of the greatest atheist debaters of our time. He passed away on December 15, 2011, mainly due to cancer developed from his smoking habit.