Alleged Bible contradictions

bible.jpgWhile many atheists are quite reasonable and charitable when discussing religious matters, I think one of the strategies of the New Atheists is to run around with their Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites to distract you, waste your time and plant seeds of doubt with bad arguments.  I addressed many of their standard lines in Poor arguments to make with theists.  (In fairness, I had previously addressed Poor arguments to make with atheists, because theists also make poor and uncharitable arguments at times.)

If there were any legitimate objections in this list of 194 alleged contradictions that DJ Black Adam pointed me to then they were lost in their overly literal and transparently false interpretations.  You don’t even need any Bible knowledge to debunk most of them.  The skeptics just misread the text or read it out of context.  I also think that their dictionary doesn’t contain the word paradox, though most of the items on this list don’t even approach that level of sophistication.  I pray that they would take the text seriously and accept its life changing message.

Their conclusion starts with this charming, question begging personal attack:

Every one is aware that there are contradictions in the Bible, except for the fundamentalist idiots.  

First, let’s recall the definition of a contradiction:

1. the act of contradicting; gainsaying or opposition.
2. assertion of the contrary or opposite; denial.
3. a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous.
4. direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency.
5. a contradictory act, fact, etc.

So mere differences aren’t contradictions.  To be a contradiction something has to be the opposite. 

Just for grins, I grabbed a few of the 194 “contradictions” to see how robust they were. 

#4. The angel told Joseph. Mt.1:20.  The angel told Mary. Lk.1:28.

Let’s look at the two verses in question: 

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

So the angel went to Joseph and to Mary.  That is simply not a contradiction.  Why they would include something like this is beyond me.  

#11.  Satan tempted Jesus. Mt.4:1-10; Mk.1:13; Lk.4:1,2.  Satan had no interest in Jesus. Jn.14:30.

I agree that Satan tempted Jesus, so there is no need to review those verses.  But let’s look at the second claim and see if it states that Satan had “no interest” in Jesus: 

John 14:30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 

The plain reading of the text shows that Satan has no hold on Jesus.  It does not claim that he has no interest in Jesus.  Why do they think that is a contradiction?

#27 The people were not impressed with the feeding of the multitude. Mk.6:52.  The people were very impressed with the feeding of the multitude. Jn.6:14.

Mark 6:52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

John 6:14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

At first glance the skeptics appear to have a point.  After all, Mark 6:52 seems to indicate that they didn’t have a strong reaction.  But did you notice that the first word of the verse isn’t capitalized?  I wonder what the previous verse says and why it wasn’t included . . .

Mark 6:51-52 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

Ah!  Maybe the skeptics left it out because it annihilates their “contradiction.”  It turns out the people were impressed after all.  You just have to go back one half sentence, or one word for that matter.  So are these guys really that ignorant or are they truly deceptive?  Do they just assume that people won’t open the book for themselves? 

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I may come back for more later.  The Tektonics Apologetics Encyclopedia is a good site to bookmark (it is in my Apologetics links to the right).  You can quickly look up a passage to see thorough responses to common objections.

Mozy on over to back up your data

This is a follow up.  I ended up paying for the unlimited Mozy online backup service (roughly $104 for two years) and am glad I did it.  It took a long time for the initial backup, but we now have all of our thousands of pictures, music, videos, data files, etc. backup up.  The incremental backups are automatic and brief and don’t slow your PC down much at all. 

Click here if you want to sign up for 2 GB for free.  That is more than enough if you are just doing data files and smaller amounts of photos and such.  Remember, even if you back up at home you could lose the data in a theft or a fire.  Having some sort of outside backup, whether online or taking the backup drives offsite, is very important.

As the saying goes, it isn’t if but when you’ll lose part of all of the data on your hard drive.  Some people have backup drives at home, but guess what?  If you have a theft or a fire you’ll lose the original data and your backup.

I use a 160 GB backup drive which I leave at home (I back up most files every week or so).  I also use a 250 GB backup drive once per month and then store it in my office at work.  That way, even if everything is lost at home I will still have some fairly recent files. 

Another solution is online backups.  Forbes gave a positive review to Mozy.com.  You can get unlimited storage for $5/month or 2 GB of storage for free.  Click this link.   They’ll give you 256 MB extra for free for every person you get to sign up.

I just signed up and it was pretty easy to get started.  It even prompted me with a bunch of folders it recommended to backup (MyDocuments, Outlook, etc.). 

The first backup took many hours (for about 1.5 GB) but the subsequent ones only backup changed files.

I tried restoring a file and it worked!

Forbes also recommended http://www.xdrive.com/, which has free service for the first 5 GB.  However, the protection wasn’t quite as robust.

Job 22-24

job22.jpgGreetings!  I have to admit that at this stage of Job I struggle with the repetition.  Even study Bibles offer very few comments.  At the same time I trust that every verse is important and belongs here.  So why is that?  Is the repetition to drive the point home?  Perhaps I’m just not reading closely enough.

Eliphaz

22     Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

2 “Can a man be of benefit to God?

Can even a wise man benefit him?

3 What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?

What would he gain if your ways were blameless?

4 “Is it for your piety that he rebukes you

and brings charges against you?

5 Is not your wickedness great?

Are not your sins endless?

6 You demanded security from your brothers for no reason;

you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked.

7 You gave no water to the weary

and you withheld food from the hungry,

8 though you were a powerful man, owning land—

an honored man, living on it.

9 And you sent widows away empty-handed

and broke the strength of the fatherless.

10 That is why snares are all around you,

why sudden peril terrifies you,

11 why it is so dark you cannot see,

and why a flood of water covers you.

12 “Is not God in the heights of heaven?

And see how lofty are the highest stars!

13 Yet you say, ‘What does God know?

Does he judge through such darkness?

14 Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us

as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.’

15 Will you keep to the old path

that evil men have trod?

16 They were carried off before their time,

their foundations washed away by a flood.

17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone!

What can the Almighty do to us?’

18 Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things,

so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked.

19 “The righteous see their ruin and rejoice;

the innocent mock them, saying,

20 ‘Surely our foes are destroyed,

and fire devours their wealth.’

21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him;

in this way prosperity will come to you.

22 Accept instruction from his mouth

and lay up his words in your heart.

23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored:

If you remove wickedness far from your tent

24 and assign your nuggets to the dust,

your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines,

25 then the Almighty will be your gold,

the choicest silver for you.

26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty

and will lift up your face to God.

27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,

and you will fulfill your vows.

28 What you decide on will be done,

and light will shine on your ways.

29 When men are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’

then he will save the downcast.

30 He will deliver even one who is not innocent,

who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Those were some very strong claims against Job.  They appear to be speculation and not fact-based, though.

 

Job

23     Then Job replied:

2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.

3 If only I knew where to find him;

if only I could go to his dwelling!

4 I would state my case before him

and fill my mouth with arguments.

5 I would find out what he would answer me,

and consider what he would say.

6 Would he oppose me with great power?

No, he would not press charges against me.

7 There an upright man could present his case before him,

and I would be delivered forever from my judge.

8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;

if I go to the west, I do not find him.

9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;

when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.

10 But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

11 My feet have closely followed his steps;

I have kept to his way without turning aside.

12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;

I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?

He does whatever he pleases.

14 He carries out his decree against me,

and many such plans he still has in store.

15 That is why I am terrified before him;

when I think of all this, I fear him.

16 God has made my heart faint;

the Almighty has terrified me.

17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,

by the thick darkness that covers my face.

24     “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?

Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?

2 Men move boundary stones;

they pasture flocks they have stolen.

3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey

and take the widow’s ox in pledge.

4 They thrust the needy from the path

and force all the poor of the land into hiding.

5 Like wild donkeys in the desert,

the poor go about their labor of foraging food;

the wasteland provides food for their children.

6 They gather fodder in the fields

and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.

7 Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked;

they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.

8 They are drenched by mountain rains

and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.

9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast;

the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.

10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;

they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.

11 They crush olives among the terraces;

they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst.

12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,

and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.

But God charges no one with wrongdoing.

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,

who do not know its ways or stay in its paths.

14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up

and kills the poor and needy;

in the night he steals forth like a thief.

15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk;

he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’

and he keeps his face concealed.

16 In the dark, men break into houses,

but by day they shut themselves in;

they want nothing to do with the light.

17 For all of them, deep darkness is their morning;

they make friends with the terrors of darkness.

18 “Yet they are foam on the surface of the water;

their portion of the land is cursed,

so that no one goes to the vineyards.

19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow,

so the grave snatches away those who have sinned.

20 The womb forgets them, the worm feasts on them;

evil men are no longer remembered but are broken like a tree.

21 They prey on the barren and childless woman,

and to the widow show no kindness.

22 But God drags away the mighty by his power;

though they become established, they have no assurance of life.

23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security,

but his eyes are on their ways.

24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone;

they are brought low and gathered up like all others;

they are cut off like heads of grain.

25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false

and reduce my words to nothing?”

 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Job rightly points out that sometimes the wicked prosper.  We often want justice now for evildoers, but we want grace now and forever for ourselves.  Yes, God lets some evil go unpunished for a time.  But as the saying goes, if He eliminated every element of evil from the planet at noon today, where would you be at 12:01?

Reducing abortions in Russia?

Courtesy of Marshall, this piece on reducing abortions in Russia:

Authorities in Novorossiysk, a city near the Black Sea, have declared this week to be a “week without abortion.” Doctors won’t conduct termination operations except in “the most extreme cases.” In addition, at the city’s maternity clinic psychologists and gynecologists will work with pregnant women to prepare them for motherhood. More astounding, the city’s universities will screen films describing the detrimental effects of abortions. And a representative of the city’s government says that “doctors will do everything they can to stop women from doing the irreparable.” 

Too bad our universities won’t show films like that.

Re. “doing the irreparable” — That is one of the things the pro-legalized abortionists ignore. People change their minds sometimes, and woman often do so during their pregnancies when they are feeling very stressed or unsupported.

But you can’t undo an abortion.

Marshall also made a good point about Social Security. The scientific fact that abortion destroys an innocent human being is all the reasoning we need to demonstrate the immorality of the practice, but there are many other negative consequences as well, including the absence of tens of millions of people in our economy.

Roundup

pro-choice-baby.jpgFrom the “I am not making this up” department: Planned Parenthood offers gift certificates, just in time for Christmas.

P.S. Did you know that Planned Parenthood used to be “anti-choice” because they knew that abortion killed a baby and was bad for the mother?  From their own advertisement:

Is it [birth control] an abortion?

Definitely not.  An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun.  It is dangerous to your life and health.  It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it.  Birth control merely postpones the meaning of life.

Musings from a Theo-Geek has a good piece on Why Secular Psychology and Christianity Don’t Mix

 —

Long depression was FDR’s fault – Be skeptical and even nervous about all the “solutions” being bandied about today.

Ten reasons not to ask Jesus into your heart – tips on avoiding false conversions

Serbian abortionist becomes pro-lifer after 48,000 abortions – I hope our leaders who are pro-choice have the same dreams that this guy did.

The Nutcracker Ballet (the “t” is silent)

Ticket still available for the shows on December 5 -7.

Go to HRB Tickets or buy them at the door.

This is my annual Nutcracker post, which is one of those family pieces that not everyone will care about.  You’ve been warned. 

If you are in the NW Houston area and would like to get tickets to any of the shows (December 5-7), click here.  It really is your best holiday entertainment value.  No need to drive downtown and pay higher ticket prices for the Houston Ballet. 

They used a picture of Daughter 2 in the poster again this year.

I love Nutcracker weekend.  The kids work so hard and finally get to perform five shows over three days and spend lots of time with their friends.  A few professionals are brought in, including two from New York’s American Ballet Theatre.

This will be my fourth year to be part of the production.  It is sort of a glorified crowd scene role (one of the guys joked that we are just there as eye candy – ha!).  There are six families in the opening party scene, so they need some dads to be involved.  The role is referred to as “Party Dad,” but not in the sense of, “Woo-hoo!  Hey hey!  Party Dad!”  We basically mingle, pretend to talk, and do some limited old-timey dancing (not ballet). 

The girls each have a bunch o’ roles.  Daughter #1 is the Snow Queen, Dewdrop Fairy and others.  It is her last year so she will have lots of stage time in the lead roles.  Daughter #2 is the lead Arabian, Harlequin Doll and in the cast of several group numbers.  They’ve been in the shows nearly 10 years, starting with roles as mice, so it is fun to see them dance more and more every year.

Job 19-21

job19.jpgGreetings!  The back-and-forth with Job and his not-so-supportive friends continues. 

Job

19     Then Job replied:

2 “How long will you torment me

and crush me with words?

3 Ten times now you have reproached me;

shamelessly you attack me.

4 If it is true that I have gone astray,

my error remains my concern alone.

5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me

and use my humiliation against me,

6 then know that God has wronged me

and drawn his net around me.

Job seems to drift off course here.  His is correct in rebuking his friends, but not in saying that God has wronged him. 

May we all be quick to credit God for all good things and the countless blessings we have and to remember that for those who love him He will take the bad things in life and use them for good (Romans 8:28).

7 “Though I cry, ‘I’ve been wronged!’ I get no response;

though I call for help, there is no justice.

8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass;

he has shrouded my paths in darkness.

9 He has stripped me of my honor

and removed the crown from my head.

10 He tears me down on every side till I am gone;

he uproots my hope like a tree.

11 His anger burns against me;

he counts me among his enemies.

12 His troops advance in force;

they build a siege ramp against me

and encamp around my tent.

13 “He has alienated my brothers from me;

my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.

14 My kinsmen have gone away;

my friends have forgotten me.

15 My guests and my maidservants count me a stranger;

they look upon me as an alien.

16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer,

though I beg him with my own mouth.

17 My breath is offensive to my wife;

I am loathsome to my own brothers.

18 Even the little boys scorn me;

when I appear, they ridicule me.

19 All my intimate friends detest me;

those I love have turned against me.

20 I am nothing but skin and bones;

I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.

21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity,

for the hand of God has struck me.

22 Why do you pursue me as God does?

Will you never get enough of my flesh?

23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,

that they were written on a scroll,

24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,

or engraved in rock forever!

That is ironic, considering that we are still discussing his words thousands of years later!

25 I know that my Redeemer lives,

and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

What a great verse in the midst of his lament!  Yes, Jesus lives and He stood on the earth and will stand on it again.  That is such an interesting thing for Job to say, especially considering that this may be the oldest book in the Bible.

May all Christians remind ourselves that our redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,

yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him

with my own eyes—I, and not another.

How my heart yearns within me!

28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him,

since the root of the trouble lies in him,’

29 you should fear the sword yourselves;

for wrath will bring punishment by the sword,

and then you will know that there is judgment.”

Job seems to know that there is more than just this earthly life.  We are eternal beings.

Zophar

20     Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

2 “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer

because I am greatly disturbed.

3 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me,

and my understanding inspires me to reply.

4 “Surely you know how it has been from of old,

ever since man was placed on the earth,

5 that the mirth of the wicked is brief,

the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.

Again, Job’s friends speak some truths and some overly broad generalizations.  Yes, true and lasting joy will only be yours if you are tied in to the author of all joy.

6 Though his pride reaches to the heavens

and his head touches the clouds,

7 he will perish forever, like his own dung;

those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

8 Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found,

banished like a vision of the night.

9 The eye that saw him will not see him again;

his place will look on him no more.

10 His children must make amends to the poor;

his own hands must give back his wealth.

11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones

will lie with him in the dust.

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth

and he hides it under his tongue,

13 though he cannot bear to let it go

and keeps it in his mouth,

14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach;

it will become the venom of serpents within him.

15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed;

God will make his stomach vomit them up.

16 He will suck the poison of serpents;

the fangs of an adder will kill him.

17 He will not enjoy the streams,

the rivers flowing with honey and cream.

18 What he toiled for he must give back uneaten;

he will not enjoy the profit from his trading.

19 For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute;

he has seized houses he did not build.

20 “Surely he will have no respite from his craving;

he cannot save himself by his treasure.

21 Nothing is left for him to devour;

his prosperity will not endure.

22 In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him;

the full force of misery will come upon him.

23 When he has filled his belly,

God will vent his burning anger against him

and rain down his blows upon him.

24 Though he flees from an iron weapon,

a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.

25 He pulls it out of his back,

the gleaming point out of his liver.

Terrors will come over him;

26 total darkness lies in wait for his treasures.

A fire unfanned will consume him

and devour what is left in his tent.

27 The heavens will expose his guilt;

the earth will rise up against him.

28 A flood will carry off his house,

rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.

29 Such is the fate God allots the wicked,

the heritage appointed for them by God.”

Job

21     Then Job replied:

2 “Listen carefully to my words;

let this be the consolation you give me.

3 Bear with me while I speak,

and after I have spoken, mock on.

4 “Is my complaint directed to man?

Why should I not be impatient?

5 Look at me and be astonished;

clap your hand over your mouth.

6 When I think about this, I am terrified;

trembling seizes my body.

7 Why do the wicked live on,

growing old and increasing in power?

8 They see their children established around them,

their offspring before their eyes.

9 Their homes are safe and free from fear;

the rod of God is not upon them.

10 Their bulls never fail to breed;

their cows calve and do not miscarry.

11 They send forth their children as a flock;

their little ones dance about.

12 They sing to the music of tambourine and harp;

they make merry to the sound of the flute.

13 They spend their years in prosperity

and go down to the grave in peace.

14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!

We have no desire to know your ways.

15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?

What would we gain by praying to him?’

Job correctly notes that sometimes the wicked prosper in this life.  They have been mocking God and his existence for thousands of years.

16 But their prosperity is not in their own hands,

so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked.

17 “Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out?

How often does calamity come upon them,

the fate God allots in his anger?

18 How often are they like straw before the wind,

like chaff swept away by a gale?

19 It is said, ‘God stores up a man’s punishment for his

sons.’

Let him repay the man himself, so that he will know it!

20 Let his own eyes see his destruction;

let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

21 For what does he care about the family he leaves behind

when his allotted months come to an end?

22 “Can anyone teach knowledge to God,

since he judges even the highest?

23 One man dies in full vigor,

completely secure and at ease,

24 his body well nourished,

his bones rich with marrow.

25 Another man dies in bitterness of soul,

never having enjoyed anything good.

26 Side by side they lie in the dust,

and worms cover them both.

27 “I know full well what you are thinking,

the schemes by which you would wrong me.

28 You say, ‘Where now is the great man’s house,

the tents where wicked men lived?’

29 Have you never questioned those who travel?

Have you paid no regard to their accounts—

30 that the evil man is spared from the day of calamity,

that he is delivered from the day of wrath?

31 Who denounces his conduct to his face?

Who repays him for what he has done?

32 He is carried to the grave,

and watch is kept over his tomb.

33 The soil in the valley is sweet to him;

all men follow after him,

and a countless throng goes before him.

34 “So how can you console me with your nonsense?

Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!”

 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Job 16-18

job16.jpgGreetings! 

Job

16     Then Job replied:

2 “I have heard many things like these;

miserable comforters are you all!

3 Will your long-winded speeches never end?

What ails you that you keep on arguing?

Job is angry at his friends for jumping to conclusions that his sin caused his misery.  Sometimes being silent with someone who is suffering is the best thing. 

4 I also could speak like you,

if you were in my place;

I could make fine speeches against you

and shake my head at you.

5 But my mouth would encourage you;

comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

6 “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;

and if I refrain, it does not go away.

7 Surely, O God, you have worn me out;

you have devastated my entire household.

8 You have bound me—and it has become a witness;

my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.

9 God assails me and tears me in his anger

and gnashes his teeth at me;

my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.

10 Men open their mouths to jeer at me;

they strike my cheek in scorn

and unite together against me.

11 God has turned me over to evil men

and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.

12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;

he seized me by the neck and crushed me.

He has made me his target;

13 his archers surround me.

Without pity, he pierces my kidneys

and spills my gall on the ground.

14 Again and again he bursts upon me;

he rushes at me like a warrior.

15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin

and buried my brow in the dust.

16 My face is red with weeping,

deep shadows ring my eyes;

17 yet my hands have been free of violence

and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not cover my blood;

may my cry never be laid to rest!

19 Even now my witness is in heaven;

my advocate is on high.

20 My intercessor is my friend

as my eyes pour out tears to God;

21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God

as a man pleads for his friend.

22 “Only a few years will pass

before I go on the journey of no return.

17     My spirit is broken,

my days are cut short,

the grave awaits me.

2 Surely mockers surround me;

my eyes must dwell on their hostility.

3 “Give me, O God, the pledge you demand.

Who else will put up security for me?

4 You have closed their minds to understanding;

therefore you will not let them triumph.

5 If a man denounces his friends for reward,

the eyes of his children will fail.

6 “God has made me a byword to everyone,

a man in whose face people spit.

7 My eyes have grown dim with grief;

my whole frame is but a shadow.

8 Upright men are appalled at this;

the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.

9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways,

and those with clean hands will grow stronger.

10 “But come on, all of you, try again!

I will not find a wise man among you.

11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered,

and so are the desires of my heart.

12 These men turn night into day;

in the face of darkness they say, ‘Light is near.’

13 If the only home I hope for is the grave,

if I spread out my bed in darkness,

14 if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’

and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’

15 where then is my hope?

Who can see any hope for me?

16 Will it go down to the gates of death?

Will we descend together into the dust?”

Bildad

18     Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

2 “When will you end these speeches?

Be sensible, and then we can talk.

3 Why are we regarded as cattle

and considered stupid in your sight?

4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger,

is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?

Or must the rocks be moved from their place?

5 “The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out;

the flame of his fire stops burning.

6 The light in his tent becomes dark;

the lamp beside him goes out.

7 The vigor of his step is weakened;

his own schemes throw him down.

8 His feet thrust him into a net

and he wanders into its mesh.

9 A trap seizes him by the heel;

a snare holds him fast.

10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground;

a trap lies in his path.

11 Terrors startle him on every side

and dog his every step.

12 Calamity is hungry for him;

disaster is ready for him when he falls.

13 It eats away parts of his skin;

death’s firstborn devours his limbs.

14 He is torn from the security of his tent

and marched off to the king of terrors.

15 Fire resides in his tent;

burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.

16 His roots dry up below

and his branches wither above.

17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;

he has no name in the land.

18 He is driven from light into darkness

and is banished from the world.

19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people,

no survivor where once he lived.

20 Men of the west are appalled at his fate;

men of the east are seized with horror.

21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man;

such is the place of one who knows not God.”

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Bildad is drawing a false conclusion about evil men.  Yes, God will punish them eventually for all their sins.  Some may have more consequences in this life than others.  But it isn’t an immediate correction.  Bildad and Job’s other friends kept assuming that Job’s sin was the root cause of his torment. 

Job didn’t quite understand the cause, so he questioned God.  Sometimes we get answers in this life and sometimes we don’t.

Roundup

naked-gun2Please go read The Naked Gun on the theology of ministry at Patrick’s blog.  If nothing else, you’ll laugh at a great clip from the movie.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday will be January 18th this year (as well as January 25th in some places).  Last year I was able to speak at a couple Sunday School classes at a large local church.  I’m going to be the Board President for CareNet in 2009 so I’m hoping there will be more speaking opportunities to educate people on all the great things CareNet does for women and their families, as well as how to articulate the pro-life message.

Randy Alcorn is an amazing pro-life apologist (among other things) and is offering his book Why Pro-life? for only $1.60 each (in case quantities) to help churches equip people with the pro-life message.  Let your pastor know that these are available!  It would be a great way to educate people.  Randy is a very winsome and persuasive author.

Here’s some good news: The Love Dare book from the Fireproof movie is #2 on the NYT Best Seller list.

People Said to Believe in Aliens and Ghosts More Than God - This is sad but also amusing, especially with people insisting that it is the advanced education of the West that keeps them from an “irrational” belief in God. They make nice bookends for the deliberately unclear “thinkers” on the other end of the spectrum who insist that there is no truth.

Going rate to kill a pastor: $250 – Hindu extremist groups are offering money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes.

Obama, Can You Spare Blacks A Proclamation? - this is quite a list!

Predictably, the Abortion President is putting together a seriously anti-life, anti-family Cabinet

Fast food progressive dinner

friesOK, now for something really important.  Have you ever done a progressive fast food dinner?  It is like a regular progressive dinner where you go to one family’s house for appetizers, then another for the main course, etc.  But in this case you go to multiple fast food locations to accommodate everyone in the car (or yourself). 

What would your favorites be?

My current choices would be:

  • Jack in the Box chicken strips
  • McDonald’s fries
  • McDonald’s yogurt parfait
  • Dairy Queen strawberry shake

(Our Sunday School class just had a regular progressive dinner.  Lots of fun.  But no McDonald’s fries.)

Roundup

This site has some good, clear refutations of Mormonism.  I don’t think their religious views are accurate, but I still appreciate their pro-family activities.

Hey kids!  Smoking is really, really bad for you.  Unless Obama is doing it because he’s stressed out.

A great list of questions for the Global Warming experts.  A sample:

  • How cool do we want the world to be? What is the ideal temperature for the earth?
  • What are the criteria for determining the ideal temperature of the earth?
  • Would a modest increase in the temperature of the planet necessarily be bad? Are there any potential benefits?
  • How can we ensure that efforts to stabilize the earth’s temperature don’t backfire, resulting in a larger than intended drop in the earth’s average temperature?

They help demonstrate how GW is just an ill-defined, world-wide, unprecedented political power grab with no plans to ever relinquish the power.

It’s almost Kwanzaa time, so be sure to check out Christocentric’s Kwanzaa blog about its real origins.

And for those of you unfamiliar with my writings on Kwanzaa, I am not a supporter of it, but someone who has written about the racist, anti-Christian origins of this holiday.  A family member who embraced Christianity, was persuaded by the creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. Karenga, that Christianity was a “white man’s religion” and that he could provide a better way of life for the black man, woman or child.  Because of my family’s involvement with Dr. Karenga, I was able to research this holiday and its “black only” principles with an eyewitness account on the inner workings of a Black Nationalist Organization (the US Organization).

A good list of urban legends perpetuated by the homosexual movement (the 10% myth, the politics behind the American Psychiatric Association’s reclassification of it as a mental disorder, etc.)

Job 13-15

job13.jpgGreetings!  Job is in the middle of his response to his friend Zophar.  He strongly defends himself and accuses his friends of false accusations. 

13     “My eyes have seen all this,

my ears have heard and understood it.

2 What you know, I also know;

I am not inferior to you.

3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty

and to argue my case with God.

4 You, however, smear me with lies;

you are worthless physicians, all of you!

5 If only you would be altogether silent!

For you, that would be wisdom.

6 Hear now my argument;

listen to the plea of my lips.

7 Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?

Will you speak deceitfully for him?

8 Will you show him partiality?

Will you argue the case for God?

9 Would it turn out well if he examined you?

Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?

10 He would surely rebuke you

if you secretly showed partiality.

11 Would not his splendor terrify you?

Would not the dread of him fall on you?

12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;

your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Keep silent and let me speak;

then let come to me what may.

14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy

and take my life in my hands?

15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;

I will surely defend my ways to his face.

Verse 15 is powerful: Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.  Now that’s faith.  May we all have the faith that says that whatever God directs or lets happen that we’ll trust in him for the end result. 

16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,

for no godless man would dare come before him!

17 Listen carefully to my words;

let your ears take in what I say.

18 Now that I have prepared my case,

I know I will be vindicated.

19 Can anyone bring charges against me?

If so, I will be silent and die.

20 “Only grant me these two things, O God,

and then I will not hide from you:

21 Withdraw your hand far from me,

and stop frightening me with your terrors.

22 Then summon me and I will answer,

or let me speak, and you reply.

23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed?

Show me my offense and my sin.

24 Why do you hide your face

and consider me your enemy?

25 Will you torment a windblown leaf?

Will you chase after dry chaff?

26 For you write down bitter things against me

and make me inherit the sins of my youth.

Job does not claim to have lived a sinless life.

27 You fasten my feet in shackles;

you keep close watch on all my paths

by putting marks on the soles of my feet.

28 “So man wastes away like something rotten,

like a garment eaten by moths.

14     “Man born of woman

is of few days and full of trouble.

2 He springs up like a flower and withers away;

like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.

3 Do you fix your eye on such a one?

Will you bring him before you for judgment?

4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure?

No one!

5 Man’s days are determined;

you have decreed the number of his months

and have set limits he cannot exceed.

6 So look away from him and let him alone,

till he has put in his time like a hired man.

7 “At least there is hope for a tree:

If it is cut down, it will sprout again,

and its new shoots will not fail.

8 Its roots may grow old in the ground

and its stump die in the soil,

9 yet at the scent of water it will bud

and put forth shoots like a plant.

10 But man dies and is laid low;

he breathes his last and is no more.

11 As water disappears from the sea

or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,

12 so man lies down and does not rise;

till the heavens are no more, men will not awake

or be roused from their sleep.

13 “If only you would hide me in the grave

and conceal me till your anger has passed!

If only you would set me a time

and then remember me!

14 If a man dies, will he live again?

All the days of my hard service

I will wait for my renewal to come.

15 You will call and I will answer you;

you will long for the creature your hands have made.

16 Surely then you will count my steps

but not keep track of my sin.

17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag;

you will cover over my sin.

18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles

and as a rock is moved from its place,

19 as water wears away stones

and torrents wash away the soil,

so you destroy man’s hope.

20 You overpower him once for all, and he is gone;

you change his countenance and send him away.

21 If his sons are honored, he does not know it;

if they are brought low, he does not see it.

22 He feels but the pain of his own body

and mourns only for himself.”

Eliphaz

15     Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

2 “Would a wise man answer with empty notions

or fill his belly with the hot east wind?

3 Would he argue with useless words,

with speeches that have no value?

4 But you even undermine piety

and hinder devotion to God.

5 Your sin prompts your mouth;

you adopt the tongue of the crafty.

6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;

your own lips testify against you.

7 “Are you the first man ever born?

Were you brought forth before the hills?

8 Do you listen in on God’s council?

Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

9 What do you know that we do not know?

What insights do you have that we do not have?

10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,

men even older than your father.

11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,

words spoken gently to you?

12 Why has your heart carried you away,

and why do your eyes flash,

13 so that you vent your rage against God

and pour out such words from your mouth?

14 “What is man, that he could be pure,

or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?

15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,

if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,

16 how much less man, who is vile and corrupt,

who drinks up evil like water!

17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;

let me tell you what I have seen,

18 what wise men have declared,

hiding nothing received from their fathers

19 (to whom alone the land was given

when no alien passed among them):

20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,

the ruthless through all the years stored up for him.

21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;

when all seems well, marauders attack him.

22 He despairs of escaping the darkness;

he is marked for the sword.

23 He wanders about—food for vultures;

he knows the day of darkness is at hand.

24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror;

they overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,

25 because he shakes his fist at God

and vaunts himself against the Almighty,

26 defiantly charging against him

with a thick, strong shield.

I didn’t realize that the phrase “shakes his fist at God” was in the Bible.  I’ve used that metaphor to describe many of the atheist and apostate Christian groups.

27 “Though his face is covered with fat

and his waist bulges with flesh,

28 he will inhabit ruined towns

and houses where no one lives,

houses crumbling to rubble.

29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,

nor will his possessions spread over the land.

30 He will not escape the darkness;

a flame will wither his shoots,

and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.

31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,

for he will get nothing in return.

32 Before his time he will be paid in full,

and his branches will not flourish.

33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,

like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.

34 For the company of the godless will be barren,

and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.

35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;

their womb fashions deceit.”

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Job 10-12

job10.jpgGreetings!  Job is speaking again and responding to his friends.  He is deeply depressed and accusing God of toying with him for no reason.  He concedes that he has sins and faults and is properly mortified by them, but he doesn’t see where he has sinned in this case.

10     “I loathe my very life;

therefore I will give free rein to my complaint

and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.

2 I will say to God: Do not condemn me,

but tell me what charges you have against me.

3 Does it please you to oppress me,

to spurn the work of your hands,

while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?

4 Do you have eyes of flesh?

Do you see as a mortal sees?

5 Are your days like those of a mortal

or your years like those of a man,

6 that you must search out my faults

and probe after my sin—

7 though you know that I am not guilty

and that no one can rescue me from your hand?

8 “Your hands shaped me and made me.

Will you now turn and destroy me?

9 Remember that you molded me like clay.

Will you now turn me to dust again?

10 Did you not pour me out like milk

and curdle me like cheese,

11 clothe me with skin and flesh

and knit me together with bones and sinews?

12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,

and in your providence watched over my spirit.

13 “But this is what you concealed in your heart,

and I know that this was in your mind:

14 If I sinned, you would be watching me

and would not let my offense go unpunished.

15 If I am guilty—woe to me!

Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,

for I am full of shame

and drowned in my affliction.

16 If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion

and again display your awesome power against me.

17 You bring new witnesses against me

and increase your anger toward me;

your forces come against me wave upon wave.

18 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb?

I wish I had died before any eye saw me.

19 If only I had never come into being,

or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!

20 Are not my few days almost over?

Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy

21 before I go to the place of no return,

to the land of gloom and deep shadow,

22 to the land of deepest night,

of deep shadow and disorder,

where even the light is like darkness.”

Zophar

11     Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

2 “Are all these words to go unanswered?

Is this talker to be vindicated?

3 Will your idle talk reduce men to silence?

Will no one rebuke you when you mock?

4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless

and I am pure in your sight.’

5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak,

that he would open his lips against you

6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,

for true wisdom has two sides.

Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.

7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?

Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

8 They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?

They are deeper than the depths of the grave—what can you know?

9 Their measure is longer than the earth

and wider than the sea.

10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison

and convenes a court, who can oppose him?

11 Surely he recognizes deceitful men;

and when he sees evil, does he not take note?

12 But a witless man can no more become wise

than a wild donkey’s colt can be born a man.

13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him

and stretch out your hands to him,

14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand

and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,

15 then you will lift up your face without shame;

you will stand firm and without fear.

16 You will surely forget your trouble,

recalling it only as waters gone by.

17 Life will be brighter than noonday,

and darkness will become like morning.

18 You will be secure, because there is hope;

you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,

and many will court your favor.

20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail,

and escape will elude them;

their hope will become a dying gasp.” 

 Once again Job’s friends make some true claims about God but misapply them to Job’s situation.

Job

12     Then Job replied:

2 “Doubtless you are the people,

and wisdom will die with you!

I love sarcasm in the Bible.

3 But I have a mind as well as you;

I am not inferior to you.

Who does not know all these things?

4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends,

though I called upon God and he answered—

a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!

5 Men at ease have contempt for misfortune

as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.

6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed,

and those who provoke God are secure—

those who carry their god in their hands.

7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,

or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,

or let the fish of the sea inform you.

9 Which of all these does not know

that the hand of the Lord has done this?

That is a stinging rebuke to the atheists who insist that they just can’t see any evidence for God.

10 In his hand is the life of every creature

and the breath of all mankind.

11 Does not the ear test words

as the tongue tastes food?

12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?

Does not long life bring understanding?

13 “To God belong wisdom and power;

counsel and understanding are his.

14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;

the man he imprisons cannot be released.

15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought;

if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.

16 To him belong strength and victory;

both deceived and deceiver are his.

17 He leads counselors away stripped

and makes fools of judges.

18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings

and ties a loincloth around their waist.

19 He leads priests away stripped

and overthrows men long established.

20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers

and takes away the discernment of elders.

21 He pours contempt on nobles

and disarms the mighty.

22 He reveals the deep things of darkness

and brings deep shadows into the light.

23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;

he enlarges nations, and disperses them.

24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;

he sends them wandering through a trackless waste.

25 They grope in darkness with no light;

he makes them stagger like drunkards.

 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Job notes how God is sovereign over all things.  This foreshadows a lot of what God does with the Israelites and their enemies.

Who is really anti-choice?

circle-slash.jpgWhen Liberals refer to me as “anti-choice” I realize it is a predictable personal attack to make it sound like I’m anti-freedom.  As usual, they aren’t finishing their sentences (anti-choice to do what?) and they are ignoring that another human being gets killed when one of the alternatives is chosen. 

My first reaction is that I am not ashamed to be anti-choice, provided that they mean “anti-choice to crush and dismember innocent human beings (regular abortions) or anti-choice to stick a sharp instrument in a baby’s head and suck out her brains (partial-birth abortions, aka infanticide) or anti-choice to let born-alive abortion surviving babies die in closets (the method of infanticide protected by Barack Obama).”

The ironic thing is that other than the legalized destruction of innocent human beings these folks are really the ones who are anti-choice:

Anti-school choice (whether it is the choice of which public school to attend or the option of home schooling)

Anti-choice of parents to know if their children are receiving birth control at school

Anti-choice of parents to know if their children are having an abortion, which involves great physical and mental risks to their daughters in addition to destroying their grandchildren

Anti-choice for medical professionals not to perform abortions or dispense abortion pills

Anti-choice to own guns

Anti-choice of the unborn to determine if they can live

Anti-choice for secret union ballots

Anti-choice to access conservative radio shows

Anti-choice to teach the flaws of Darwinian evolutionary theory

Anti-choice of people to choose how they want health care insured or provided

Anti-choice on the voters of America to decide social issues democratically

Let’s just say that consistency on the “choice” topic isn’t their strong suit.

What others am I missing?

The real haters and responding to their inconsistency

hate.jpgMs. Green has some videos of truly hateful behavior by the anti-Proposition 8 folks.  Yet it is the Christians who are continually referred to as haters.  Sure, Fred Phelps and his ilk are haters and they call themselves Christian, but their behavior displays about as much fruit as their counterparts on the Left.  And the demonstrators on the Left far outnumber the Phelps-types. 

The Left uses the “hate” accusation reflexively to try to demonize and silence the opposition.  It is amazing that the hate label sticks to us when we actually take a live and let live approach to gays. We just don’t like it when they shove their agenda down our throats.

I’ve known for a long time that their theme of “tolerance” was an upside down use of the word.  You can only tolerate those you disagree with, and these people show no tolerance at all.

Here is one line of thinking to use in responding to the spurious “hate” personal attacks. 

If you want to disarm the liberals, just point out that if homosexuality could be detected in utero that you would be against those abortions, and ask them if they would agree to make those abortions illegal.  If heterosexual parents abort for Down Syndrome, gender, inconvenience, etc. I guarantee you that most parents would abort rather than have a potentially gay child (I wouldn’t).

I’ve asked this question many times and I have yet to find a heterosexual liberal who doesn’t love abortion rights more than gays. So this argument is a great way to make them squirm and to point out how ridiculous it is for them to label you as a homophobe. After all, they think it should be legal to destroy gays in the womb (even hypothetically) while you think they should be protected.

The most I’ve ever seen them say in response is that I’m against all abortions, so specific protections for gays isn’t meaningful. But I point out that if this was the only restriction made that I’d favor it.  You shouldn’t kill an innocent human being because he is gay or even might be gay.

It also forces them to reconsider their pro-abortion views, because it points out how the unborn are real human beings. That is one reason they fight any exceptions, even for gender selection abortions. They know that once you concede the humanity of the unborn for any reason then other abortions wouldn’t be justified.

If you do Venn diagrams of pro-legalized abortionists and pro-gay agenda folks, you’ll see virtually concentric circles. 

Authentic Christians do not hate these people.  Watch the videos and see.  But the truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth.  And those that are pro-legalized abortion and pro-gay marriage are in deep rebellion to God.

I explored this more in a hypothetical dilemma.

I know that the “rights” talk makes for a good sound bite, but what rights are we talking about? The right to relationships? They have them. The right to be married? Uh, sorry, but they already have the right to marry a living being of the opposite sex of the same species under certain conditions (i.e., no incest, bestiality, polygamy or necrophilia). And who are they to pull up the drawbridge after gays get these “rights” and leave the other groups hanging?  Do they hate them?  Why else would they oppose their rights?

I thought this was a great summary by Invictus, who previously had been inclined to try and support gay civil marriage:

You know, I’m not really inclined to support the creation of a new “right”–one that has never existed in all of human history–on behalf of a people who so easily take up the mantle of thuggish oppression as soon as they are given space to do so.  Does anyone (idiots and liars excluded) really think that teams of police would be required to escort gay couples safely out of neighborhoods full of violent Mormons screaming death threats?

My poor dog

Xannie (short for Xannax, the anti-anxiety medicine) had to get some fatty tumors removed and has quite a few stiches. She needs to wear this “Elizabethan Collar” for a while. She bumps into things all over.

xannie-plastic-collar-001

 

xannie-plastic-collar-002

“The lampshade is running away.”

— Grandpa Simpson (from The Simpsons)