God and money — where’s the balance?

Studies show that aside from those in true poverty, money cannot buy happiness.  But mismanaging money can definitely lead to unhappiness.

See Money and Possessions in Proverbs – Kevin DeYoung for a thorough and well-balanced take on what God says about money.  I often see people go to either extreme:

On the one hand, it’s easy to see where Prosperity Theology comes from. Take a few promises of the Mosaic covenant out of their national context, take the promise in Malachi 3 about throwing open the storehouses of heaven, mix in some of Jesus’ statements about receiving whatever you ask for in faith, and you can bake up a little health and wealth gospel.

On the other hand, it’s possible to come up with an imbalanced Austerity Theology. Point out that Jesus had nowhere to lay his head, turn to the story of the rich young ruler, stir in the parable of the rich fool, and you’ll have a theology that says money is bad and so are those who have it.

As always, you want to read the passages in the immediate context and the larger context of the entire Bible.

If you take these tips seriously I think your odds of esteeming money properly will be very high:

Ten Principles on Money and Possessions from Proverbs

1. There are extremes of wealth and poverty that provide unique temptations to those who live in them (Prov. 30:7-9).

2. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’ (Prov. 12:913:7).

3. The rich and poor are more alike than they think (Prov. 22:229:13).

4. You can’t out give God (Prov. 3:9-1011:2422:9).

5. Poverty is not pretty (Prov. 10:1514:2019:4).

6. Money cannot give you ultimate security (Prov. 11:711:2813:8).

7. The Lord hates those who get rich by injustice (Prov. 21:622:1622-23).

8. The Lord loves those who are generous to the poor (Prov. 14:213119:728:21)

9. Hard work and good decision-making usually lead to increased prosperity (Prov. 6:6-1110:413:1114:24;  21:172022:41327:23-2728:20

10. Money isn’t everything. It does not satisfy (Prov. 23:4-5). It is inferior to wisdom (Prov. 8:10-1118-1924:3-4). It is inferior to righteousness (10:2; 11:4; 13:25; 16:8; 19:22; 20:17; 28:6). It is inferior to the fear of the Lord (Prov. 15:16). It is inferior to humility (Prov. 16:19). It is inferior to good relationships (Prov. 15:1717:1).

You can’t understand the biblical view of money unless you are prepared to accept a number of truths held in tension.

  • You’ll probably acquire more money if you work hard and are full of wisdom. But if all you care about is getting more money, you are the biggest fool.
  • Money is a blessing from God, but you’ll be more blessed if you give it away.
  • God gives you money because he is generous, but he is generous with you so that you can be generous with others. And if you are generous with your money, God will likely be more generous with you.
  • It is wise to save money, but don’t ever think money gives you real security.
  • Wealth is more desirable than poverty, but wealth is not as good as righteousness, humility, wisdom, good relationships, and the fear of the Lord.
I encourage you to read the whole post and subscribe to Kevin’s blog.  He does great work.

Which is more racist? — Part 2

In the previous post I noted how a Mom was suing a pro-life group for using daughter’s photo in “racist, defamatory” NYC billboard.  That, along with a comment on a friend’s Facebook page accusing Tea Partiers of racism got me thinking about which party is most racist.

I see two indisputable facts at play:

1. The Democratic Party is the Abortion Party.  They recently gave up $40B of budget cuts to save less than $0.5B of money for Planned Parenthood.  Meditate on that: Democratic politicians and false teachers* thought it was eighty times more important to keep funding Planned Parenthood than they did to (allegedly) help the poor.  And I assume my loyal readers aren’t foolish enough to buy the “but the money went to non-abortion services” line. Money is fungible, folks.  And even so, are PP’s non-abortion services eighty times more powerful than the rest of what was getting cut?

This was reminiscent of how the same leaders were willing to sacrifice the entire Obamacare Bill rather than have an allegedly redundant Stupak Amendment added to it.

Man, they really love abortion.

2. Abortionists target the black community and their rate is three times that of whites.

Compare this to the “evidence” against the Republican fringe who wanted to see Obama’s birth certificate** and how some folks viewed that as a sure sign of racism.

Please remember these sound bites: The Democrats and theologically liberal “Christians” do dramatic fasts and moan about wanting to help the poor, but they gave up eighty times the money to keep Planned Parenthood fully operational.  They risked the entire health care bill rather than add an allegedly redundant amendment banning taxpayer-funded abortions.  They are the Abortion Party.  And those abortions kill blacks at a rate three times that of whites.

Never let them play the race card without mentioning these things.

*False teachers include people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie

** BTW, if the WordPress search engine can be trusted, this is the first time I’ve mentioned his birth certificate on this blog.  Whatever the motives of the “birthers,” it wasn’t necessarily driven by race.  Oh, and guess who started the birther meme?  Democrats.

Which is more racist?

A. Aborting blacks at a rate three times that of whites

B. Pointing out that the abortion rate for blacks is three times that of whites

See Mom sues pro-life group for using daughter’s photo in “racist, defamatory” NYC billboard – Jill Stanek

A pro-life group that erected a billboard to spotlight the documented genocide being committed against preborn black children is being sued as “racist.”

I’d say “A.” The racism lies with those Margaret Sanger-inspired Planned Parenthood types who target black communities.

New WordPress feature: Writing helper

If you are a WordPress user, look below your main text area when creating a new post.  You should see something called Writing Helper that has two options: Copy a Post and Request Feedback.

The Copy a Post feature lets you use the title, tags and categories of former posts as a starting point.  I’m going to publish a few blank posts shortly so I can use them as template when writing new posts (e.g., Bible, pro-life).  This should be a nice time saver.

Just ignore the blank posts!

Darwinist philosopher says ethics are an illusion

I disagree with his premise of Darwinism, of course, but I think he is being consistent with his worldview.  If the nothingness-to-molecules-to-Angelina Jolie worldview is correct, then universal ethics would be an illusion.

In The Nature of Nature , Darwinian philosopher Michael Ruse offers us his take on ethics: “Ethics is an illusion put in place by natural selection to make us good cooperators.” (—Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson, 1985), p. 855)

. . .

“Substantive morality stays in place as an effective illusion because we think that it is no illusion but the real thing. Thus, I am arguing that the epistemological foundation of evolutionary ethics is a kind of moral nonrealism, but that it is an important part of evolutionary ethics that we think it is a kind of moral realism.”

via From The Nature of Nature – Ethics as illusion put in place by natural selection? | Uncommon Descent

Does the complexity of the Bible mean it can’t be true?

A criticism of the Bible is that it is complex and many haven’t read it all, so how can it be true?  A commenter at another blog wrote:

If even theologians can not agree what is in the bible and what is the will of the god of christians, how could the general christian population, let alone us who are not christians be expected to?

If a god expects humans to make critical decisions on their lives based on some old religious tome (and not on pop lyrics), it is an exercice bound to fail.

But consider the criminal on the cross (Luke 23), the woman at the well (John 4) or the Philippian jailer (Acts 16 — “What must I do to be saved?”) as just a few examples.  They were saved with the most basic knowledge and approach: Trusting in Jesus.  I doubt would they have won any Bible trivia contests.  They hadn’t been to seminary, taught Sunday School, etc.  But they were saved for eternity.

The key themes of the Bible are plain, but as you might expect with the most serious and important topic in the universe, there are complex matters as well.  That does not diminish the truth of the Bible at all.  I tend to agree with the saying that the plain matters of the Bible are the most important and the most important matters are plain.

And the Bible is much more clear than it is made out to be by skeptics.  For example, there are over 100 direct and indirect claims that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are verses like this not clear? 1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Why aren’t the ACLU-types going nuts over Lawrence O’Donnell?

See Respecting Lawrence O’Donnell : The Other McCain – O’Donnell is mad at Rush Limbaugh and claims to know the Bible better than him (I don’t look to Rush for biblical interpretation, but that’s another story).

But O’Donnell thinks that Jesus’ commands to his followers to give is equal to asking Caesar (aka the government) to take everything from us.  Wow.  It is the same awful biblical distortions you get from other false teachers*.

Here’s a very clear New Testament teaching on giving.  You may notice that there  is not mention of government.  And if O’Donnell & Co. want to claim that this is “just” Paul speaking, then they tip their hands.  Jesus is God and the whole Bible is his word.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Beyond his abuse of scripture, wouldn’t the Left be alarmed that he wants to force his religious views on all citizens?

P.S. to Lawrence and other false teachers — Jesus also claimed to be God and the only way to salvation and that marriage was designed from the beginning to be a union of one man and one woman.  Is that part of the message you preach?

*False teachers include people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie

Eat more Chicken — at Chick-Fil-A

See BuyCOTT Chick-Fil-A.  That’s buycott, not boycott.

What is a buycott?

It is collectively showing appreciation for a company by purchasing their products or services – the opposite of a boycott.

Why buycott Chik-Fil-A?

You probably didn’t hear about this on the evening news or read about it in the newspaper, but after a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pennsylvania donated some sandwiches and brownies to a marriage seminar hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, pro-homosexual activists went ballistic. According to syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin:
  • Several left-wing activist blogs launched an all-out attack on Chick-fil-A.
  • Some started calling the company’s main product “Jesus Chicken.”
  • They mocked and belittled the company’s “Not Open on Sunday” policy.
  • They smeared company employees, calling them “anti-gay.”
  • One individual – Michael Jones – started an online petition campaign “demanding” that Chick-fil-A renounce “extreme anti-gay groups.”
  • Users of Facebook organized witch hunts on college campuses.
  • In a feature article that ran in the New York Times’ Sunday A-section, reporter Kim Severson attacked Chick-fil-A saying it is “anti-gay.”

All that because one Chick-fil-A franchise donated a few sandwiches to a seminar aimed at helping couples strengthen their marriages. That reaction certainly seems like making a mountain out of a mole hill. You get the sense that there’s more to this attack on Chick-fil-A than meets the eye. And you’re right. There is. Chick-fil-A operates on Biblical principles and that irritates secularists.

  • For Example:
  • Chick-fil-A plays Christian music in its restaurants … exclusively.
  • Chick-fil-A closes all its locations on Sunday … no exceptions.
  • Chick-fil-A’s stated corporate purpose is: 1) To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us; and 2) To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chickfil-A.

Hat tip: Glenn

Problems with pro-gay theology

bible.jpg

Introduction

This post is long, but I think it is worthwhile and hope you read it all.

Many churches today are being torn apart by false teachings about human sexuality, so we can’t ignore this topic.  I am continuously disappointed that so many Christians who don’t get educated on this topic and stand up for the truth.  In addition, the rapid and radical changes in public schools are a serious issue and hate speech laws and activist judges are a blatant attempt to shut down debate and curtail religious freedoms.  Barely a week goes by without hearing about a business owner forced to cater to gay couples (e.g., bed-and-breakfasts, wedding photographers), LGBTQ indoctrination in elementary schools, religious organizations forced to hire LGBTQ people, people losing jobs for saying that skin color is morally neutral but sexual behavior is not, and so on.

Many people who hold the orthodox Christian view would love to move on to other issues, but the problem is that the pro-gay theologians aren’t giving up.  Therefore, we need to stand firm and do a better job of educating those in the middle ground.

While this issue isn’t an essential of the faith, such as Jesus’ divinity and exclusivity for salvation, those who take the pro-gay theology view typically have to deny the essential of the authority of scripture to arrive at their conclusions.  And that is a dangerous thing.

The general Biblical ignorance of many Christians on this topic isn’t helping things.  I know of people who have gone to church their whole lives and have been in multiple Bible studies but still ask questions like, “Does the New Testament say anything about homosexual behavior?”  (Short answer: Yes.)  And it goes downhill from there.

Before I dive in, let me state that while I firmly believe that homosexual behavior is a sin, I do not think it is something we should grandstand on.  We all have temptations and stumble and fall at times.  Romans 1 explains in no uncertain terms that homosexual behavior is an affront to God, but it also lists greed, gossip, deceit and other things as serious sins (anyone squirming yet?).

And we should act as suggested by a believer I am friends with who is tempted by same-sex attractions: Pray for them and be their friends.

Do homosexuals have a legitimate complaint when they point out how many Christians are softer on divorce, adultery and pre-marital sex than they are on homosexual behavior?  Yes.  Grandstanding on sins that aren’t a temptation for us and downplaying or ignoring sins that are a temptation is not a Christian thing to do.  But the lesson is to hold consistent Biblical views on all sins, not to water things down more.  We need to raise the bar back up on all these sins because they have huge consequences and, more importantly, because that is in line with what the Bible says.

But we shouldn’t call evil good and good evil.  I support the Methodist position on homosexuality, which regards the behavior as sinful but the people as having worth.  (Sadly, I left the Methodist in large part due to their lack of adherence to their own positions!)  I think it should be illegal to abort babies just because they might be homosexual (Ironically, that position puts me at odds with many liberals whose support for abortion is such that they think it should be legal under any circumstances).  I mention these things simply to pre-empt any nonsensical allegations that I am homophobic, a childish and false put-down designed to stifle debate.  The real homophobes are those who are so scared of being politically incorrect that they deny God, the Bible and common sense rather than state the obvious.

I also believe that homosexual behavior is a forgivable sin and can be overcome by the power of the Gospel.  When I meet gays I don’t view it as my job to change them.  I treat them like I would anyone else, developing relationships and hoping to be able to share the Gospel with them at some point.  The real work is the job of the Holy Spirit.

I was sharing the Gospel with a young man once who happened to be gay.  He was all over the place with his religious beliefs and questions.  At one point he asked, “Doesn’t the Bible say homosexual behavior is a sin?”  I could have glossed over it and said it was a debatable matter, but that wouldn’t have been true or loving.

I also could have spent an hour explaining all the verses around this topic, but that would have been overkill.  Instead I just confirmed that yes, the Bible does say it is a sin, despite how some try to twist it.  Then I just shifted back to the basic Gospel – namely, that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and Jesus is that Savior.  It was a great back-and-forth conversation on a lot of topics and I pray that it planted a seed and that the young man kept searching.

Pro-gay theology tends to fall into one of three categories.  They are all wrong, but for varying reasons.  Sometimes they overlap categories.

  1. The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t. This view claims that we can ignore the prohibitions against homosexual behavior because they were written by homophobic Jews.
  2. The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong. This view holds that people just aren’t reading the Bible properly, and that God’s Word is actually affirming of gay relationships.
  3. The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable. This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships.

Category 1: The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.

Regarding the first view, many liberal theologians deny that part or all of the Bible is the Word of God.  Unlike those in the second view, these folks seem to understand that the Bible does describe homosexual behavior as being sinful.  They just dismiss those parts.

Some appear to believe in Leopard Theology, the false notion that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.  If God wasn’t capable of inspiring all of the original writings of the Bible to be error-free, then why should we trust him to communicate with such clarity to these people regarding what is inspired and what isn’t?

The problem is that this view is very hard to reconcile with the 2,000 year tradition of the church and, more importantly, of the clear text of the Bible itself.  People are certainly entitled to hold that view, but it doesn’t seem logical for them to refer to themselves as Christians.

The Bible claims to speak directly for God roughly 3,000 times, so if someone believes that all of those are mistakes then why on earth would he take this faith seriously?  Why would he want to be a leader in the Christian church?

Remember that Jesus validated the law and the Prophets, among other parts of the Old Testament, right down to the last little mark.  He unapologetically referred to the most controversial parts, too – Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah and Sodom and Gomorrah.  Christians should strive to view the Bible in the same way that He did.

Note that many of these church “leaders” are liars: They either lied at their ordination vows about believing the essentials of the faith, or they changed their minds later and didn’t do the honest thing and resign.  Their views are usually not just a little different than historic Christianity, they are the opposite.  I believe in religious freedom, so they are entitled to their beliefs.  I also believe in honesty: HP salesman shouldn’t endorse Dell products, and Christians shouldn’t promote non-Christian beliefs about the Bible.  If either one breaks those rules they should be quickly fired.

It is challenging to argue with those who hold the first view, because you tend to go in circles.  They claim to be Christian, which should mean we can refer to the Bible as a “final court of arbitration” of sorts.  But whenever you find a passage they don’t like they’ll claim it was written just by men, not God, or they’ll pull out the false argument that you are being a Biblical literalist.

They may say things like, “But Jesus never said anything about homosexual behavior.”  That is called arguing from silence and it is poor reasoning.  Jesus inspired all scripture, He supported the Old Testament law to the last letter, the “red letters” weren’t silent on these topics in the sense that they reiterated what marriage and murder were, He emphasized many other important issues that these liberal theologians completely ignore (Hell, his divinity, his exclusivity, etc.), He was equally “silent” on issues that these folks treat as having the utmost importance (capital punishment, war, welfare, universal health care, etc.), abortion and homosexual behavior simply weren’t hot topics for 1st century Jews, and He did mention Sodom and Gomorrah.This view is also part of the 2nd type of theological error noted above.

They may jump through hoops trying to dismiss the plain reading of verses like Leviticus 18:22 (“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable”) yet gladly take other plain passages literally.  They may claim there were “only a few verses” but are quick to make all sorts of firm statements on other topics with less verses.  And just how many times does God have to clearly say something before we believe it?

They may try to dismiss passages like that by misreading other passages, such as saying that “God said that eating shellfish was an abomination, so why aren’t you opposed to that?”

To have a rational discussion on the verses referencing homosexuality you have to convince people in this group that the Bible is reliable and authoritative first.  And that may be impossible.

Here’s a sample quote from a person in this camp:

A 21st century [Martin] Luther would surely recognize that the few biblical proscriptions against “sodomy”-shaky in themselves as condemnations of same-sex love and rooted in a worldview vastly different from our own-should not bar the loving union of two gay or lesbian persons. Equally, a 21st century Luther would affirm the ordination of such persons, as in line with his theology of the ‘priesthood of all believers.’

Mary Zeiss Stange, professor of women’s studies and religion at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, responding to the recent decsion by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to expel a minister who admitted to a physical homosexual relationship-a violation of the denominations “Visions and Expectations” statement.

She really tips her hand with the “worldview vastly different from our own” comment.  The worldview she is referring to is that of Middle East Jews and Christians a couple thousand years ago or more.  But she misses the obvious: The Biblical commands weren’t always the Jews’ worldview – they rebelled against that view over and over!  The worldview is God’s, and Ms. Stange is absolutely right that it is vastly different from hers.  She apparently doesn’t believe the Bible is the Word of God.  And if she ends up in Heaven I think Martin Luther will have a few things to clarify with her.

The verses aren’t “shaky,” and there are plenty showing God’s plan for human sexuality and his disapproval of homosexual behavior.  Some (but not all) people in this category may be predisposed to only consider verses that affirm their views, and they typically don’t have a problem drawing all sorts of conclusions from less clear passages.  Therefore, they won’t like these facts:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Category 2: The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.

The second view is generally better than the first (“the Bible is not the Word of God”) with respect to being able to guide people towards the truth, because you have a common authority to appeal to.

The problem with this view is that it is just plain incorrect.  As hard as pro-gay theologians try, the truth is that the Bible is overwhelmingly clear.  Pro-gay theologians are good at casting doubt about certain passages but they never seem to pay attention when someone points out how their reasoning is flawed.

Even some pro-gay theologians agree that the Bible has straightforward commands, but they appeal to “experience” over Scripture.  The heretic John Shelby Spong denies the authority of the Bible at every turn, he at least admits that:

The Bible can certainly be read as condemnatory of homosexual practice. Both sides admit that.

Luke Timothy Johnson, a more orthodox theologian said:

I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good.

As noted previously, here is a summary of the Biblical view:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

I find those figures to be unambiguous and very compelling based on plain readings of the text and even more so when delving further into the context and the original languages.  I think it is important to consider all those points because some people try to dismiss the traditional Biblical view because it “only” has a few passages about homosexuality.  It only takes one clear passage to make a point, but there are many more than that in the Bible.  These folks also don’t seem to mind making broad conclusions on verses that really do just have one verse behind them.

I have written on a couple specific mistakes pro-gay theologians make regarding Leviticus 18 (“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”), another article on the shellfish argument and another on Romans 1.

There are many other resources dealing with particular verses.  Here’s a terrific outline on Romans 1 that explodes the myth that the real sin is acting outside your desires (as if anyone does that!).

My favorite resource is Responding to Pro-Gay Theology by Joe Dallas.  I highly encourage everyone to read it.  It is very thorough but readable.  I don’t have time to cover all the passages here but if people have questions on specific verses we can cover them in the comments section.

There are solid answers for any question you can come up with, provided people want to really discuss the issue.  I saw this commentary on an ex-ex-gay blog (i.e., someone who tried to leave the homosexual lifestyle and returned).  She is commenting on Mel White, a leading pro-gay theologian.

Mel White is a passionate and articulate man who makes it clear from the beginning of the workshop that he has absolutely no desire whatsoever to discuss the biblical passages on homosexuality. Over the years he has suffered a barrage of debates on the issue and he is thoroughly burnt out. He refuses to engage in the discussion any longer. Instead, he passes out a booklet he has written on the subject and tells us to read it. Then, he encourages us to refrain from discussing the Bible with conservative Christians because fundamentalists have no interest in sincere dialogue. Mel also encourages us not to engage in the debate for another reason. By having the conversation, we expose ourselves over and over again to the “lie” that homosexuality is wrong, and when heard repeatedly, “deep down inside you will wonder if they are right.”

That is a clever dodge on Mel’s part.  But I’ll be glad to have a sincere dialogue even if he won’t.

If you examine all the facts, I think you’ll find that the case is overwhelming: God considers homosexual behavior to be sinful and his ideal for marriage is one man and one woman.

So why do people twist the scriptures so blatantly? I generally don’t speculate on the motives of individuals, as only God knows their hearts. But I have seen some themes and evidence in various cases.

Some believe the lies out of ignorance or laziness. They may be sincere Christians who just haven’t fully examined the issue. There are issues I haven’t fully explored and may have the wrong views on, so we should approach things with humility.  We should do the hard work to understand important issues.

Some believe them out of political correctness. It is much easier to go with the views of the culture. Have they noticed the the liberal theologians came to the conclusion that abortion, homosexual behavior, easy divorce and fornication were acceptable just after the culture did?  What a coincidence.  They should remember 1 John 2:15-16: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.

I won’t name specifics here, but I am aware of those in the pro-gay theology camp that pretend to be otherwise-orthodox Christians.  But if you follow their own blogs, for example, you discover how thoroughly fraudulent they are.  You need to watch out for those who use a veneer of Christianity to justify their preferences.  They desparately want everyone’s approval – even though it will still leave them unfulfilled – and they especially want the church’s approval — or at least its silence.

There is also the passive-aggressive stance where some confidently claim that the Bible does or doesn’t say something about homosexual behavior, then when you go to analyze the verses they “humbly” say they don’t know that much (as if the subject were just too complicated or it is so gray we just can’t reach a conclusion).

False teachers aren’t necessarily gay themselves.  They may have other motives for spreading their lies.  Jesus warned that there would be false teachers in the church and Paul did as well.  What better way to accomplish this than to infiltrate the church and bring it down from the inside?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Of course, there are frauds at the other end of the spectrum as well, such as Ted Haggard, or hateful false teachers like Democrat Fred Phelps.  Those aren’t Biblical models, either.

Some people have a “revelation” about the lack of sinfulness of homosexuality when a loved one is involved. Perhaps this is due to new information and a fresh look at the Bible, but perhaps it is due to major league rationalization. It is similar to pro-life Christians who change their minds when their child is pregnant and encourage the destruction of their grandchildren. Did they really change their views on the morality of abortion based on new information, or did their fear of embarrassment and/or inconvenience trump their moral views?

Some people just want to believe the lies. It is a strong delusion. And Satan’s oldest trick is still used today: “Did God really say . . .?”  Hint: Yes.  Yes, He did.

Category 3 – The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable.

This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships.

The third view attempts to affirm scripture but makes a major theological mistake afterwards.  Think about the premise: God is allegedly overturning a moral law and simultaneously making it immoral to quote the Bible.

One denomination has a slogan that “God is still speaking.”  This would be true provided that it meant that God still speaks through his Word.  However, liberal theologians tend to use this phrase to mean that God is changing his moral laws.

Some people appear to believe in Leopard Theology, the false notion that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.  That is the first error above.  However, those in this third category appear to hold to Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

This category overlaps a bit with those who don’t think He communicated his laws in a discernable way in the first place (i.e., in the Bible), but they now think He is communicating with Swiss-watch precision to them.

Here’s an example: A Methodist pastor named Laurie Hays Coffman did a pro-gay theology piece that made the argument that she wants to “unfurl our corporate sails to catch today’s winds as the Spirit blows afresh.”  She said she was challenged by the vision God gave to Peter in Acts 10-11 where God makes it clear that the Gospel is for the Gentiles, too, and that the Israelites’ ceremonial dietary laws are no longer in force.

Her reasoning is that in the same way that God overturned those laws that He is now overturning the prohibitions against homosexual behavior.

The problem is her poor Biblical analysis.  There are at least nine things wrong with this view:

  1. The person with the revelation was Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle and a key leader in the early church.  It wasn’t made to you, me or someone like Ms. Coffman.  That doesn’t mean God couldn’t reveal something important like this to us, just that it is highly unlikely.
  2. The visions were clear and emphatic.  Peter was given the vision three times.
  3. Peter was inclined to reject the meaning of the vision, whereas these pro-gay theologians have views on human sexuality that are virtually indistinguishable from the prevailing culture and they are glad to accept this “new revelation.”
  4. There was external validation for Peter from the Roman centurion.
  5. This lesson showed up in the Bible, not outside it.  I’m not saying miracles don’t happen outside the Bible.  It is just that things appear in the Bible for a reason.  God communicating that the ceremonial laws had been fulfilled was one of those “big deals.”
  6. This vision overturned a ceremonial law, not a moral law.  There are zero examples in the Bible of God reversing his moral laws.  In fact, the more Jesus talked the stricter the laws seemed to get, because He emphasized the spirit of the law and not just the letter (i.e., lust was akin to committing adultery, anger was akin to murder, etc.).  The dietary laws never applied to Gentiles.
  7. The “God has changed his mind view” is primarily being “revealed” to theologically liberal Christians in the U.S. . . . the very ones who often deny his Word to begin with!  So we can’t trust the accurate transmission of the original writings but we can trust their new revelations?  Go figure.
  8. If God is revealing a change, why is it necessarily more liberal?  Why couldn’t God make his laws more stringent?
  9. The Bible gives strong warnings not to add or take away from its teachings.

And as noted above, even some pro-gay theologians agree that the Bible has straightforward commands, but they appeal to “experience” over Scripture.  Again, Luke Timothy Johnson said:

I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good.

There are simply no good reasons to believe that God is changing his moral laws (dropping those against homosexual behavior and adding those saying not to preach against it) and only informing selected people — as opposed to the Apostles and their direct followers — through revelation or “experience.”

Summary – Pro-gay theological principles in action

I have addressed the three commons ways pro-gay theologians make errors, namely by believing that:

  1. The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.
  2. The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.
  3. The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable and the “new” sin is saying that homosexual behavior is sinful.

Now I am taking the pro-gay theological reasoning out for a test drive, so to speak, to see how it applies to other passages.  After all, if their principles are sound they should work in other situations as well.

We’ve addressed Leviticus 18:22 (Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.) and some of the improper interpretations of it here and here. But I wondered how their reasoning would apply to a verse in the same passage, such as Leviticus 18:8 – Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father. After all, the context of Leviticus 18 is abundantly clear because it starts and ends with the same admonitions: Don’t be like the pagan Canaanites and do the detestable things listed in the middle of the text, or you will be vomited out of the land like they were.  These were obviously not ceremonial laws just for the Israelites.

You can use any verse from Leviticus 18 to make the same points (bestiality, child sacrifice, etc.).  I chose this one because it happened to be addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.  Especially note how Paul chides them for being proud and boastful about this man’s behavior.  Read it once, then read it again and replace the descriptions of incest with homosexual behavior.  That is how I view the pro-gay theology community (especially the heterosexuals): Proud and boastful for ignoring God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

Now let’s apply the various lines of pro-gay theological reasoning to Leviticus 18:8 and 1 Corinthians 5 and see how well they work. I realize that not all pro-gay theologians hold all these views.  I tried to convey their reasoning as accurately as possible.  Using their logic, we could conclude that:

  • Jesus didn’t specifically say not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife, so it couldn’t have been very important and probably wasn’t even a sin (the argument from silence).  We should err on the side of saying it isn’t a sin.  We ignore the fact that Jesus, as God, authored the Old Testament and that He fully supported it.
  • The man was born that way (i.e., with the desire to have sex with females).  It was his natural desire and function.
  • He and his father’s wife love each other!  Who are you to say that is wrong?  Gene Robinson, a Bishop in the Episcopal church, left his wife and kids so he could be with his gay lover.  Pro-gay theologians usually affirm and applaud this behavior.  Living up to marriage commitments made before God isn’t nearly as important as indulging your sexual preferences.
  • How do you know he and his father’s wife didn’t pray about it?  Maybe God gave them a personal revelation permitting them to have sex and/or get married.  That would make it acceptable.
  • Maybe the couple says that Jesus told them it was OK.  Who are you to argue with Jesus?
  • Leviticus 18:8 was a ceremonial law.  It was only for the Jews.  It obviously doesn’t apply to Gentiles.  If you eat shellfish then you obviously are a hypocrite if you don’t condone incest.
  • The Bible never actually uses the word incest.
  • There are only a few verses saying not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife [probably less than there are describing homosexual behavior as sinful].Therefore, how can we be sure about it?  And they are kinda obscure as well.
  • The man or the father’s wife was a temple prostitute or this was part of some pagan temple worship, and that is what made it wrong [even though the text doesn't even hint at that].
  • Paul was an ignorant prude.  He didn’t understand sexual behavior or have the advantage of all the knowledge we do.  [This assumes that the Holy Spirit wasn't inspiring his writings, of course].
  • You are just using the “yuck” factor and saying “Eeewww” because a man having sex with his father’s wife seems gross to you.  There is really nothing wrong with it, though – you were just made differently.
  • Judge not, lest ye be judged.  Paul must be sinning here because he is clearly making moral judgments.  [Please ignore the fact that I'm judging Paul for judging and that I've taken Matthew 7:1-5 out of context].
  • You are just an incest-o-phobe.  You need therapy for your irrational hatred.  In fact, speech like that should be prohibited because it will incite violence against those who practice incest.
  • You just don’t love the man and his father’s wife!  If you did, you’d want them to be happy.  Hater!  Hate speech!
  • Other parts of the Bible portray God acting in ways that don’t appear to be in line with his moral laws, so they obviously aren’t really from him.  Therefore, Leviticus 18:8 may not be his Word either.  When in doubt, we should ignore Scripture, because God’s revelation to my heart trumps anything in the Bible.
  • Some parts of the Bible aren’t clear to us [even though this part is] so we can ignore it.

If that sounds like an unsound line of reasoning that’s because it is an unsound line of reasoning. These principles don’t work on the passages they are designed to dismiss, and they completely self-destruct when applied to other passages.  Pro-gay theology is flawed, sinful and destructive and should be abandoned by any Christians who hold those views.

Once again, note that:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Remember, if homosexual behavior is a sin – and the Bible clearly identifies it as such – then affirming and encouraging that behavior is also a sin and providing the orthodox Biblical view is the loving thing to do.  God is perfectly holy, but He is also perfectly gracious and merciful and will forgive those who repent and believe in Jesus.  Hear the Good News:

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Comments are welcome, but please stick to the topic.  We aren’t debating secular views, we aren’t demonizing anyone (pro-gay or orthodox) and we don’t need straw-man arguments (“You just don’t love them,” etc.).

Love LGBTQ people, be friends with them and pray for them.  If they need to develop a friendship with you so they can see what normal relationships should look like, then do so.  But don’t encourage them to participate in sinful behavior.  If you do, then you are loving yourself, not them.

And remember, God catches his fish and then He cleans them.  You don’t have to convert their sexuality before sharing the Good News that God adopts, completely forgives and eternally blesses everyone who repents and trusts in Jesus.

Lots of good arguments against oxymoronic “same-sex marriage”

A post over at Right Libertarian had some excellent responses to a pro-same-sex-marriage piece.  The author didn’t address the religious arguments the pro-SSM person used, so I took a shot at it.  Here’s a link to the original post.

- 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

- 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

- 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

- 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

I list them that way to highlight that it isn’t just the “few” verses addressing homosexual behavior (as if what God says doesn’t count until He says it X times).

The Bible, that ancient book written by sheep herders and religious zealots, does indeed condemn homosexuality.

Note how they think they can completely dismiss the word of God with one fallacious sound bite. I’ll give them credit for this, though: At least they see that the Bible does condemn the behavior as sinful. Many Christians (the embarrassingly poorly informed and confused kind) and “Christians” (the fake kind) will try to spin the verses to justify homosexual behavior and oxymoronic “same-sex marriage.”

whatever Paul said on homosexuality is all that matters (ignoring the fact that Jesus said nothing about it)

They use the argument from silence (Jesus didn’t mention child abuse or wife-beating, but presumably we can safely speak against those). He did say marriage was designed by God for one man and one woman, forever.

Paul hates the gays.

This is where you ask them what passages they are referring to and how they came to that conclusion. Expect silence and then a change of subject.

Then refer them to Romans 1. In one of the most “big picture” books of the Bible, Paul notes how people suppress the truth of God in righteousness by ignoring his existence — even though He has made it plan to them — and that God has then given them over to their sinful desires. Then he gives exhibit A: A clear explanation how men and women will abandon their natural functions to have homosexual sex. It should be noted that while that was Paul’s most extreme example, he then gives a laundry list of ways that we all rebel (i.e., he wasn’t just picking on the LGBTQ folks).

Paul addresses this indirectly throughout his letters (all commands about parenting and marriage involve one man / one woman marriages)

The point is, the Bible is a pick and choose smorgasbord of random commands, and to claim that we should legislate based on it is preposterous.

I only use biblical arguments when discussing this with self-proclaimed Christians. I don’t use it for public policy debates with non-believers.

9. Gay’s are icky!

I’ve seen the “ick factor” argument used more by the promoters of “gay marriage” than by its opponents. It is clever on their part to avoid defending some inconvenient problems with their position.

Gay sex is indeed icky. There is a reason people spend billions on toilet paper, diapers, wipes, etc.: People like to keep feces either inside their body (temporarily) or as far away from it as possible. So if someone could force a straight person to have anal sex, I’d expect the straight person would not only want to use a condom but would beg for multiple full body condoms.

HIV and syphilis rates that are over forty times the average are also icky, but that factoid from the CDC is politically incorrect. Therefore, you don’t hear a lot about it — unless you propose to cut funding for these non-gay diseases, in which case you are an awful homophobe.

Those aren’t the reasons to oppose SSM, but they are perfectly valid topics when discussing the LGBTQ agenda.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.“ Straight from the horse’s mouth. Faith is based on nothing. By the transitive properties of common sense, arguments from faith are based on nothing.

Another quote from someone who hasn’t studied the Bible. Why didn’t the author reference the 13 Gospel presentations from the book of Acts, or 1 Peter 3:15, or many other passages, which all rely on arguments from reason and evidence? It is a classic case of reading a verse out of context. Juries don’t see the crime in progress, but they can gain assurance from the evidence — just like Christians do.

It really doesn’t. Adam married Eve, so, sure, the first couple out the gate was your traditional all-nude, constructed from dust and ribs hetero couple. After that, things get wonky.

The Bible is a thoroughly authentic book, recording the failures and consequences of everyone, including its heroes. That doesn’t mean it approves of its records.

And just because God’s design for marriage was for one man and one woman doesn’t mean people have to get married. Paul made it very clear that singleness was an option, and for him, a preference.

I love Bible lessons from people who have never seriously studied it.

The leap from homosexual marriage to bestiality isn’t a slippery slope, it’s a jump over the Grand Canyon.

The bigamy / bestiality / incest argument isn’t primarily a slippery slope (though, btw, not all slippery slope arguments are fallacies). It is a “cliff” argument, where the arguments for one thing (same-sex marriage) simultaneously support the others. The slippery slope only comes into play because it takes a little longer for society to slide down the moral decline and tolerate / accept the other behaviors.

The tomb is still empty

tomb.jpg

Spoiler alert: The text at the bottom gives away the ending of the Gospels.

My favorite part of The Passion of the Christ movie was the understated scene where Jesus is sitting in the tomb on Easter morning and then He just stands up.  That’s it.  No humans saw him get up, though angels may have.

The resurrection is the greatest and most central event in human history.  Good Friday is when Jesus died for our sins, but the resurrection conquered sin and death for all time for those who trust in Jesus.   Everyone spends eternity somewhere.  Trust in Jesus and you have hope in this life and an eternity in Heaven.  Don’t trust in Jesus and you have neither.

Bonus link: Ten resources to help you defend the resurrection of Jesus as history.  Yes, He really died and rose again, He is really God and He is really the only way to salvation.

He is risen!

John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

UPDATED: Species appear to change? Evolution! Species didn’t change? More proof of evolution!

UPDATE: This is one of those posts that reminds me why I don’t write on Intelligent Design (ID)/ Darwinian evolution very often.  It isn’t that there aren’t tons of great defenses for ID and seemingly endless problems with the (ironically) constantly evolving claims of Darwinian evolution (or whatever term they prefer), it is that any post on it brings the blind faith defenders out in force.  They are zealous, all right, but tend to visit from Stereotype Land (TM) with one erroneous comment after another and are so immune to correction that I don’t think they ever listen (all the while claiming the same about ID proponents).

This post is a perfect example.  At least three Darwin defenders didn’t just misstate my views, they made things up completely and, most ironically, didn’t realize they were mocking the evolution position and not mine.  Examples:

1. This post says that evolution states how much or how little an organism will change over time. It doesn’t say that. It has never said that.

2. I’m interested, Neil, in the reference you use to ascertain that evolution posits constant change among all species.

3. You still didn’t say why “living fossils” is detrimental to evolution – which I believe was the intent of your original post.

For the record, I believe that micro-evolution exists, is well supported by evidence and does not require constant change.  I have never stated otherwise, but my elite visitors know better, eh?

I’ll elaborate on the irony of their comments: My main point was about the scientists at the aquarium who “knew” how a particular species had evolved . . . until they realized it hadn’t evolved at all.  Their original claims weren’t science, just speculation.  They were the ones assuming that macro-evolution posits constant change, not me.  I’ll type that again, slowly ;-), for effect: They were the ones assuming that macro-evolution posits constant change, not me.  I was the one mocking them for always assuming constant change until — oops! — they realize they were wrong.  Again.

But despite multiple reminders that they were putting words in my mouth, they continued to use the “type comments first / (maybe) read the post later” approach.  That’s pretty irritating.

I also find the commenters’ “just so” explanations amusing.  Again, I never claimed that evolution involved constant change among all species.  But watch how quick they are to confirm that their theory supports zero evolution as readily as it does the evolution from lifeless chemicals to birds, caterpillar / butterflies, elephants, humans, etc.  They have a catch-all excuse: Uh, if it didn’t evolve, then the environment didn’t change.  But they don’t know that, they assume it, and they can’t explain why the same environment caused massive changes for other species but not for those that allegedly didn’t evolve.  And they ignore that they are just one fossil find for having to give up another series of drawings showing the alleged stages of evolution.

So if the Darwin defenders want to get all uppity about assumptions of constant change, their objection is not with me, but the scientists who draw cute little pictures of how things “must” have evolved.  Sadly, my guess is that they’ll still miss the irony of the aquarium scientists and their own prejudices that led them to vilify me here and elsewhere.  That’s OK, I’m used to it.

I always like to remind them that even if their nothingness-to-molecules-to-life-to-Angelina Jolie worldview was true, it would select for survivability, not truth.  They would have no reason to have such confidence that they are capable of discerning what is really true.  That bit of logic never seems to occur to them.

Also, they seem most certain that my claims were not only wrong but that it was a bad thing for me to make them, and that it was a very bad thing for me not to approve all their comments.  But they can never ground their morality.  And apparently, for most evolutionists I’ve come across, things like killing innocent but unwanted human beings in the womb is morally benign or even good, and does not conflict with Darwinian evolution (yes, they actually make tortured defenses of how it helps save the species).  But they know that comment moderation is a universal evil and that if you practice it you are really, really bad!  I could quintuple my traffic here if I didn’t moderate ID / Evo posts, but it isn’t worth it.  I mainly post these to share with open minded people who know they’ll never see these things in the mainstream media or academia.

A couple thoughts on a recent comment.

If I may be frank (and I’m doing my best not to be rude), I’ve read quite a bit on this subject, and when you become familiar with a subject there are certain fallacies that stick out like sore thumbs.

I assume that there are certain things that people say about the Bible that make you want to scream. Things that demonstrate that the person making the statement is either repeating something they heard, or didn’t read the passage in context.

Yes, I spend a lot of  time ensuring that I’ve read the Bible (and everything else) in context and like to teach others to do the same.  Sadly, this commenter didn’t read my post or my comments carefully and, as noted above, reached the opposite conclusion of what I said.  He should be angry at the evolutionists, not me.

Please tell why my pointing out this absolute fact is bothering you so.

Because it is a predictable and massive waste of time.  I’m thinking of closing comments on future ID / Evo posts.  It just gets tiring correcting all the fallacious, overzealous Darwin defenders.

Finally, even if I am wrong, all my errors are 100.00% due to their Darwinian evolution.  My conversion from atheism, my faith in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and more were solely due to their beloved evolution.  [Thanks, btw, because I wouldn't trade a life in Christ for anything.]  So why are they so angry at the outcome of their process?  Seems kinda irrational.

Note: Comments will be moderated, so I wouldn’t invest too many keystrokes in them, especially if they are going to repeat the tired and fallacious points made thus far.  —–

P.S. BTW, if people wonder why I give a shorter leash to evos / atheists, it is because I’m very experienced with their tactics and arguments. I can spot time wasters a mile away. A “raiding party” came from Richard Dawkins’ website once and it was quite amusing. They had decided to pick 5 religious blogs to attack and I was one of the lucky ones. Oh noes!!!

One of the best parts was pointing out to them that in their efforts to root out the evils of religion from the world that they had only picked Christian blogs. While some hemmed and hawed the standard lines about “Jihad envy” (whatever that really means) and how they just knew Christianity better, I appreciated that their leader ‘fessed up about their bias.  Here is some fun reading if you are interested.

Raiding parties

Comments on comments

Dawkins’ acolytes

—–

The tautology of Darwinian evolution never seems to embarrass its proponents.

Following up his comments on the stunning half billion years of changelessness (stasis) demonstrated by the pterobranch, David Tyler now addresses the unchanging cricket, one of whose fossils was found from 100 million years ago: He comments on howthe fact that many life forms seem motionless in time is handled in the science literature . . .

via Life forms that never change are telling us something about evolution. Why avoid it?, David Tyler asks | Uncommon Descent.

It reminds me of an aquarium we visited (in Boston, I think).  The original sign for one species noted how it had evolved over the years.  It was all speculative, of course.  Then they found an ancient fossil of the species and — oops! — realized it hadn’t evolved at all.

Did they question their presuppositions?

Nope.

They concluded that it was proof of evolution.  Because, after all, in their worldview Darwinian evolution is  true or Darwinian evolution is true.  Now that’s science!

Once lost, always lost?

Stan at Winging It brought up an interesting point about the “once saved, always saved” debate.  I’m on the “once really saved, always really saved” side.  I add “really” as a deliberate redundancy to emphasize that the conversion must be authentic.  Countless people can say a few words and hang out in church and not be truly saved (I know, because I used to be one).

Here’s a wrinkle that I liked:

Well, both sides have had various manifestations. On the “conditional security” side, it appeared in most cases like you could certainly lose it if you didn’t remain faithful, but if you lost it, you could get it back again. No problem. Just repent again. Poof! You’re saved again. Rarely did they face the specter of Hebrews 6, although they liked to use the passage as proof against the Calvinists.

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding Him up to contempt (Heb 6:4-6).

“There, see? If you ‘have fallen away’, then you lose your salvation!” Okay, fine, but note that it says that “it is impossible … to restore them again to repentance”. So if you go with “conditional security”, rather than the “Once Saved, Always Saved” view, you would necessarily need to hold the “Once Lost, Always Lost” position. So some Arminians would concede the point and others would deny it.

So if the “you can lose your salvation” camp wants to cite Hebrews 6 (an admittedly challenging passage to exegete) then they should be consistent and say that once it is lost, it is gone for good.

Some solutions are simple: End the drilling moratorium to increase employment, reduce the deficit, help the hungry and cut gas prices

Unemployment has a compounding effect in either direction: More unemployed means less people paying taxes and less people with spending power, which leads to more unemployment.  The reverse is true as well: Ending the drilling moratorium would increase jobs, reduce the tax burdens for supporting the unemployed, give those people more money to spend, and increase employment for those providing goods and services to those employees.

It would also lower gas prices very quickly, and not just because of the increased supply.  The Middle East plays us like the (collective) fools we are.  If we get serious about drilling, prices will go down.

High fuel prices have all sorts of unintended adverse consequences.  They are very inflationary because the cost of nearly everything else goes up.  The poor suffer because what used to be used as food is now sometimes used as fuel (my wife was just reading about how this is happening in Kenyan slums).

But that isn’t happening: See Good News! Obama To Authorize Tons Of Drilling Permits To Lower Gas Prices : Stop The ACLU (the title is being sarcastic, of course).

Drill now, and see benefits now and later.  If you want to help the poor, reduce unemployment, reduce the deficit and cut gas prices, then drill now.

Uh, about those light bulbs the government is forcing you to convert to . . .

See CFDB: Compact Fluorescent Death Bulbs | Verum Serum.

Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.

Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin’s Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”

The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year.

We use some of these bulbs.  I like them for lights that are on a lot of the time, such as porch lights.  In theory, it saves money and they don’t have to be replaced as often.

But if they are truly better, then let the market decide!  Our government reduced jobs by killing production on the regular bulbs.