See how the state uses human misery and fear to enrich its coffers and increase its power!
Archive for March, 2009
Posted by Job on March 29, 2009
Posted by Job on March 29, 2009
It’s free will and premillennial dispensationalist, but I ain’t mad at ’em!
Posted by Job on March 29, 2009
Posted by Job on March 29, 2009
A must read from PJ Miller!
Posted by Job on March 29, 2009
Courtesy of PJ Miller
Posted by Job on March 28, 2009
One of the requirements of being an adherent to the Christian faith is that you oft contend for it. Let scripture bear witness that if you are not contending for the faith, then you are not in the faith. Of course, there are many ways to contend for the faith. Deep, intensive and devoted prayer in which we intercede for the lost and ask God to guide and strengthen the found (especially pastors and other leaders). Evangelism. Christian service. Personal piety and obedience. And yes, combating heresies.
Regarding the heresy hunting portion, I cannot help but remember one of church history’s most famous: Tertullian. It was through this brilliant fellow’s writings that we learned of many of the false doctrines plaguing the early church, and one cannot help but be amazed at the intelligence and fearlessness of this person as he took apart the doctrines and the people promulgating them.
However, all was not well with this Tertullian. It appears that this man was something of a rigorist. Rigorism can perhaps be contrasted with legalism, which claims that a person needs to keep certain religious rules and observances in order to be saved. However, it can also be contrasted with pietism, which advocates outward holiness (along with other things mind you!) while never losing sight of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Experts who have studied Tertullian seem to agree that he simply could not abide the fact that people – including those professing to be Christian – were simply going to have flaws. Tertullian was seeking a sort of perfection that Romans 7, among other passages, states that will never exist in this life.
An example: Tertullian claimed that the “sin unto death”, the unforgivable sin, was adultery. Now when one considers the ideas from various competing – and often syncretizing – religious and philosophical groups circulating in that day, this position is not nearly so strange as it sounds; indeed it may have been a widely held position. But still, how convenient is it to take a sin that you haven’t committed and claim that God will not forgive the person who commits that sin? It is a lot easier to condemn the next guy to the lake of fire than yourself, isn’t it? So while this position was, when considering the context, understandable, it simply does not align with what the Bible says.
Now of course, then as now, there were huge problems with the church and the refusal of people to abide sound doctrine and holy living, and it seems for people of Tertullian’s day, there were two options: withdraw to the desert and become a monk, or join the Montanists. Both movements were known for their centering their lives around rigor. Let it be known that the Bible clearly explicitly rejects both. Regarding monasticism, Christians are clearly to be in the world, performing good works, serving, fellowshiping, and evangelizing. As for the Montanists, more on them later.
Tertullian chose the second option, divorcing his wife and choosing Montanism as an outlet for his refusal to acknowledge that “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” is part of the universal Christian experience, and that denying this fact using rigor has the potential to result in people that are twice the sons of hell that they were before.
Now I have a lot of sympathy for the Montanists in some respects, especially when reading about how so many of them were brave in the face of martyrdom at the hands of the state. Still, one cannot get around that they were real pieces of work. The founder of their sect, this one Montanus, claimed to be the Paraclete that Jesus Christ stated would come after He ascended to heaven. Of course, the Paracle is God the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity! The Montanists claimed to be heralds, prophets and apostles if you will, of a new dispensation, or age of grace. The wrath of God was going to fall upon the lukewarm church and wicked world, and a new people of God would be raised up to lead the world into greater spiritual heights.
Speaking of grace, I am willing to extend a bit to the Montanist sect – or at least some of its members that were for a time sincerely deluded by it – as lest we forget these people were operating without such benefts that we have today as an authoritative canon, nearly universal literacy (and inexpensive, freely available Bibles to take advantage of it), doctrines made standard by nearly 2000 years of systematic theology, and the unfolding of history. But what can be said of a brilliant learned man like Tertullian who claimed that adultery was the unpardonable sin divorcing his wife and joining a cult run by a man who claimed to be the personification of the Holy Spirit, thereby making him equal with Jesus Christ and God the Father?
Now it is true that Tertullian ultimately left the Montanists, and those who treasure his contributions to church history and doctrines use this fact to claim that he returned to orthodoxy. I myself wish and hope it to be so, but regrettably, the last reliable information that we have on Tertullian is that he left the Montanists not because they were thoroughgoing purveyors of doctrines of devils, but rather because they were not rigorist enough, and that in response he founded his own sect, the even more rigorist Tertullianists!
Of course, as one who believes in the doctrines of grace, which includes predestination, election, limited atonement, and perseverance of the saints, my stance is that if Tertullian never returned to the faith, then he was never truly in it to begin with. Still, for current and future heresy hunters, his example is instructive, as we must acknowledge what Tertullian refused to do, which is that Romans 7 applies to all members of the Body of Christ, and we should be ever mindful of this fact when we speak and act. Maranatha!
Posted by Job on March 27, 2009
Posted by Job on March 26, 2009
When I am perusing Bible commentaries, I wonder how many of the learned evangelical authors of such efforts are movie fans like the estimable preacher Matthew Wrickman. I wonder if they like works from such directors as David Lynch, Chris Nolan, Jon Favreau, Edward Zwick, M. Night Shyamalan and Quentin Tarantino. Consider movies like True Romance, Memento, Mulholland Drive and Pulp Fiction. Such film directors often abandon the practice of linear storytelling, that is unfolding the plot according to a basically straight and forward moving timeline and from a single perspective. Instead, these directors use what can be called “scenic storytelling”, where the viewer is presented a series of scenes in a manner ungoverned by a single or dominant timeline or perspective.
Of course, a major motive for making movies in this fashion is that the director finds it more intellectually stimulating, and is much more likely to be recognized for his skill and cleverness. However, it is not merely an exercise in vanity, because the director is often convinced that his method of presentation makes the film more entertaining and the subject matter that it deals with better understood than it would have been had the story simply been told from beginning to end with a single perspective. Sometimes the director is right, sometimes the product is a mess that leaves the viewer not only confused, but feeling manipulated. Either way, it was the director’s ability and prerogative to make a film this way, and everyone acknowledges that it was this director’s work.
Oh were the books of the Bible viewed the same by the scholars who produce commentaries on it! Instead, the opposite is the case. Any failure of a book written thousands of years ago by Palestinian Jews under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to have the same straightforward literary structure as a short story written by a French or British child for her 7th grade literature class is seized upon as evidence that a book was not written by the person bearing its name. A break in logic? A change in perspective? A shift in ideology? A seeming contradiction? Ironclad proof that the Bible book was REALLY the product of the Deuteronomists, the Yahwists, the Isaiah school, the Johannine community etc. or that portions of the book were inserted or removed by later editors.
So how is it that these same people are able to sit through a Quentin Tarantino movie, view all of its convolutions, and refrain from saying “this is where Tarantino plagiarized David Lynch” or “this is where the studio inserted a scene from another movie that was never released” or other such contrivances? If Chris Nolan is not obliged to follow the standard modern western conventions of storytelling in making his movies, why, then, is Matthew, a person who lived in an entirely different time, place and culture with thoroughly different standards and expectations or else have in many cases the meaning, intent, and text of his gospel attributed to someone other than the very apostle who was a witness to the life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Now, of course, unbelievers who analyze the Bible have a motivation for doing so. Denying that Moses wrote the Torah, claiming that the prophetic portions of Daniel were written after the prophecies had been fulfilled, and proposing that the gospels and epistles contained only a kernel of actual historical and doctrinal truth because they were augmented and edited by the church for a good 250 years or so is all in service of the agenda of denying the truth, authority, and inspiration of scripture. For them, it is all about getting as far away from John 14:6 as they possibly can, and for this reason think nothing of holding books of the Bible to the negative scrutiny that they would never apply to, say, the theory of evolution. For them, it is not enough to deny that the Bible is true, but they also claim that the people who wrote the Bible knew that it wasn’t true, or at least not true in the sense that Christians regard it to be. So, the book of Romans or the book of Samuel was either never written by Paul and Samuel, or Paul and Samuel wrote them according to meanings and purposes that were entirely different from what has been historically attributed to them, and were also significantly altered to hide their true meaning and purpose.
Of course, you would expect a person seeking to justify his unbelief to take that position. After all, it is one thing to claim that Jesus Christ never rose from the dead. It is another thing to deal with the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (in addition to the epistle writers) all working independently of each other produced books that fervently, unambiguously, boldly proclaimed that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, and further attached great significance from that fact. It is easier to say “I don’t believe it” than to say “the people who wrote the Bible didn’t believe what they were writing”, particularly since – unlike the Koran – the Bible lacks a single author, but has multiple witnesses to the same truths by very diverse people over a very long period of time; witnesses who had nothing to gain – and indeed everything to lose – by adhering to their story. So, using the alleged failure of the Bible’s books to follow a “paint by numbers” literary style at every turn being proof of that the Bible is – when it gets right down to it – a fabrication produced by dishonest people looking to hide the meaning is the best explanation that they have, so they are sticking to it.
But the question is this: why are evangelical scholars who do believe that the Bible is true so quick to adopt their opinions? I am not talking about the failure to consider arguments and evidence, to close your ears and eyes and scream “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” at the top of your lungs to drown out dissent like a toddler having a temper tantrum. Instead, what prevents evangelical scholars from simply stating that the arguments of the critical scholars should not be considered because they are built on a set of assumptions that are fatally and irreparably flawed? Again, one does not have to believe in the deity of Jesus Christ in order to reject the idea that the failure of Genesis to read like a 4th grade history book means that Moses could not have written Genesis.
Yet, I see some evangelical scholars assert that Matthew used Mark and a “Q” source to create his gospel, and others claim that the story of the woman caught in adultery and brought before Jesus Christ in John was a separate oral or written tradition put in decades – possibly centuries – later (along with similar concessions to the strong delusions of atheists on many other points). The idea of saying “look, Matthew and John were recounting events that they personally witnessed and recorded them according to their memory and arranged the material in a way that would inform and convince as many people as possible with the Holy Spirit superintending the process” … well that is not acceptable as scholarship, which means that it is not acceptable as EVANGELICAL scholarship.
And if that is the case, then what is the reason for the existence of evangelical scholarship in the first place? Why should an evangelical produce a commentary that first declares or is ultimately based on the idea that the book is a fraud, and then go on to provide orthodox evangelical interpretations as if it were true? Maybe said evangelical scholars believe that the people who edited, added to, and removed from these books were inspired by the Holy Spirit too; that they were acting in God’s Will when they acted to keep the original message of the authors of the Bible lost to the ages. If so, why won’t they come out and say it? Simple: no one will buy their commentaries. It is one thing to assert inclusion of materials in the Bible based on the apostolic authority possessed by Peter, Paul, Matthew etc. as well as those associated with them like Luke and Mark. It is another to assert that these editors, anonymously passing on their own ideas as the ideas of others and doing so decades, centuries even, after the death of the last apostle had this sort of authority, which is none other than the authority to willfully deceive people into believing that apostles professed to witnessed events that they never saw (or never happened), or professed to hear Jesus Christ say things that they never heard Him say (or that He never said at all). In short, their doctrine of the inspiration of scripture must necessarily include the notion that the Holy Spirit inspired people to secretly lie and deceive. God forbid that such a thing be true, for let God be true and every man be a liar.
So, what is the Bible – believing Christian to do with these commentaries? What is to be done with the people who write them, and the Bible colleges that use them? That is the question.
Posted by Job on March 25, 2009
Now during the sham presidential election, alleged conservatives and Republicans came up with this scenario where the Democrats were actually to blame for the economic collapse because of affirmative action rules passed by the Carter administration, strengthened by the Clinton administration, and pushed by the Barack HUSSEIN Obama affiliated group ACORN and several Democrats on Congressional banking committees to pressure banks into approving mortgage loans for people who could not pay for them. Now this scenario was never plausible, because A) if that was the reason the economic collapse would have happened long ago and moreover B) economists have shown that mortgages to high risk groups are only a tiny part of the banking collapse. The main thing to remember, however, is that it was just another partisan device to distract people from the fact that both parties are working for the anti-Christ team leading us towards an essentially global economy and government. And besides, the Bush administration made increasing home ownership in minority and poor communities a major part of its domestic agenda (I should know, as I was a huge Bush Republican at the time!), the whole “ownership society” thing.
Well, as it so happens, I was listening to conservative talk radio while driving home from visiting relatives last week (the reception was horrible on the station that features generally doctrinally sound preachers, rendering it unlistenable) and for whatever reason, this fellow chose to let the truth out. It turns out that in December 2000, as one of the last major pieces of legislation passed by the Clinton administration (and also while the nation was distracted by the Florida recount fiasco and its aftermath) a major regulatory change, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, was passed, greatly expanding the items that could be traded (bought and sold) as commodities futures. Two of them included energy and DEBT. Yes, banks and other entities were able to trade debt obligations as commodities futures just like corn, wheat, pork, and gold.
Now energy futures caused the Enron collapse, and that is what this post speaks of. However, this talk show host was speaking of how trading in DEBT futures, allowed by this bill, is what really caused the financial crisis. Of course, his agenda was not correcting the misinformation on the financial crisis being caused by the Community Reinvestment Act. Instead, his point was that this Commodity Futures Modernization Act was something attached to a huge omnibus bill that no one debated or even read, and that there were likely similar devastating measures in the HUSSEIN Obama stimulus bill and spending bill recently passed. And I agree. But while that was his point, it was not my point.
My points are that A) the utterly contrived recount fiasco contributed to this bill being passed without anyone knowing about it. B) This measure was not amended or repealed even after the Enron fiasco showed how damaging it could be to our economy. Both parties were in on this. C) The political discourse of both parties, whether the “conservatives” that were blaming ACORN and the Community Reinvestment Act or the “liberals” blaming corporate greed and irresponsiblity, was designed to divert attention away from the real cause.
If both sides are trying to deflect attention from this matter and neither are doing anything to fix it, what does that mean? My proposal is that they are both in this together. After all, would the radical changes to our economy and government that have already been made, let alone those proposed for the future, been possible had it not been for this collapse? And no, don’t fall for the trap of blaming it all on the socialist/Marxist/whatever Obama, because the first piece of the massive overhaul was the $700 billion banking bailout championed by Republicans and signed by Bush. By the same token, don’t fall for the trap of blaming Bush and Republican economic policies, including even the war in Iraq that I myself oppose, as again, this law was enacted by the Clinton administration. Instead, realize that both parties are in this together working towards the same goal.
And what goal would that be? Integrated global markets and economies, and of course once the economies are integrated, political integration will either logically follow, or in truth not even be necessary: what does it matter what governments do if the corporations are running the world anyway? Please see Revelation 14 and Revelation 18 for the statements about Babylon, which I believe refers to a global economic system, falling. For instance, see Revelation 18:3, which reads, “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Also please take note of Revelation 17:6 and Revelation 18:24. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” and “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
So, this economic system will declare all out war on the church and kill a great many of its members. The mark of the beast system perhaps? Of course, premillennial dispensationalists believe that the rapture will precede the fulfillments of Revelation 14-18. And amillennialists do not believe that this verse will be fulfilled literally in any sense. Being in the chiliast camp myself (that being one who believes in a millennium but not the rapture) I say that these continuing economic developments are reasons for all those born again in Jesus Christ who love Him by keeping His commandments to watch the world events, to study the scriptures, and to pray without ceasing.
Posted by Job on March 25, 2009
The claim that China, our primary debtor, is partially behind this is curious.
Posted by Job on March 25, 2009
Inspired by the book “Will Democracy Elect the Anti-Christ” by Arno Froese which was ordered, never shipped, and now is no longer available from that distributor. Amazingly, this spur of the moment, rushed, and completely unthreatening and inoffensive effort was banned by Google in the first attempt to submit it, so it was resubmitted in a manner designed to evade their censors.
Posted by Job on March 23, 2009
Posted by Job on March 23, 2009
This one is courtesy of – and will be entirely lifted from – brother Laz.
Posted on January 31, 2008 by Laz
Caught this editorial on the January 10, 2008 issue of the journal Nature,
Here are some tidbits,
But die-hard creationists aren’t a sensible target for raising awareness. What matters are those citizens who aren’t sure about evolution–as much as 55% of the US population according to some surveys.
And because the general theory of evolution (and thus its implications) is only scientific in nature and allegedly does not have religious and/or philosophical underpinnings and thus, assertions in those veins,
Evolution is of profound importance to modern biology and medicine. Accordingly, anyone who has the ability to explain the evidence behind this fact to their students, their friends and relatives should be given ammunition to do so.
Seriously folks, how can evolutionists be taken seriously when they rail against certain meddling religious people when what this editorial shows is that they’re not “above” evangelistic efforts when it benefits their religion?
Since it’s been chic to use the word “Bible-thumper” are we going to see the word “Evo-thumper” enter public discourse?
Incidentally, people capable of explaining the science behind evolution do not exist, and that is why it is actually forbidden by law to challenge evolution in public school classrooms, and there is also a movement afoot at elite universities to keep born again Christians from enrolling in their biology Ph.D. programs. So, the battle for the hearts and minds of the lost is on between those of Jesus Christ and those who are given over to Satan. Make no mistake, this is 100% spiritual warfare. Satan is out there working hard to win hearts and minds. Are you, Christian, doing the same, and on a regular, tireless basis? If not, then are you truly in the faith?
Posted in Christianity, evangelism, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching | Tagged: atheism, Evo-thumper, evolution, faith, hypocrisy, Proselytizing, religion, science, spiritual warfare | 8 Comments »