Archive for the 'Religion' Category

One-upping God

Ilíon has analyzed the pope’s recent kissing of a Muslim’s feet. He says that this action constituted an attempt to one-up the morality of God. That is, Jesus washed the feet of his own people, and commanded them to serve each other. The pope, in contrast, went out of his way to serve and honor an open enemy of Jesus. Ilíon is correct.

The fact is, most political wickedness and most false religion result from a similar attempt to do better than God. God outlined in the Bible, for example, the type of government and law that God actually supports. Completely apart from biblical advice, people today (including Christians) disregard the Bible. They feel that they can set up their own legal system that is superior.

You explain that God did not advocate a government that could enforce charity. Well, the leftists say, we are more evolved than that now, and therefore we should create a socialist government.

You explain that God would criminalize adultery and other serious errors. Well, the social liberals say, we are more evolved than that now, and therefore we should tolerate wickedness the same way Jesus would. (In point of fact, Jesus apparently did rather staunchly advocate the death penalty for wickedness, in Mark 7:10).

You explain that God set up a criminal justice system based, primarily, upon pure retribution. Well, the statists say, we are more evolved than that now, and therefore we should create chapters upon chapters of new crimes to punish people who have not committed actual harm, but who simply create a danger of some sort. (The entire traffic code, with all its associated fines and its innumerable excuses for police involvement in your life, constitutes just one example.) The statists thus contend that they can do better than God, by “deterring” dangerous activity with their superior laws.

You explain that God did not advocate the garrisoning of troops to supervise the actions of the citizens. Well, the cowardly citizen says, we are more evolved than that now, and therefore since the cowardly citizen is afraid of the world, he proposes putting a police officer on every block. In my city, indeed the police are everywhere.

One could go on. But the point is, when you try to do better than God, you are basically just insulting God’s plan. And the insult simply results in a diabolical artificial system. Back in the good old days, philosophers like John Locke would actually cite biblical passages to derive their political theories. Even if a person like that got something wrong once in a blue moon, you could at least recognize that his heart was in the right place. Nowadays, the majority of churches seem to teach that God does not care about politics at all. (Today, the preacher at the church I attended explicitly said that.) Well, I guess we may as well get our politics from Satan then. That is certainly what we have been doing lately.

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Bible-thumping

Today’s Sunday school lesson comes to us by H. Lee Sarokin of the Huffington Post, in reference to the current congressional debate over whether we should raise taxes on the producers of this country, or instead slash government waste:

I cannot find any passage in the Bible that says: “Oh Ye Faithful: The poor shall sacrifice so that the rich may retain their wealth,” but that appears to be the fundamental policy of the fundamentalists.

Hmm. How about Exodus 30:13-15.

Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the LORD. All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the LORD. The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less, when you make the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives.

Well, that was easy.

But the Post continues:

I do not pretend to be an expert or scholar on Christian teachings, but I know they are replete with references to caring for the poor, the hungry and the sick.

It sure sounds to me like he is pretending to be an expert on Christian teachings. He is just failing at it. And then in the very next sentence, he refers to real Christians as “Bible-thumpers.” Technically, that is supposed to be a derrogatory term. But realistically, I like Bibles, and I like thumping people. So it seems to me like thumping someone with a Bible would not be a particularly bad idea. You just need to get one that in addition to being a good translation, is also sturdy and made from good materials.

Buzzed driving is drunk driving?

I frequently hear ads on the radio from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the issue of drunk driving. There is nothing objectionable about simply encouraging responsibility, but one particular series of recent ads really infuriates me. These ads have the tagline, “Buzz driving is drunk driving.” The ads also usually portray a supposed perpetrator (who has just caused a wreck and killed somebody) say something along the lines of, “I only had a few beers.”

Buzz driving is drunk driving? Well why don’t you tell that to the Tennessee General Assembly — because the real law actually states that you are not committing a crime unless your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher. Granted, even .08% is itself a bit low and should arguably be raised. But I think .07% could pretty easily qualify as being “buzzed,” yet it would clearly NOT be drunk driving according to the law. So the ads are flatly false and deceptive.

These damned nanny-staters feel like they are doing a good deed, when in reality they are just lying to the public (with our tax dollars). I don’t know whether these jackasses are actively trying to taint juries, but such tainting seems like an inevitable result of this deception. These statists are giving out the false impression that “a few beers” equals crime. But according to most of the charts I’ve seen, a few beers over about an hour and a half would still be under the limit for most men. And even if drinking an amount like that did put someone over the limit, supposedly a normal human burns up about one beer’s worth of alcohol every hour. So in such cases the proper solution would be…wait around a little bit.

But then these wicked, lying fools won’t be satisfied until alcohol is absolutely prohibited, as if we were in some Islamic caliphate or something. God made wine to make people happy. Get it through your thick skulls, you creeps. Quit trying to ruin everyone’s day.

Test the genuineness of Christians

Inspired by Dan’s comments on a recent post.

The next time someone tells you that he is a Christian but disagrees with your moral perspective on politics, first find out the genuineness of that objector’s Christianity. The word “Christian” doesn’t seem to mean much in modern culture. Ask the objector if he actually believes that Jesus is his savior, and that Jesus has thereby given him eternal life which cannot be lost, based simply on faith in Jesus. I suspect that the majority of “Christians” would answer no to at least some part of that question. For example, they might say that hell does not exist so we have no need to be saved, or that Jesus was just a good man, or that Jesus was indeed God but that we must live a moral, perfect life in order for him to “save” us. If so, point the objector toward John 11:25-27:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

Alternatively, if the objector does agree that Jesus is the Savior, then ask him whether he also believes that the Bible is the Word of God. Jesus did, and stated in John 10:35 that “the scripture cannot be broken.”

If the objector then agrees that the scriptures cannot be broken, then ask him whether the scriptures don’t also define government as “an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).

You might also point out that our nation was founded on Christian principles, as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. You might point out that inalienable rights come from Christ, that Christ oversaw the divine providence which created our country, and that Christ was the eternal judge who adjudicated our dispute against England. But in many cases, I doubt you will even get that far. You will often find that the objector does not even believe that Jesus saves all who believe on him, and so he lacks any real foundation to get to those more complex, political matters.

By contrast, if the objector is only a liberal Christian, he might agree that Jesus is the Christ, but will disagree on the authority of the Bible. In such cases, he might theoretically be called a “Christian,” but he certainly isn’t much of a Christian.

Finally, I suppose it is conceivable that you might find a Christian who really has Jesus as Savior and really believes in the authority of the Bible, but simply disagrees with moral political principles. In such cases, the problem is basically that the Christian has not read the Bible, and that should be your recommendation to him.

Ye are of your father the devil

I just came across this AP story about the new Alabama governor, who is a Christian and who apparently rejects the theological doctrine of universal salvation:

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians.

“Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” Bentley said Monday. . . .

And no, I don’t think they’re posting this story just because it’s a slow news day. For some reason, a statement like this has actually become newsworthy in today’s society. In the modern age, the only proper belief for a person to have is that hell does not exist, that all faiths are good, that we are all brothers and God’s children, etc. You can call yourself a Christian all day long — and indeed, you probably should call yourself a Christian because it will get you more votes — but if you actually hold that Christ served a purpose by coming and sacrificing yourself, you are simply a nut.

Never mind the fact that universalism is blatant heresy.

I think it is refreshing to hear a politician preach theological truth. You may say, “Well it violates republican principles for policitians to talk about God,” but such an objection would be silly and hypocritical. Politicians talk about God all the time. For example, even Barack Obama himself quoted from the Bible during his “memorial” speech last week for the victims of the Tucson shooting. And he has made other comments, too, such as that Muslim prayer calls are beautiful, that he is part-Christian-part-Muslim-part-Hindu-etc., and that he prays to himself in his own thoughts. Even the supposedly conservative, supposedly Christian George W. Bush eventually started conceding to reporters that people of all faiths can get to heaven, and that Jesus is just one possible way to salvation. (Of course, if that were true, then what would really be the point of Jesus or Christianity?)

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called Bentley’s remarks shocking. “His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor,” said Bill Nigut, the ADL’s regional director.

Politicians are allowed to talk about religion all day long and no one cares. That is, they are allowed to say false things about religion all day long, and no one cares. People only get upset if politicians make true statements about God, such implications that God sends people to hell if they disbelieve in Jesus.

Personally, I like what the Alabama governor said.  And the reason I approve of his statement is not that I think politicians will be much help in evangelizing the lost. Rather, I just find it refreshing to hear someone cut through the politically-correct garbage and introduce at least a sliver of common-sense truth, saying to hell with what everyone else thinks.

Updated Christmas analysis

I used to think Christmas was sort of a pointless holiday. I considered it just a completely artificial, commercialized holiday whose only purpose was to get people to spend money on things they didn’t need. And of course, I would also frequently hear the charge that Christmas was actually just a pagan holiday, and that Christians merely co-opted the date to try to make their religion more user-friendly for the masses. Hence, it seemed that we were basically celebrating a pagan holiday with an artificial Christmas message getting people to waste money while listening to annoying secular Christmas songs that monopolize the radio.

That said, I still think the commercialization aspect is pretty crummy. Consider the whole gift-giving thing, for example. Chances are, if you get me a gift, I will not get you one back. What is the point of getting a gift if you just have to give one back?

But I digress. The main point of this post is to demonstrate that commercialization aside, Christmas is probably not an artificial holiday. Specificially, Christmas is not merely a Christianized pagan celebration. Rather, Glenn Chatfield has specifically uncovered proof from the Bible that Jesus was indeed probably born sometime in December:

In Luke 1:5 and Luke 1:8, we are told that Zacharias was a priest of the course of Abia and that he fulfilled his priestly duties in the order of his course.  To understand the importance of the course of Abia and its bearing on the date of John the Baptist’s conception, it is necessary to turn to I Chronicles 24:1-10.  This passage describes how a thousand years before Christ, King David established the courses for priestly service in the coming temple.  Twenty-four courses were established and numbered by drawing lots – twelve courses for sanctuary service and twelve for the government of the house of God.
Members of each course would serve during a month starting with the Hebrew month of Nisan.  (Because of the way the Hebrew calendar fluctuates, the month Nisan can start anytime between early March and early April.)   The sons of Abijah (the Old Testament spelling for Abia) were in the eighth course.  Priests of Abia like Zacharias would, therefore, have ministered for a time during the eighth month which in some years corresponds to our month of October.  Zacharias would have returned home when his days of service were accomplished and John the Baptist would have been conceived sometime between October 10th and the end of the month.
After conception the scripture says that Elizabeth hid herself for five months.  Then in the sixth month of her pregnancy (which depending on the year could have been between March 10 and April 10) the angel announced to the Virgin Mary that the Lord Jesus would be conceived  in her womb by the Holy Ghost.  If this took place on or about April 1 a “normal” gestation period of 270 days would have then had the Lord Jesus due on December 25.
So anyway, I thought that was interesting. Christmas still isn’t really my favorite holiday or anything, and I still think the excess gift-giving is economically inefficient. But I figure if we can have holidays based off the birthdays of people like Martin Luther King Jr., we certainly may as well have one for Jesus, too. Altogether, Merry Christmas, and long live the king!

Leftist religion

Via Facebook, I just noticed a rather inane segment of the Colbert Report. In this segment, Stephen Colbert tried to persuade his audience that Jesus actually supported socialism and leftist politics. But while that sort of nonsense comes out fairly frequently, a more interesting development actually occurred when Colbert specifically admitted that God the Father did not approve of socialism.

I have said before that modern Leftism is basically a reincarnation of ancient Gnosticism. (Gnosticism, of course, was itself just a pseudo-Christian version of paganism.) The gnostics specifically argued that Jesus and the Old Testament God were separate, completely distinct entities who were actually antagonistic toward each other. That is, they believed that the Old Testament God was evil and mean, but that Jesus was superior and good. In particular, the gnostics had very little respect for the Old Testament. For example, one fairly moderate gnostic named Marcion actually created his own Bible for his followers — by excluding the entire Old Testament and numerous portions of the New Testament.

But anyway, I did appreciate Colbert’s measure of intellectual honesty here. Unlike many Leftist “Christians,” Colbert at least admitted that the bulk of the Bible is clearly anti-socialist. Despite this admission, however, he tried to argue that Jesus was a socialist because Jesus actually disagreed with the rest of the Bible. Colbert then alluded to various quotations of Jesus which advocate giving to charity, in order to bolster his argument that Jesus disagreed with God on economics and agreed with forcefully redistributing wealth from each according to his ability and to each according to his need. To Colbert, the Old Testament God was mean and evil, whereas Jesus was nice and socialist and good.

Overall, the argument was of course absurd, and it was intended to be funny. But then, it really was not much more absurd than Leftist Christianity in general.

As a sidenote, I have heard that Stephen Colbert is actually at least nominally Jewish — although that could be wrong.


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