Roundup

alarm-clock.jpgYou get an extra second in your day today.  Don’t waste it!

New addition to the blogroll: Musings from a Theo-Geek.  Marie has a passion for the truth and the persecuted church, among other things.  Go check out this well written blog.  I’ll wait here.

Maybe evolution is real after all — at least in mainstream media reports about Sarah Palin.  It only took AP three tries to do a remotely unbiased piece on the birth of Sarah Palin’s grandson.

Tina Fey looks as much like Caroline Kennedy as she does Sarah Palin.  So you have to know that Fey will be skewering Kennedy just as much as she did Gov. Palin, ya know?

Redefining “Global Warming” to support an agenda — Here’s my definition: Global Warming is a tautological catalyst for an unprecedented, unlimited and permanent political power grab.  Regardless of the actual weather they’ll claim that their plans worked, so that is proof that they need to maintain control, or the plans didn’t work, so they need even more control.

If there was global warming, it is probably over and probably not man-made.

Turns out that I agree with Gene Robinson on a religious topic.  From a post by Ms. Green:

Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and an Obama supporter, was upset about Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to lead the invocation at his inauguration.

Gene was quoted by the Times as saying, “we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most-watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.

That’s what we’ve been saying all along!  I’m glad we agree on this. 

I found Robinson’s comments ironic on multiple levels.  He spoke the truth for a change, even though he probably didn’t realize that. 

But consider how wounded liberal theologians get when you point out how they hold seriously different views from orthodox Christians.  Will they criticize Robinson for being so divisive? 

And don’t people like him think that all religions lead to God?  Why is he being so critical of “another” faith now?  Or is his claim that all religions except Rick Warren’s lead to God? 

I wonder if Robinson would have complained if a Muslim Imam or some other religion would have said the prayer?

They wouldn’t like the Sermon on the Mount if they understood it

bible.jpgLiberal theologians and even skeptics claim to revere the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), but that is just because they don’t really understand it.  If they read it properly they would hate it.

 

It portrays Jesus as being very intolerant.  He tells the Pharisees how they are doing everything wrong – worship, giving, praying, fasting, behaving, etc. 

 

He upholds every letter and pen stroke of the Old Testament, something they typically abandon first. 

 

He spoke of judgment.  He emphatically shows that there are false religions – the very thing that the liberal theologians teach the opposite of.  He warns strongly against false teachers – people like them!

 

It sets an impossibly high standard and demonstrates that we need a Savior to reach God.  He raises the bar or shows the real intent behind prohibitions against adultery, murder, etc. and sums up that section by saying, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

 

The problem is that the liberal theologians view it as a checklist, just as they do with Matthew 22:37-40 (“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . . Love your neighbor as yourself.”).  He didn’t mean for us to respond, “Thanks for the summary, I’ll get right on that!”  The proper response is to be convicted that we can never be good enough on our own.  You have to be pretty self-righteous not to realize what a joke it would be to claim you followed those passages well enough to merit God’s eternal favor.

 

When Jesus speaks of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, He is referring to God’s definition of righteousness, not the made up definitions of the theological Left (abortion rights, “same-sex marriage,” etc.).

 

Jesus says to give to the needy, but He doesn’t teach to take other people’s money at the point of a gun (i.e., taxes) to fund your pet projects.

 

He teaches not to judge hypocritically (Matthew 7:1-5), but the theological liberals only read the first verse and, ironically enough, use that to judge others for making any judgments.

 

He teaches of Heaven and Hell, which they often deny.

 

They completely miss the point of the wise and foolish builder passage at the end of chapter 7.  They have heard his words but don’t put them into practice.  They actively teach that other religions are valid paths to God.

 

And so much more!

 

I’ll close with some excellent comments from Bubba from this post about a false teacher:  

 

These are the most prominent questions that come to mind, in response to Chuck’s [Currie] assertion, “A Christian is a person who hears the Sermon on the Mount and says, ‘Amen.'”

 

1) In that sermon (Mt 5:3-4), Jesus Christ taught the mourning, spiritually poor are blessed, implying a crucial need for God’s grace. Does Chuck agree that God’s grace is absolutely necessary for us to inherit eternal life?

 

2) In that sermon (5:11), Jesus taught that we are blessed, not when we’re persecuted for any ol’ reason or even for the sake of broad categories of goodness and righteousness, but for HIS sake. Does Chuck agree that we must stand up, not only for Jesus’ teachings, but for Jesus Himself?

 

3) In that sermon (5:17-20), Jesus affirmed the authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke. Does Chuck defer to Christ on the question of the Bible’s ultimate authority?

 

4) In that sermon (7:21-23), Jesus is quite clear that not everyone will enter heaven, even going so far as to say that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” will enter heaven. Does Chuck reject universalism in order to conform his beliefs to this teaching?

 

5) In that passage of this sermon, Jesus is also quite clear on the determining factor of one’s eternal destiny: whether Jesus knows you. Does Chuck agree that Jesus’ knowing you is absolutely crucial for salvation?

 

And, if the answer is “no” for any of the questions above — if Chuck [Currie] doesn’t say “Amen” to truly every implication of the Sermon, and what it says about its Speaker, about Scripture, and about judgment — do we have Chuck’s blessing in questioning whether he really is a Christian?

 

. . . I don’t find the Sermon on the Mount to be non-controversial. On the contrary, its rooted in very bold claims about Christ, His book, and His sheep.

 

I’m reminded of what Reagan said about Marx: “How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

 

I’m beginning to think that there’s a similar dynamic among theologically conservative Christians and those theological liberals who border on (and often cross into) apostasy.

 

The theological liberal claims to stand by the Sermon on the Mount, but it’s only the theological conservative who really grasps the sermon’s contents.

 

P.S. Here’s a good analysis of why the Sermon on the Mount was aimed at disciples and not just anyone.  Otherwise, verse 11 wouldn’t make much sense.  If you aren’t a follower of Christ then why would someone persecute you because of him?

 

Matthew 5:11

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

 

 

 

 

 

John 4

j4.jpgGreetings!  The Samaritans were half-breed Jews who came about during the time when Israel and Judah were exiled to Babylon.  The Jews hated them, and the feelings were mutual.  For Jesus to talk to a woman in public, let a lone a Samaritan woman, was almost scandalous. 

Jesus knows her heart and mind and gently gets to her real need.  She does what we all tend to do: Shifts the subject when things get uncomfortable. 

But what does she do when she discovers who He is?  She runs to tell people!  Did she know everything about Jesus?  No, but she knew enough to tell others what she was aware of.  We should do the same.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4     The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

We “must worship in spirit and in truth.”  Both are vital.  Sound theology is important.  We can’t just go on feelings.

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Yes, Jesus really is the Savior of the world.  Forget all the movies with heroes who save the world from physical destruction.  Jesus is the real Savior.

Jesus Heals the Official’s Son

43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.

46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50 Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.

54 This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.

What a powerful miracle.  Jesus showed that He didn’t even have to be present to perform it.  He knew everything about the situation.

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

Matt Barber on today’s Baal worshipers

Matt Barber wrote a great piece on Today’s Baal Worshipers, showing how today’s “progressive / liberal Christianity” isn’t Christianity at all, just warmed over idol worship.

Selected parts:

Modern-day liberals – or “progressives” as they more discreetly prefer – labor under an awkward misconception; namely, that there is anything remotely “progressive” about the fundamental canons of their blind, secular-humanist faith. In fact, today’s liberalism is largely a sanitized retread of an antiquated mythology – one that significantly predates the only truly progressive movement: biblical Christianity.

The principal pillars of Baalism were child sacrifice, sexual immorality (both heterosexual and homosexual) and pantheism (reverence of creation over the Creator).

Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of “mother earth.”

The natural consequences of such behavior – pregnancy and childbirth – and the associated financial burdens of “unplanned parenthood” were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or – with child sacrifice available on demand – could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to “terminate” the unwanted child.

Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar. The worship of “fertility” has been replaced with worship of “reproductive freedom” or “choice.” Child sacrifice via burnt offering has been updated, ever so slightly, to become child sacrifice by way of abortion. The ritualistic promotion, practice and celebration of both heterosexual and homosexual immorality and promiscuity have been carefully whitewashed – yet wholeheartedly embraced – by the cults of radical feminism, militant “gay rights” and “comprehensive sex education.” And, the pantheistic worship of “mother earth” has been substituted – in name only – for radical environmentalism.

This is merely liberalism all dolled up and gratuitously stamped “Christian.” It’s a way for left-wing ideologues to have their “religion” cake and eat it too. Under the guise of “social justice,” its adherents often support – or at least rationalize – the same pro-homosexual, pro-abortion and radical environmental policies pushed by the modern-day Baal worshiper.

Though the “Christian left” represent what is arguably a negligible minority within larger Christianity, the liberal media have, nonetheless, embraced their cause and seized upon their popularity among elites as evidence that the so-called “Christian right” (read: biblical Christianity) is losing influence – that Christianity is, somehow, “catching up with the times.”

Because emergent Christianity fails the authenticity test whenever subjected to even the most perfunctory biblical scrutiny, I suspect it will eventually go – for the most part – the way of the pet rock or the Macarena. But this does not absolve leaders within the evangelical community from a duty to call leaders of this counter-biblical revolution on their heresy. It’s not a matter of right versus left; it’s a matter of right versus wrong – of biblical versus non-biblical.

Go read it all.

Hat tip: Slice of Laodicea

John 3

j3.jpgGreetings!

This is where the phrase “born again” typically comes from.  Jesus is emphasizing that we are born spiritually dead and need to be born spiritually to have eternal life.

Verse 16 is one of the most famous in the Bible.  It is a simple and unique summary of the Gospel.  Yet even it clearly notes that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  “Whoever believes in him shall not perish” means that whoever does not believe in him will perish.  Of course, “belief” isn’t just intellectual acknowledgement that He exists, it is trusting in him and following him as Lord.   If people would just keep reading to verse 18 they would see this more clearly.

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

3     Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

John the Baptist’s Testimony About Jesus

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

27 To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.

 John the Baptist was so humble.  If only we had his attutide every day, that we must become less and Jesus must become greater in importance to us and the world.

31 “The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

V. 36 states again that if you reject Jesus you will remain under God’s wrath.  How can so many church leaders miss this?  How can they preach that there are other paths to God? 

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

Envirofascists

recyclingsymbolgreen.jpgEnvirofascists and the Men who Love Them

It has become increasingly clear that any scientist who dares to question the theory of man-made global warming risks being ostracized out of a job by the Enviro-gestapo. These tactics are nothing more than modern day lynchings or burnings at the stake.  

See the link for examples.

I would like to think this global warming hoax would turn around sooner rather than later, but sometimes when these movements take over they have momentum and $$ on their side to perpetuate the myths.

Remember, this is an unprecedented worldwide power grab with no exit strategy. They will not give this up without a fight, and they currently have the microphones, the money and the power. People will be afraid to speak the truth, and when they do the establishment will dismiss it with a wave of their hand.

I was just watching Ben Stein’s Expelled and the parallels are eerie.

Hopefully I’m just being pessimistic and that we caught this hoax early enough to stop it.

P.S. I’m not anti-reduce, reuse, recycle.  My car gets 35 MPG.  I’ve recycled newspapers and more since I was 9.  When the waste collectors used to charge for recycling we’d pay the monthly fee.  I hate to waste anything — food, energy, etc.   And so on. 

But I’m not fooled by the GW hysteria. 

Greetings to Pharyngula visitors

For those of you stopping by from Pharyngula, thanks for visiting.  Please feel free to look around.  Please note that initial comments are moderated, so they may not appear right away, and they won’t appear at all if they are off topic, insulting, etc.  Many of your questions and statements may have already addressed in poor arguments to make with theists.

Here’s a challenge to you for 2009: Spend as much time fighting Islam as you do Christianity.  The “raiding party” from Richard Dawkin’s site that visited here a year ago had to be made aware that the five sites they had targeting for their war on religion were all Christian.  Go figure.  It was almost as if they knew deep down that it was their real enemy.  Never mind that Christianity is shrinking in Europe and Islam is growing rapidly.  Oh, and that whole Islamic violence thingy.  Perhaps you are more consistent than them.  You guys do buy signs on buses mocking Ramadan also, don’t you?  And we both know that you don’t really think a “Christian theocracy” is more likely than Sharia law.

All kidding aside, please remember that eternity is a mighty long time.  Running around with your Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites might seem fulfilling now, but ultimately it will mean nothing — even if your worldview was true.  Remember, if your worldview is true then materialistic Darwinism is the source of all religion and my faith. 

Acts 17: 24-30 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

Your worldview can’t rationally explain the Christian worldview, but the Christian worldview can explain yours.

Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Also feel free to peruse the apologetics links to the right.  They are all quite good.  We have lots of evidence on which to base our faith.  I prayed that God would open your eyes to the truth.