“And what if we picked the wrong religion? Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.”

The title is from the episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides to stop attending church.

Marge: I can’t believe you’re giving up church, Homer.

Homer: Hey, what’s the big deal about going to some building every Sunday?  I mean, isn’t God everywhere?  And don’t you think that the Almighty has better things to worry about than where one little guy spends one measly hour of his week? And what if we picked the wrong religion?  Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.

Bart: Testify!

Marge: [Groans]

In one of those odd ways where someone speaks some truth without knowing it, it reminds me of this important passage:

1 Corinthians 15:12–18 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

So the Apostle Paul seems to agree with Homer, at least in one sense: If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we are misrepresenting God – and that’s never a good place to be.   And the writers even have Homer realizing that not all religions are the same.  How do you discern which is right?  Look at the facts.

But the evidence points to the fact that He did rise from the dead, and that changes everything.

—–

As I noted in a recent post, Christianity is unique in that it is testable and falsifiable.  You can research the truth claims yourself.  Christianity involves knowledge, truth claims and faith in evidence.  Many people think religions are just a matter of opinion or are the result of “blind faith,” but that is the opposite of Christianity.

There are all sorts of apologetics resources (see the links to the right of this blog) or even simple things like the minimal facts approach, where nearly 100% of historical scholars from 1975 – present agree with the following statements and 75% of the same scholars agree that the tomb was empty:

  • Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.
  • Jesus’ disciples believed He appeared to them.
  • Jesus’ brother, James, went from being a pre-crucifixion skeptic to a post-crucifixion church leader.
  • The Apostle Paul believed Jesus appeared to him and he wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, I & II Corinthians, Philemon and others.  He converted from persecuting Christians to being the greatest evangelist ever, despite nearly constant challenges, persecution and ultimately dying for his faith.

The Christian view that the physical resurrection of Jesus best accounts for these facts is highly supportable and logical.

Roundup

Netflix: Case For Faith & Case For Christ OnDemand

Debt has increased 5 trillion since Pelosi became Speaker of the House – But that can’t be, because she said there would be no more deficit spending.  How did she manage to increase the debt by over 50% in less than 4 years when it took over 200 to accumulate the previous amount?!

Democrat Fraud Already Evident in Early Voting

It’s not enough to beat Democrats. You have to beat them by the margin of fraud, which gets increasingly wide the more brazen the party becomes in its corruption. Democrats are the party of taking by force and trickery what others have earned. That applies not only to money but to votes.

Sad, but not surprising: Obamacare does indeed include taxpayer funded abortions.  That’s why the pro-aborts were so happy with it.  This needs to be repealed.  This isn’t pro-choice, it is pro-abortion.  Fact: Obamacare expands abortion coverage in the United States.  Shame on all those who supported the bill.

Great overview of the Robert Schuller Crystal Cathedral saga – Did the massive financial failure of his church cause him to repent of his false gospel?  Sadly, no.  He just doubled down and asked you to give more!  He says that God told him to put his daughter in charge, even though she didn’t have seminary training, so I suppose he thinks this is God’s fault.  I’ll never forget the clip of him on the White Horse Inn Podcast where he was angry at the hosts for teaching the whole Bible.

Unhinged Joy Behar on Sharon Angle (who hopefully is about to defeat Harry Reid): “This bitch is going to Hell!” Classy.  Can’t you feel the love and tolerance?  Also amusing are the other speakers saying how Angle’s opposition to illegal immigration is so racist and divisive.  They must really be upset about Obama’s “back of the bus” comments about Republicans and his telling legal and illegal Hispanics that they need to crush their enemies, the Conservative Americans.

Uh, and how many members of the view walked offstage when Joy called Sharon a bitch?  What’s that?  Zero?!

Update: Angle sent Joy a thank-you note for helping her raise $150,000.  Nice touch!

Interesting perspective on conservative gays by Hillbuzz / Tammy Bruce – Always nice to come across folks who don’t play the stereotype game.  Read it all.  I really enjoyed Bruce’s book, The Death of Right and Wrong.

The worst religious people will ever say to us, for being gay, is that they will “pray for us” because they wish we were straight…not out of some meanness, but because they believe being straight would mean a happier life and they don’t want to see people unhappy.  . . . The Left, on the other hand, threatens violence when they find out you are conservative.

Actually, we pray for any non-Christians because we want them to have the joy of being a Christian (big difference between happiness and joy), even though happiness can be fleeting for all of us.

Are Fetuses Rational? – Good response to the pro-abortion argument that it is OK to kill the unborn because they don’t have the cognitive processes of (most) people outside the womb.  Former commenter Ryan used to use this one a lot when rationalizing abortion.

Creepy quote of the week from founder of Planned Parenthood.  Her (sick) dream lives on, with funding from U.S. taxpayers.

Many, perhaps, will think it idle to go farther in demonstrating the immorality of large families, but since there is still an abundance of proof at hand, it may be offered for the sake of those who find difficulty in adjusting old-fashioned ideas to the facts.  The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.  Margaret Sanger,Woman and the New Race.

Hat tip: Glenn

Another bizarre quote, from atheist Richard Dawkins:

At some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident. We will call it the Replicator. It may not have been the biggest or the most complex molecule around, but it had the extraordinary property of being able to create copies of itself. — Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

How utterly (non-)scientific.

Hat tip: The way the Ball bounces

How to Be a Proverbs 31 Wife (or something like that) During a 50-Hour Work-Week – practical and amusing advice from Marie.

Christians being unequally yoked with non-believers = bad idea

Christians not even knowing they shouldn’t be yoked with non-believers and/or being proud of being unequally yoked = really bad idea.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and people like United Church of Christ (UCC) spokesman Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie think it is a great idea for Muslims and Christians to meet in Geneva to build a common future.

“Christians and Muslims have a joint responsibility to contribute the very best of their theological, spiritual, and ethical resources for the common good of humanity”, stated the organizers.

The group expects the consultation to “develop concrete ways of building a common future, in order to achieve more compassionate and just societies, based on equality, co-citizenship and mutual respect”.

(I wonder if they will convince the Muslims to stop the honor killings, persecution of those who leave the faith, etc.?)

Do they have any Bible verses to back up their views?  Do none of them know their Bibles?  Or do they not care what it says?

2 Corinthians 6:14–15 (ESV) Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?

When the Bible teaches not to be unequally yoked it isn’t just about not marrying non-Christians (though that obviously applies).  It means we shouldn’t pretend that we serve the same God and shouldn’t partner with them on spiritual matters.

Chuck even trots out his old sermon where he preached on John 14:6 and concluded that Jesus is not the only way to salvation.  In addition to not understanding that simple verse, Chuck’s seminary forgot to tell him about the other 100+ passages that teach the same thing — as well as the countless commands in the Old Testament not to worship other Gods.

The truth of the matter is that we all can learn from the different ways we understand the Almighty

Let’s try an example.  One way Christianity views the Almighty is that Jesus is God and that He died on the cross and rose again.  One way Islam views the “Almighty” is that Jesus is not God and did not die on the cross.  The Koran is quite explicit:

And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him. Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise. Koran, Sura 4:157-158

So how do religious pluralists reconcile those views?

We have a name for people who hold Chuck’s views: Non-Christians.  Let’s just say that Christianity may not be their forte.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends or interact with non-believers.  We wouldn’t get very far sharing the Gospel if that was the case.

Run, don’t walk, from the WCC, the UCC and any other group who thinks Jesus wants us to partner with non-Christians to serve him and especially those who can’t support the simple claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

2nd breakfast — the 3rd most important meal of the day

Or it’s corollary, “3:00 – the 2nd most important snack time of the day.”

Important diet tip: Eat often.  Seriously.  If I eat often I eat much healthier.  I only crave things like McDonald’s if I’ve gone too long between meals.

If you eat often it is easier to eat smaller portions, because you won’t be starving.

Skipping meals = bad and counterproductive.

Eat often, but with smaller and healthier portions.  Try it.

P.S. I often eat a 2nd breakfast.  I’ll have my health shake on the way out the door around 5:45 then some cereal and/or yogurt around 9:00.  Mmmmmmm.

Roundup

Just What is Behind These Suicides? — this is a very serious issue, as it impacts religious freedom as well as what is taught to children as young as 5 in public schools.

It is quite common for homosexual activists to blame suicide in their ranks on ‘homophobia’. ‘If we would just be more tolerant and accepting of homosexuals, these rates would drop’ they claim. But are these claims in fact true? The evidence seems to suggest that they are not.

A simple way to test this is to look at places where homosexuality is very much accepted, such as in nations like Holland, or cities like San Francisco. One would expect less suicide and other mental health problems amongst homosexuals in these places. But that is not the case. There is as much if not more suicide and related problems in these localities. So homophobia cannot be to blame.

. . .

But the myth that ‘homophobia’ causes high suicide rates keeps being repeated because it nicely serves in the overall cause of the militant homosexual lobby: to get mainstream acceptance of homosexuality. Indeed, by using skewed statistics, homosexual activists are seeking to win over societal acceptance.

. . .

Pro-family activist Maggie Gallagher has recently written on this very subject, and her remarks are worth repeating here: “Gay students are also more than twice as likely to report having had sexual intercourse before age 13 – that is, to be sexually abused as children. They are three times as likely to report being the victims of dating violence, and nearly four times as likely to report forced sexual contact.

“A majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) teens in Massachusetts reported using illegal drugs in the past month. (Perhaps most oddly, gay teens are also three times as likely as nongay teens to report either becoming pregnant or getting someone else pregnant.)

“Forced sex, childhood sexual abuse, dating violence, early unwed pregnancy, substance abuse – could these be a more important factor in the increased suicide risk of LGBT teens than anything people like me ever said? The deeper you look, the more you see kids who are generally unprotected in deeply tragic ways that make it hard to believe – if you are really focusing on these kids’ well-being – that gay marriage is the answer.

Sadly, many people believe that Churches contribute to gay suicides.  And in other news, MADD is responsible for the suicides and low self esteem of people who drive drunk.

Hat tip: Duane

Also see Political GLBT, Religious GLBT: one agenda in two locations and Homosexual Activists Are Exploiting Tragedies to Silence Religious Opponents

NPR Lashes Juan Williams – Hat tip: Wes

When escaped slaves were caught, they were lashed into submission. This was intended not only as a warning to that particular slave, but to the entire plantation of black servants to stay in their place.  Liberals do the psychological equivalent of this to any black person who dares to leave the plantation of liberal orthodoxy. After working over a decade for liberal National Public Radio, Juan Williams was summarily fired, publically ridiculed and told to see a psychiatrist. Liberals have a proprietary attitude toward blacks and other minorities. When anyone one of us dares contradict leftist thought, they try to punish us severely.

Timothy McVeigh: Still not a Christian.  The Juan Williams issue brought up several instances of the “Yeah, but we don’t judge Christianity because of Timothy McVeigh” meme.  Fact: McVeigh was a professed agnostic and had the poem Invictus read at his death.  Let’s just say it isn’t the kind of repentant heart you’d expect of a Christian about to meet his maker.  Do I think the Left will ever get tired of saying McVeigh was a Christian?  Nope.

Democrats deliver ballots to inmates, but miss deadline to mail them to troops — the title says it all.

Great overview of the Boston Tea Party – despite the nonstop accusations of Democrats and the media, this isn’t about racism or big corporations at all.

Academic: Jane Austen had helping hand from editor — According to my wife, apparently it wasn’t enough help, because she thinks Austen was too wordy.  No hate mail from Austen fans, please.  I’ve never read her stuff.  We’re going to watch Sense & Sensibility as part of my daughters home school English assignment.

Aljazeera infiltrates Chinese hospital to report on macabre forced abortion of 8-mo-old baby

NPR picked up on the “heartrending” story. No surprise, a commenter supportive of population control thought extreme abortions like this are necessary:

“Sounds pretty barbaric, “forced abortion.” Frank Luntz would call it “mandatory termination” or “prenatal control.” Whatever you call it, the sad fact is that it’s sometimes necessary in China because a family’s urge to reproduce represents what social psychologists call a social trap or what economists have talked about as the tragedy of the commons. Every culture will be grappling with the same problem soon. What’s good for me (more children) is ruinous to society as a whole.…

Whatever we think of mandatory abortion, the growth is unsustainable and will stop sooner or later. There are only 2 questions: How much damage will be done to the environment first, and will we do it or let nature do it?”

There’s honesty, the crux of the population control argument: Kill or be killed.

Randy Quaid, wife seek refugee status in Canada – Randy deserved at least two Oscars per film for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon Vacation movies.  I hope he works out his problems.

Should businesses and/or the government (i.e., you!) be forced to pay for Transsexual ‘Sex-Change’ Operations?

When Feds decide health care science is too expensive – One of the huge problems of socialized medicine and its accompanying disdain for the free market is that it will stifle creativity and the invention of new drugs.  The costs are enormous to bring a drug to market.  The impact will be subtle.  No one will make a made-for-TV movie about the lives lost because a drug was not produced, but the lives will be lost just the same.  Just another example of the law of unintended consequences.

Funny and appropriate video about Barbara Boxer, made by one of the creators of Airplane! (one of my all-time favorite movies).  Always nice to see political, repentant converts in Hollywood.

Union Fires Stage Hand for Wearing USS George W. Bush Shirt – one more reasons to dislike unions.  How thin-skinned and anti-U.S. can you be?

One of many fun shots my daughter took at the zoo a couple months back.

Better news coverage through blogging

One of things I love about blogs and my Google blog reader page is that it is like getting a custom newspaper where you can actually trust the columnists.  With normal media the bias is astounding, not just in slanting what they report but in what they don’t report at all.  They did their best to mock Christine O’Donnell over her accurate statements about what the 1st Amendment actually says, but they completely ignored the countless people on the Left who were so eager to criticize Sarah Palin that they didn’t realize that here 1773 reference was tied to the date of the Boston Tea Party instead of the Declaration of Independence.

But it isn’t just that the mainstream media is wildly and notoriously biased, but that they are so error-filled as well.

When I was the controller of the Portable Division at Compaq there was an article in the Houston Chronicle about one of our new products.  There were so many errors – none significant, but it just showed how sloppy the journalism was.  An article about a ballet performance of the girls was equally error filled.  There have been many examples of this.

And with the Liberal media being 90+% wildly pro-abortion and 18-1 negative on Sarah Palin, for example, how could you hope to make informed decisions on controversial topic if you only consumed their views?

Sloppiness + rampant bias = massive train wreck.

Yet with blogging you can get perspectives and news from across the spectrum.  You can figure out over time who is reliable and who corrects any errors they make.  It results in you being much, much better informed and confident in what you are reading.

But you already knew that, right?  You’re a blog reader!

Political correctness can be deadly

Political correctness is the adult version of Jr. High peer pressure: People say things they know are false because they are afraid of being unpopular.

I urge everyone — and especially Christians — to avoid saying foolish, politically correct things.  Some people need to grow spines, or guts, or fill-in-your-preferred-body-part.

I’m not saying to be belligerent jerks about it.  Just speak the truth graciously — but speak the truth.  Don’t say things you know aren’t true.  Don’t say the opposite of what God said in his word.

Christians throughout history sacrificed wealth, freedom and even their lives rather than deny essential truths such as the deity of Christ and many still suffer greatly today for the same reasons.  Yet so many of us are too afraid to state the obvious: Jesus is God.  He is the only way to salvation, and apart from trusting in him you will spend an eternity in Hell separated from your creator and paying for your sins.  Other religions are false.  Not all Muslims are terrorists, but Islam is not a religion of peace.  God’s original plan and ideal for marriage is one man and one woman for life.  Abortion kills innocent human beings and is wrong.  And so on.

Too many people have a perverted view of love, where they view it as sentimental indulgence and use it to rationalize and even encourage sin.  That isn’t the Biblical view of “agape” love that has people’s long-term best interests at heart.

Was Jesus loving?  Of course.  All the time?  Of course.  And that means He was being loving when He spoke the truth about sin, Hell and more. People need to read all of the Bible and remember that God –who is all loving — inspired it all.  Even the parts that make us squirm in our politically correct society.  Scan the Gospels and the rest of the Bible and see how much of it would qualify as politically correct “love” in our culture.  Then decide which side you will choose.