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Theodicy Dialogue With Pastor Matt Wrickman

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

Matthew Wrickman, a pastor and blogger with whom I have corresponded in the past, wished to discuss How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God and did so in a comment, which he reproduced as a post on his site (which I encourage you to patronize). The objections – er dialogue points – that he raised are good ones as always, and my interaction with them is as follows. Pastor Wrickman’s words are in blocked quote format, and mine follow. Thank you.

“ Interesting response. Most commentators for the last 200 years at least have used evil in the reverse sense as the greatest problem for the existence of God. The line of logic would be that Sandusky is evil. If God was really good, really powerful, and really existed then He would have intervened and stopped the action. He didn’t so either He is not really good, really powerful, or does not really exist. As a line of logic it seems rather convincing. I, of course, would argue (as you hinted at) that God has intervened through the person of Son. That the cross of Christ represents Christ’s solidarity with the victims of Sandusky, as well as, his offer of healing to both victim and victimizer. Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless.”

Alas, you are of the Remonstrants, I am of the Synod of Dort! (Actually I am Particular Baptist after the manner of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey and Paul Bunyan and you are not classical Arminian or Wesleyan as you to not believe that one can lose his salvation, but otherwise you get the picture.)

“You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme”

Well, my love of reductio ad absurdum was in my angry, immature phase. (In what many might consider to be an irony, it was becoming a “5 point Calvinist” – or again more accurately a Particular Baptist – that helped me get past my anger, which I ultimately discovered was truthfully coming from within and was directed inwardly also.) I now rarely employ this debate tactic, though I hear that it is a very good tool for computer scientists and mathematicians.

“and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God.””

I agree with you to a point, as a multitude of false religions (as I understand them) have deities that are dualistic, amoral or even malevolent. But that extreme is precluded by the holy scriptures. Though I do dabble in classical and evidential apologetics from time to time – to the extent that I am able – for the most part I adhere to the presuppositional apologetics school of Cornelius Van Til and similar, which takes the truth and authority of the Bible to be a non-negotiable starting point and proceeds from there. (I further build on that school by presuming a basic “rule of faith”, or a normative interpretation of the Bible, belief in its inerrancy/inspiration/authority, and application of its doctrines to the church).

So, inasmuch as the Bible differentiates between evil and God, I presume this to be true also. My purpose for authoring the above piece was intended not to much to be an exercise in philosophy, ethics or similar, but for evangelism and encouragement. Thus, it presumes some degree of faith – and please recall that faith is not produced by man but is given by God – and is not intended for the purposes of debating the likes of Sam Harris, Charles Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens.

“One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil.”

What you speak of is outcome-based religion. The problem with such religions is that man, lacking perfect knowledge and morality, is incapable of properly evaluating outcomes. Only God can do so. What we perceive to be a “good” outcome according to our perspective might actually be evil according to God, and the converse is also true. Consider an example: a small leak in a dam. A person might make an improper repair to the leak that for a time stops the water from running, but makes the dam weaker, or at minimum ignores the root cause of the leak. Now though the fix is flawed, it might last a long time – during the duration of that person’s life. And for that time, that person will be considered to have done a great good in fixing the leak, and will go to his grave with such estimation.

But suppose that the dam ultimately breaks and catastrophically floods the town! Was this a good deed? No, because in the most extreme case, where the leak would have been at most a minor annoyance but remained, the fix made the dam weaker and caused it to suddenly burst where it would not have had the fix not been applied. In even the most favorable possible case, the fix caused everyone to BELIEVE that the problem was solved, and hindered them from seeking a real solution, or from evacuating the town if no solution was possible or practical.

Such is the result of false religion: it creates self-righteousness and blinds the sinner from his need for God. And false doctrines in Christianity can similar impede the spiritual growth of a Christian. So, the measure of “good acts” are not by their outcomes (“the ends justify the means”) or their intentions (“he meant well/his heart was in the right place”) but rather the fidelity of these acts to the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Scriptures regardless of their apparent outcomes. God and His Word are the standard, not the outcome or our perception of it, and by the definition of God as determined by His special revelation to us in the Bible, fidelity to God and His Word cannot be evil.

That is why the people who obeyed the commandments of God to commit genocide and fratricide in the Old Testament were not evil, and those who committed what might have been considered good in sparing, say, a Canaanite baby out of what seemed to be mercy upon the innocent who posed no threat when when God commanded to utterly destroy all the Canaanites would have been evil. Where of course we would say that killing a Canaanite baby is evil, and sparing the baby and raising it up according to the Jewish religion would have been good according to our own understanding, we have to accept by faith God’s statements when He says that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and obey God according to that same faith.

If we do otherwise, and obey God when it conforms to our own sense of good and evil and abandon God’s commandments when they contradict them, we are following our own religion and morality and not God’s, and we have made ourselves into gods in the place of God.

“On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.”

Well, the psalmists and prophets seemed to regularly question the goodness of God, no? Yet they remained faithful. It is not blind faith, but faith in God’s self-revelation to us through His Son. The role of the Holy Spirit is not to answer all of our questions, but to reassure us, comfort us and keep us in the faith despite them. Or to save us from our faithless condition despite them. The Bible declares oft that we cannot understand God and His ways, and that we are not to even try to. We are to merely – as the old hymn says – trust and obey Him.

But let it be said that God does certainly use evil to accomplish His ends. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, and this includes evil things. And God most certainly does use evil events. When a sinner commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto salvation. When a Christian commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto restoration. The Holy Spirit does not cause this evil, but He certainly uses it.

But as touching God and evil actions: consider when God sent a lying spirit to the false prophets in order to provoke wicked king Ahab into going into battle so that Ahab could be slain as a punishment for his (Ahab’s) wickedness. Consider also when God made pharaoh ruler of Egypt and hardened his heart so that pharaoh would oppress the children of Israel mightily, as God wanted an occasion to judge the Egyptians for their wickedness, to save Israel and make them a nation, and to display evidence of His existence and power to the world. Consider when God used the wicked pagan Assyrian and Babylonian empires to judge Israel and Judah for their infidelity to the Sinai covenant (and this required allowing Assyria and Babylon to conquer other nations and otherwise rise to power). And consider when Jesus Christ chose the non-elect Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles so that Judas Iscariot could betray Him and otherwise fulfill the prophecies.

It is very fair to say that God participated in these evil actions, if you rely on the common human definition of participation. In the Bible, God does asserts His right to do evil, at least according to man’s perspective of evil (when God did so, He was condescending to the limited understanding capacity of man in that He allowed them to regard His actions as evil).

Just because we see something as evil does not make it evil. God is the standard, the Self-existing Self-defined one who is goodness and righteousness within Himself. Evil, then, is by definition that which is contrary to God, and God by definition cannot be contrary to Himself. Any other definition of evil makes man a judge of not only himself, but of God. This is something than an unbeliever – especially an atheist or rationalist – will never accept but that Christians are called to accept, believe and submit ourselves to through faith.

The unwillingness to accept the fact that God Himself is the definition of good and that evil is defined by its being in opposition to God is the source of so many of these logical games, tricks and constructions on the behalf of many apologists. This fact also solves the apparent problem of God telling one person to do one thing at one time and another person to do something else (i.e. when God commanded Ezekiel and Hosea to break the Mosaic law by eating bread defiled with excrement and marrying a cult prostitute): we are simply to believe that God can do so without Himself being contradictory.

“I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.”

The problem with that is that it relies on an incomplete portion of the Holy Scriptures, excluding bad facts. Consider, well, the book of Job (which has been as much a source of fascination and meditation for me as I certainly hope the Gospel of Matthew has been for you)! Let’s face it: God delivered Job into the hands of Satan for Satan to do whatever he wished with Job and all that he had save taking Job’s life. And please recall: the Bible is clear that the calamities that came upon Job were not due to any sin that Job had committed. Job’s CHILDREN died, not because of any sin of Job or the children, and despite Job’s daily sacrificing for his children in case they sinned. (Of course, their deaths would have occurred due to their original sin, as did Job’s death, but let us focus on their untimely deaths, which was considered to be an evil occurrence in OT times and still is to this day.)

We have to come up with a theodicy that is faithful to the entirety of the Bible. Not only must we do this in order to be faithful to God through His Word, but this is also the only way to construct a theodicy that encompasses the range of the facts of life that we have to confront, such things as wars, plagues, horrific crimes, miscarriages, birth defects etc. God does overcome evil by eliminating all that which is contrary to Himself. Keep in mind: this process will not be completely finished until the eschaton, when this creation is destroyed by fire, the wicked are cast into eternal flame, and a new heaven and a new earth is created.

As to why God did not make the original creation after the same manner of the new heaven and new earth, we just have to accept that God did all things according to a manner that pleased Him. The idea that God was obligated to prevent the existence of evil in order to not Himself be evil is man’s thinking, not our own. And it is thinking that is centered on man and his own interests, as we accuse God for not acting to avoid our own misery and suffering. We want to be able to say that God is not good if the result of His original creation was humans – most of whom never encountered with the gospel of Jesus Christ to either accept or reject – being punished in the lake of fire for an eternity. As mentioned earlier, our duty is to accept these facts because they are how God revealed Himself and His actions in the Bible, and not to generate contrivances to avoid the fulness of God’s self-revelation and its implications. Make no mistake: unbelievers are fully aware of these things! Have you ever perused skepticsannotatedbible.org and similar counter-apologetics efforts? It is far better to directly confront these things in scripture, meditate on them, accept them through faith, and work them into our systematic theologies than to simply pretend that they do not exist, or to come up with human-centered (if not necessarily humanistic) evasions.

One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

There is a difference between saying that evil has an absolute positive function in the world, and merely stating that God uses evil to accomplish His purposes. However, even if God did so as you speak, it would be well within His right to terminate it. Does God still feed His people with manna? Of course, God did a great thing by feeding His people with manna. Does the fact that you no longer eat manna destroy an important way of knowing God? Does the fact that you are not a Jew living in Jerusalem under the Mosaic law destroy an important way of knowing God? God forbid! So, if God can discontinue good things, then how much more so can He discontinue evil that He uses for good purposes? We know God only by God’s revelation.

Whether God’s revelation consists of His use of evil to accomplish His goals or not, the knowledge of God is the same. Why? Because God – the one providing the revelation – is the same. Even if you were to say that it is not “the same”, inasmuch as those in Old Testament times did not have the same knowledge as do we in light of the cross and the current ministrations of the Holy Spirit, their knowledge of God based on the revelation that they had was nonetheless sufficient to suit God’s purposes and that is what counts. God is only bound by Himself to reveal to us what He chooses for us to know of Him. He is not bound by us to reveal to us what we desire to know of him.

Further, God reveals Himself to us through the way that He chooses, not the way that we desire. Part of the error of some in the Pentecostal movement that I was once in is their demand that God reveal Himself to us in these ways in the same way that He revealed Himself to the early church, and also to Old Testament Israel. God’s actions and revelations are according to His will, not our desires. And the nature and character of God’s revelation are suitable to fulfill our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. Keep in mind in Romans 1 when Paul states that even the order and nature of creation should have been enough of God’s self-disclosure to live righteously and thereby be saved, and therefore those who do not – including those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – are without excuse and therefore subject to condemnation on judgment day.

And of course we celebrate His battle. Are not the Psalms filled with the Jews’ praise of God’s battles on their behalf, physical and spiritual? Concerning Jesus Christ, do we not celebrate His trial in the desert, Gethsemane and the cross, and not merely the resurrection? Jesus Christ specifically instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His passion. This knowledge of God that you speak of includes God’s battles for our behalf, because through these we know that God has both the power to save us and the love to forgive us. God’s destruction of Egypt and Israel’s other enemies is evidence of the former, and His restoration of the remnant after they broke His covenant is evidence of the latter. This is evidence of the very hope of which you speak!

Well, I am done! I thank this opportunity to dialogue with my old friend and brother in the faith. As always, I hope that I did not offend or mistreat you, and if I did, it was not my intent. Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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According To Trip Lee, Pantheist Steven Hawking Has It Twisted

Posted by Job on September 14, 2010

Now in your opinion, who is smarter? Steven Hawking, the brilliant world-renowned physicist/cosmologist/mathematician? Or Trip Lee, the rapper from the inner city? Being someone who has struggled mightily with physics and mathematics (thermodynamics, mechanics, electromagnetism, differential equations, LaPlace and Z transforms, aaargh!) it is tempting to side with the physicist, who clearly has a form of knowledge based on both his God-given intellectual capacity and his vigorous dedication to studying the natural world. But I believe that I will side with Trip Lee. Why? Because where Hawking is clearly advanced in his knowledge of things that are natural, being a born-again Christian, the rapper Trip Lee has knowledge of spiritual things. Whether Lee has a Ph.D. or preschool diploma in spiritual things does not matter. The point is that Lee and Christians like him have accepted enough spiritual knowledge to be saved from sin through Jesus Christ and as a result will be with Him in New Jerusalem for eternity. So, whatever knowledge that Lee has, it is thoroughly adequate and exceedingly useful where it really counts. As for the esteemed Mr. Hawking, unless he repents of his sins and acquires the knowledge of spiritual things that are only revealed to those that are under submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the truth is that he will spend an eternity separated from Jesus Christ burning in a lake of fire. Thus, his great intellect, dedicated study, and many accomplishments will have been of no practical, lasting use to him. With respect to eternity, it will be vain, to no effect, and it would have been better for him had he never been born (Matthew 26:24).

In stating “God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator“, this Hawking embraces the knowledge of the world in place and instead of the foolishness of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18). He thereby despises casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Actually, it goes deeper than that. We know from Romans 1:18-32 that Hawking should have learned enough about God from his pursuit of studying what general revelation reveals about God’s existence and attributes in order to worship Him. But instead, Hawking rejected the knowledge of God available to him in general revelation, and neither did Hawking honor God as God or give Him thanks, but instead Hawking worships the creature in place of the Creator. Thus, Hawking is now doing things which are not convenient, which includes denying what general revelation taught Him about God’s existence and attributes, and thereby becoming a blasphemer. God chooses the foolishness of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27), which of course makes those who profess themselves as wise to be so in their own eyes only, and instead become fools because of the foolishness of their darkened hearts.

And let us not be deceived … Hawking is worshiping the creature instead of the Creator. By claiming that the universe created itself from nothing, Hawking aligns himself with the religion of metaphysical naturalism, which truthfully is nothing but pantheism with a scientific veneer or exterior. By claiming that the universe created itself, Hawking is stating that the universe itself is god. Or, since Hawking refuses to deny the existence of God and therefore be an atheist or even an agnostic in the classic sense, Hawking is a henotheist (think Mormonism) in that while he does not deny the existence of another god or gods, there is only one god that Hawking is concerned with and therefore worships, and that is the god of the universe, the natural world. Because let us be honest, people. In order to create, one must have the A) power and B) will to create (and not only that but to do so ex nihilo).. Also, after one has exercised this A) power and B) will in accomplishing creation, that entity, that one, is C) lord, ruler, master, or owner of that creation. So, the universe had power within itself, will within itself (self-will) and is lord over itself. It relies on nothing, is sustained by nothing, needs nothing, and answers to nothing. If that is not a description of a god, then what is?

Now Hawking himself would deny that statement because Hawking subscribes to an epistemology that emphasizes randomness, spontaneity. So, he would say that the universe’s creating itself was not an act that required the exertion of power controlled by a conscious will, but instead was only a random, spontaneous event. Just as it is possible for matter and energy to form itself out of nothing, but it was also possible for laws and organization to form themselves out of chaos, and ultimately for consciousness and intelligence to similarly develop. But, in the words of Trip Lee’s rap song below, Hawking “has it twisted” because Hawking’s religion makes the universe his lord and the chaos that he claims has arranged itself into order his master. And of course, who does the Bible call Hawking’s master, which is the author of the confusion and chaos that Hawking claims that the universe organized itself from? Revelation 9:11 tells us! “And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.”

Do not get it twisted. You have a Creator. One day, every knee shall bow and tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. Submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ today so that your Lord will also become your Savior. Do not let Steven Hawking – despite his many accomplishments and great intellectual gifts – be your role model, for (unless he changes as I did when I renounced my own atheism) his eternal fate makes him an unsuitable one. Instead,

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

(Ummm ... for those of you who find rap music unintelligible at any speed, here is a link to the printed lyrics.)

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For Whom The World Was Not Worthy: A List Of Martyrs In The Bible

Posted by Job on September 8, 2010

Courtesy of The Seekers Of Unlimited Life Ministry.

Abel – Slain by his older brother Cain (Gen. 4:8).

Andrew (Peter’s brother) – was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia [Greece];

Bartholomew (aka Nathanael) – was beaten then crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia (modern day southern Georgia).

Isaiah – tradition says he was encased in a tree and ‘sawed asunder’.

James (The Lesser), Son of Alphaeus – stoned to death in Jerusalem.

James (The Greater), Son of Zebedee – when preaching in Judea, was beheaded with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.

John (the disciple “that Jesus loved) brother of James and son of Zebedee – was banished by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos, and later died of “old age” in Ephesus.

Matthew/Levi – Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia, near modern day Tehran. OR speared to death!

Matthias replaced Judas (Acts 1:26).

Paul – was beheaded in Rome by Nero (Paul as a Roman citizen could not be crucified but got an “easier” death sentence).

Philip – preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.

Simon Peter – crucified upside down under Nero in Rome, and was buried there.

Simon the Zealot – the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop (or2nd Patriarch) of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years OR crucified.

Thaddaeus/Judas son of James, Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus – preached to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus; was stoned to death and buried there. He is somtimes identified as Thomas in eastern Syrian tradition.

Thomas – preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spear at Calamene, the city of India, and was buried there.

Zechariah – Mat. 23:35.

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On Franklin Graham And The Pentagon’s Rescinding Their Invitation

Posted by Job on April 26, 2010

You may have heard about how Franklin Graham was disinvited to a Pentagon prayer service because of his refusal to rescind comments that he made attacking Islam, as it is the subject of not a little controversy. Two thoughts.

1. Some use incidents as these as evidence that America is turning away from Christianity. My position is that nations and governments are all of the world, and as such have rejected Jesus Christ and will be judged by this same Jesus Christ. While the rejection of Jesus Christ by our nation and its institutions is perhaps more overt in some respects than in the past, and while there probably are indeed fewer legitimate Christians in America in terms of the percentage of the population than there were in times past, America is still as it always was … of the world. The church of Jesus Christ is the ekklesia, the elect that is called out of the world. Further, America is just one of many nations that has existed and will exist in human history. While God has used America’s Christians to do a lot of great things (i.e. in missionary evangelism), let us not fall into the deceptive thinking that America has a special standing before God; that America is or ever was in some sort of covenant relationship with God, or any of the other myths of American culture and tradition. There was only one nation brought into existence as an act of special creation by God with the purpose of being the light to the nations. That nation was Israel, and Israel’s purpose was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God did not create America or any other nation to carry out the purposes that Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – already accomplished.

2. For the record, I agree with what Franklin Graham said against Islam. This places me in league with virtually all of the supporters of Graham in this controversy. The point of divergence is that I will apply what Graham said against Islam to Judaism, Mormonism, Roman Catholicism and any other false or heretical religion or belief system that denies God’s revelation and exalts itself against the God of the Bible. So Graham attacks Islam, suffers (minor) consequences for it, and is the evangelical hero of the moment in some quarters. But suppose Graham were to say the same about Judaism? These same people wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. Many of them would be front and center denouncing Graham as anti-Semitic and hateful, and they would by no means be limited to premillennial dispensationalists. The very same people who run their little “Jihad Watch” websites and blogs reciting violent statements in the Koran ignore that the very same exhortations to commit genocide and kill nonbelievers appear in the Old Testament, making them perfectly valid for Jews to practice. They know full well that Jews are operating in darkness because they reject the New Testament revelation – that of an explicitly fully revealed Jesus Christ – that puts the Old Testament into context. Yet had Graham gone after Jews the way that he did Muslims, how many people would find his being expelled from the Pentagon prayer event to be overly objectionable? The same number as would had Graham said those things against Roman Catholics and Mormons. The conservative evangelicals on the religious right, who rely on conservative Catholics, Mormons and Jews, would in particular be apoplectic. Which, of course, is why you rarely hear evangelical leaders speaking against those false religions anymore.

Yes, I know that Franklin Graham made those comments after September 11th, when Muslims killed a great many Americans. But in addition to Graham’s unwillingness to challenge Roman Catholics on their many heresies because he is an ecumenical sort like his father, it is curious that Graham was moved to such strong speech by Muslims’ killing Americans but not Americans’ killing Muslims. What does Graham think of our overthrowing the Iranian government over oil profits? What does Graham think of our overthrowing the Iraqi government to put Saddam Hussein in power, and then sponsoring Hussein’s Iraq government in a war against this same Iran (after they turned on us) that killed millions of Muslims? What does Graham think of first war against Iraq, which happened because Hussein invaded Kuwait as part of a scheme to get OPEC to raise oil prices because our proxy war against Iran left his nation broke? What does Graham think of the crushing sanctions against Iraq after the first Iraq War, or the second Iraq War? Apparently, it is just fine for America to kill millions of Muslims with wars, proxy wars and sanctions. We’re America, and we can do whatever we want, right? But when the Muslim world responds to our killing millions of THEM by killing a few thousand of US, this is how Graham responds (and keep in mind, this was Graham’s softened public relations backtrack from his original, harsher comments)? Graham talks about how Islam treats its women when America invented pornography and is trying to impose legalized abortion on the rest of the world through the U.N. and other NGOs?

Here is a quote: “Graham later wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal saying he did not believe Muslims were evil because of their faith, but “as a minister … I believe it is my responsibility to speak out against the terrible deeds that are committed as a result of Islamic teaching.”  Fine. But let’s hear Graham, as a minister, replace “Muslim” with “Jew”, “Mormon”, “Roman Catholic”, “Jehovah’s Witness” or “AMERICAN” in that sentence. Theologically, he would be justified. But if he did, the same people defending him over this now would have rejected him over it. The reason is that these people aren’t interested in legitimate Bible-based Christianity. If they were, it would be Muslim, Mormon, Jew, Catholic … six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Instead, these people are fighting political and cultural battles. Because after all, politics and culture – the world – is the only sphere where preferring the Muslim to the Jew or Catholic makes sense. It’s the only sphere where an aggressively hostile attitude towards Muslims can coexist with the “Christians must support Israel!” mindset when in truth there is no New Testament justification for EITHER.

Now again, what Franklin Graham said against Islam was 100% true. The problem is that the same people who supported Graham in what he said against Islam would abandon him in a heartbeat were he to say the same against Jews, Catholics, or for that matter whatever policy that got us into this Iraq/Iran mess. The reason for this double standard, this hypocrisy is worldliness, and this worldliness is not something that can be blamed on the people that had Graham disinvited from the prayer event.

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Colossians 1:15 How Jesus Christ Is Firstborn Of Creation

Posted by Job on October 7, 2009

Arians, Ebionites, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, theological liberals, and othe pseudo-Christian cults have long used Colossians 1:15 to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, claiming that the notion was contrived long after the apostolic period through the syncretization of Christianity with Greco-Roman polytheism. What gives these hard-hearted people (who are in much need of prayer that God would open their hearts so that they would receive in it the true gospel) the opportunity is the text “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Such people use that text to deny Jesus Christ’s pre-existence and divinity, claiming that it proves that Jesus Christ was the first thing that God created i.e. the chief angel. They deal with such passages as the Johannine prologue by stating that it only means that Jesus Christ existed before the creation of the world, the natural universe, or that God created Jesus Christ and then Jesus Christ created everything else. Another angle is the assertion that takes more seriously the gospel of John (and other places that identify Jesus Christ as the Word of God) is that Jesus Christ’s creation occurred the first time that God spoke or thought, or at the very least the first time that God spoke or thought with respect to creative activity. Truthfully, the doctrine of “the eternal generation of the Son”, while considered orthodox, comes very dangerously close to semi-Arianism when taken to its logical conclusion, so those who espouse this doctrine erect logically artificial and arbitrary barriers in order to keep from being counted as heretics. The only difference is that semi-Arianism (Jesus Christ was created the first time God spoke) views Jesus Christ with respect to ontological, philosophical or logical time (while realizing that actual time is a part of creation and thus does not exist in eternity) where “the eternal generation of the Son” denies, ignores or refuses to deal with ontology. You may ask “why should a Christian deal with abstract concepts like ontology anyway?” Well, that is a question that must be answered by the people who adhere to and preach “the eternal generation of the Son” doctrine, which really has no reason for existing beyond philosophy, as it has virtually no practical implications on orthodoxy or orthopraxy (right thinking and right living). If you are going to adhere to and preach a doctrine – especially one that is in and of itself not a core doctrine of the faith but still has real implications for other core doctrines of the faith (as “the eternal generation of God the Son” does for Trinity) – you had better be prepared to deal with what the doctrine implies and leads to. In any event, both semi-Arianism (Jesus Christ originated when God first thought or spoke) and “the eternal generation of the Son” (Jesus Christ exists as God speaks and does so without being a function of time in any way) pose problems for the nature of existence itself, which is that something can only exist if it exists as a unity. This is borne out in Genesis 2:7 and Ecclesiastes 3:21, which make clear that a man cannot and does not exist unless there is a unity of body and spirit. By the same token, God does not exist without a unity of the Father, the Word and the Spirit. If the Word or the Spirit or the Father require creation or generation, that negates the Unity without which God does not exists, and thus violates Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Also, as scripture also declares God to be unchanging, God does not create or generate new parts to Himself, so what would be created or generated would necessarily be either a creature (Arianism/Jehovah’s Witnesses) or another god (what “eternal generation of the Son” would possibly lead to if its ontological implications were acknowledged and dealt with rather than simply shoved into “eternity” and ignored).

So, regarding “eternal generation of the Son”, the position should be that the Son is not generated but like the Father and the Spirit simply is and has always been, and this is what the meaning of the Name of God I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14) refers to. Further, it is something that is not only true with respect to time (keep in mind the Arian/Jehovah’s Witness argument, which deals with the problems posed by Jesus Christ’s being a creature by simply saying that it is true by being before Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-18) or timelessness (“eternal generation of the Son”) but ontologically as well. (Truthfully, since the ancient near eastern mindset that produced the Bible did not include ontology, which is a western construct, then God referring to Himself as I AM THAT I AM  of Exodus 3:14 is true spiritually. Where the western mindset has reduced spiritual truth to being merely allegorical, moral, ethical or abstract, the Biblical mindset recognizes spiritual truth as being as explicit, valid and relevant as is 2+2=4 or the law of gravity, or moreover that 2+2 is only always equal to 4 or the law of gravity is only always consistent because of the spiritual truth that is behind it, defines it, and sustains it, and that spiritual truth is none other than Jesus Christ. And yes, the fact that it was most definitely Jesus Christ who appeared to Moses as the flame that did not burn the bush and used the Name I AM THAT I AM with reference to Himself is not only relevant, but would necessarily preclude Arianism/Jehovah’s Witnesses or “eternal generation of the Son”, for had those been so Jesus Christ would have had to say “I am the first that was created” or “I am he who is generated.”)

So if the witness of scripture is to be internally consistent, how can Colossians 1:15 be true? How can Jesus Christ be the firstborn of every creature? The common way is to use the actual definition of firstborn, which is “first in rank” and use it in reference to Jesus Christ’s authority, dominion and rule as creation’s King. It refers to Jesus Christ as Ruler of the universe par excellence. According to this definition, the original firstborn of creation then was Adam. Thus, this is certainly not because Adam was the first thing created (because Adam was created on the 6th day, and thus temporally was actually the LAST thing created!) but because God gave Adam dominion over the earth. Adam forfeited this dominion and firstborn status, and this dominion transferred to Satan. However, Satan was only a usurper. He held the dominion but never the firstborn status, and even his dominion was illegitimately and temporarily possessed just as the pagan Athaliah was illegitimately ruler of Judah for a time (for 6 years, with 6 being the number of a man, how’s that for numerology!) before being replaced by a legitimate rightful monarch that was a son of David. Consider the typology. Athaliah: type. Satan: antitype. Joash: type. Jesus Christ: anti-type. Jesus Christ was the second Adam who not only took on the dominion legitimately but also the firstborn status that Satan could never have even by theft.

Now God gave Adam dominion, the status of firstborn, so that Adam could serve God and in this way God would be glorified through Adam’s service. Adam, of course, was disobedient and utterly failed to fulfill the purpose of his creation – mankind’s creation – which was to serve and glorify God. However, Jesus Christ did so. By way of the incarnation, Jesus Christ became fully man. Born under the law to God’s elect people Israel, Jesus Christ fulfilled the law with His perfect life, living in perfect obedience to God the Father, and fulfilling the purpose of mankind’s creation and also mankind’s destiny, which was and is to glorify God through perfect service forever. So, Adam was the firstborn of creation that failed and died. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of creation that succeeded, was resurrected from the dead and is alive forevermore, and therefore is the Head of all redeemed mankind who will fulfill the purposes mankind’s creation – to serve and glorify God – through Jesus Christ by being Jesus Christ’s own Body. This perfect eternal service is impossible for us to achieve on our own – as Adam proved – but is attainable only by being in Jesus Christ, and our being joined to the firstborn of creation. Where Adam failed to be the progenitor or head of a nation, a people, a race of perfect eternal servants (or even to be this perfect eternal servant himself) Jesus Christ succeeded and is the Head of the church, the bride, the body of Christ.

Now Jesus Christ only succeeded in fulfilling Adam’s original purpose and therefore becoming the true firstborn of creation because unlike Adam, He is fully God. However, Jesus Christ was only fit to fulfill Adam’s purpose, to become the second Adam, by being fully human just as was Adam. Christians can be rightfully accused of refusing to deal with the true nature and implications of Jesus Christ’s humanity because of our desire not to sin and become heretics. Of course, Jesus Christ is the eternal and self-existing God, part of the Triune Godhead. However, this same Jesus Christ was incarnated into A CREATED HUMAN BODY! Jesus Christ’s human body was born of a created woman’s created seed just as was you and I. The ovum in Mary was not eternal, but was created along with Mary, and as such Jesus Christ had a created human body just as do you or I. This body was not simply some animatronic shell, cover or mask for the true divine Person pulling the levers under the covers, which incidentally is a form of the docetism heresy. That implies that Jesus Christ was a fake human who only seemed real. But we know from Romans, Hebrews, Genesis 3:15, and elsewhere that Jesus Christ was a fully thoroughly 100% real human who experienced physical and mental growth, hunger, pain, thirst, agony, isolation, frustration, rejection, temptation and even natural death just like the rest of the human race. That is why He is able to be our priest, His identification with us. However, many of us take the scriptures that refer to Jesus Christ’s identification with us to be more of an association, an affiliation, something less than real. This thinking falls short of the truth of Biblical revelation, and is based on the modern western meaning of “identify with”, which implies merely allegiance or advocacy. For instance, it is possible for a wealthy person to “identify with” the poor through feelings of compassion, works of charity, even political and social advocacy. But unless that person literally gives all his money away and renounces any connections or privileges that he has (i.e. a title or family heritage that he may use to recover at least some of his wealth and status) he will never actually be poor. Jesus Christ did not identify with humanity in that sense, a false and ultimately superficial sense.

Instead, Jesus Christ identified with humanity in the true sense by becoming one of us! Now humans cannot in any way become God in any sense. But in the greatest miracle that ever was or will be, Jesus Christ DID become a human in every sense! And make no mistake, do not be deceived: humans are part of creation. So even though Jesus Christ is God who pre-exists creation, accomplished creation, and in every way transcends creation, when Jesus Christ was incarnated into human flesh, HE BECAME A PART OF CREATION! Now do not be offended or deceived. First off, being God and also not being born of Adam’s seed but rather being the Word of God born of a virgin by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ had no part in the sin and corruption that creation fell into, and it no part in Him. After all, please recall that creation was originally sinless, a fact proven by God calling it “good”, and God has never at any time called anything sinful or evil “good” except that which God justified by graciously imputing His own righteousness to it (as is the case of sinners). Second, this is not to be confused with such liberal heretical abominations as “process theology” or “death of God theology” which at times holds that God completely surrendered His divine nature. Instead, Jesus Christ became part of creation through His incarnation (becoming fully human) while never at any time ceasing to transcend creation because of His divinity (self-existing and eternal). You can call it the “hypostatic union” if you absolutely must (I do not and have even been accused of adhering to the Nestorianism heresy because of it), but that does not alter the facts.  The result is that through His becoming part of creation, Jesus Christ is given the role of both priest/intercessor/savior for creation (the part of which is elect and will be redeemed) and the judge of creation (the part which is not and will not and whose fate is destruction).

This should cause us to read Colossians 1:15 in a new way. We either read “image of the invisible God, firstborn of creation” devotionally, or we view those as two facts that while true are separate. Instead, Colossians 1:15 is a unity. It describes the incarnation! Man is made in the image of God. Jesus Christ became a man. Jesus Christ became not just any man, but the second Adam. As the first Adam was – until the fall – the firstborn of creation, Jesus Christ by virtue of His incarnation, life, ministry, atoning and substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection not only became the second Adam, but did so in a way that far transcends and exceeded the first Adam! So, not only did Jesus Christ fulfill the original intent of humanity (and by extension of creation, for man is part of creation and creation was accomplished to please and glorify God) but Jesus Christ fulfilled the original intent of mankind and creation in a way BETTER and MORE PLEASING to God the Father than we ever could have ourselves, even if we were to somehow live perfect lives! Again, even if somehow we were to live perfect sinless lives, we would never fulfill the purpose of humanity better or give more honor and glory to God the Father than did Jesus Christ! And not only did Jesus Christ fulfill the purpose of humanity to the glory of God the Father as God the Father’s Suffering Servant, but He did it FOR US as OUR SERVANTS! It is often said that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, but He also LIVED FOR US BEFORE GOING TO THE CROSS! As a result, Christians receive the benefits of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection!

Now how many of you out there are parents? Or take care of elderly or handicapped people? In your role as a parent or caretaker, you do for those under your trust and care what they cannot do for themselves: you earn a living, you provide housing, food and clothes, you pay taxes, and in many cases you literally do the work of dressing, bathing, feeding and monitoring them or you pay for the services of someone else who does. A great part of your life is doing for others what others cannot do for themselves and allowing others to benefit from it. Well, that is the same thing that Jesus Christ did for you, except in a grander and more majestic way on an infinitely greater scale! Your purpose in being created was to glorify God, and not only did Jesus Christ do something for you that you could not do yourself, but He did it better than you could ever do even if you could!

And consider that for a second. This child that you are taking care of as a parent will one day grow up and take care of himself. Your son or daughter might do a better job! As a matter of fact, if you are a good loving parent, you hope that they will for themselves and for their own children! By the same token, what if this person who has suffered a stroke or is paralyzed gets healed by God. They go from being taken care of by you to taking care of themselves, and again a decent moral person would hope that they would receive better care from their own hand than they did from yours. And this is an example of how and why what Jesus Christ did for you is so amazing, so special. Because no matter how much you grow up, no matter how much your body (or mind) gets healed, better or stronger, you will NEVER be able to live a perfect life. You can exist for an eternity and still NEVER be able to do what Jesus Christ did for you by living a perfect life on your behalf, and you CERTAINLY would never be able to use your own perfect existence to justify someone else by imputing your righteousness to them.

But Jesus Christ did all that and more by becoming the image of the invisible God, a man in the image of God who yet is simultaneously is God. And He did not rest or be content with simply being a man in the image of God who also is God, but He also succeeded in living a life that glorified God the Father at all times and in every way. And it is because of this that God glorified His Name above every Name, that God bestowed the status of “firstborn of creation” upon Him! Jesus Christ is God who became part of creation and now sits at creation’s head as its Ruler, King, and Firstborn, and did all of this without violating that which is revealed in scripture which is part of God’s nature, which is that God is unchangeable! That is right, Jesus Christ accomplished creation, became part of creation, and became priest for redeemed creation and judge for that which is not redeemed without His Divine nature being altered or changed in any way. (Incidentally, this is something that liberal theologies – i.e.  process theology and open theism – deny.) Now again, I am not a “hypostatic union” guy, but I do acknowledge that the hypostatic union doctrine does articulate and explain this.

So the core of Colossians 1:15 is that Jesus Christ has full membership in both Deity and creation by way of the incarnation. Jesus Christ did this in obedience to God the Father, but He also did it for you! However, in order to partake of the benefits of Jesus Christ becoming a man so that He could die on the cross for your sins in your place, you must believe that these things are true, and as a result turn away from your sins and submit to Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior. If there are any people who do not believe in Jesus Christ as described here, I encourage you to do so right now. If there are any Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, oneness pentecostals, Muslims, Jews, Roman Catholics or anyone else who denies the Deity or true nature of Jesus Christ or His life and work as clearly revealed through scripture, I encourage you to turn away from those and submit yourself to the truth. I do not say “accept the truth” because that implies that you are in some way an entity who has a role in creating, deciding, or being an arbiter of truth. Rest assured, only God is the creator, decider, determiner, arbiter and revealer of truth, so these things are going to be true whether you accept them or not. So, your duty then is to respond by believing them through faith and following through with obedience. That is the way, the only way that you can submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be saved.

For more information follow  The Three Step Salvation Plan.Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Atheists offer to care for Christians’ pets after the Rapture

Posted by Job on August 29, 2009

Well, prominent rapture advocate Jack Van Impe claims that our pets will be with us in heaven, but this is still strange nonetheless. From Sermon Audio:

Atheists offer to care for Christians’ pets after the Rapture

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Do Not Be Deceived: You Have A Creator

Posted by Job on April 6, 2009

Consider Psalm 100:3. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

There are three ways to look at this. First: evolution. Let it be known that evolution is not science, but a naturalistic and materialistic belief system very similar to a religion. Call it pantheism (of which Hinduism is an example and Greek and Roman mythology are to a degree) without “gods” like Vishnu, Apollo, Zeus, Mars, etc. In those systems, the “gods” are merely part of nature, the universe, and these “gods” created (or more accurately rearranged) things that basically already existed. Pantheism claims that humans, for instance, were created by beings that were, while higher life forms, still part of creation. In other words, creation “created itself.” Evolution takes the same position: the universe, creation, man, etc. made itself, is the product of its own doing. Its only innovation, or evolution of thought if you will, is to reverse the logic. Where pantheism goes downward, basically beginning with higher life forms who produce the lower life forms, evolution goes upward, beginning with lower life forms that advance to higher ones. Or truthfully using the “primordial soup” theory (that is quite reminiscient of the near east pantheist “primordial seas” that Baal and other gods conquered) the true beginning is with nonliving matter that organizes itself into living matter. What more evidence do we need that this is a belief system rather than a science than the fact that the modern popularizer of this “theory”, Charles Darwin, proposed it without the benefit of any of modern evolution’s underpinnings? Consider this quote

Equating evolution with Charles Darwin ignores 150 years of discoveries, including most of what scientists understand about evolution. Such as: Gregor Mendel’s patterns of heredity (which gave Darwin’s idea of natural selection a mechanism — genetics — by which it could work), the discovery of DNA (which gave genetics a mechanism and lets us see evolutionary lineages), developmental biology (which gives DNA a mechanism), studies documenting evolution in nature (which converted the hypothetical to observable fact), evolution’s role in medicine and disease (bringing immediate relevance to the topic) and more.

So, it was by faith alone that Darwin not only embraced this false gospel (which the article further states that he received by hearing from HIS FATHER). And how amazing that Darwin, who originally studied to be a minister, in renouncing Christianity rejected the witness of 500 people who saw the resurrected Christ, a standard that would be accepted by any courtroom today, in order to become the herald for an idea supported by no evidence whatsoever. How more amazing still that Darwin had so many immediate sympathizers that were willing to reject that established by the testimony so many well known prominent individuals, many of whom died for their beliefs, in order to accept Darwin’s racist and misogynistic ramblings in The Origin of the Species. The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Here is an excerpt:

Here is what Darwin writes in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:”With savages, the weak in body or mind are eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

Not exactly the mindset of the Bible, where the queen of Sheba was the first known convert to Yahwism, the Ethiopan eunuch was was one of the first non – Jewish Christians, and Simeon Niger (Simon the black) was one of the first deacons in the church.

So why did so many people rush to accept the pantheism of Darwin? It is not so much to deny the existence of a Creator, but rather what having a Creator necessarily implies, the “we are the sheep of His pasture” part. Having a Creator means that this Creator is sovereign over you, possessing complete, total, and unchallenged ownership rights, and is able to do with you as He pleases. In other words, a Creator has the right to tell you what to do, and punish you if you refuse.

Now this mindset ruled western culture for centuries: the idea that there was a God and you had to do what He said. Basically, the laws, customs, and other rules for civil society were fundamentally derived from this notion. Naturally, certain people soon found this form of social control too restrictive for their liking. The best way to challenge it? Either deny the existence of God, or deny God’s sovereign ownership over man and his affairs. Darwinism gave these people a way to reject the notion that they were sheep in God’s pasture in favor of the vain notion that they were masters of their own fate, accountable to no one.

So it was because of their desire to reject God’s authority over their lives and His ultimate rule over the nations that they rejected the 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection of the Great Shepherd who came in the Name of God in favor of a man who came in his own name and possessed no evidence at all. These people stated “we are not God’s creation! Creation made itself, which means we made ourselves!” And do you know what is the logical conclusion of claiming that creation is the creator? Why, creation worshiping itself. The apostle Paul prophesied of just such a thing happening around 50 AD, about 1750 years before Darwin in Romans 1:25 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Where else do we see the worship of creation manifested more clearly except that of the modern environmentalist movement? And yes, the modern environmentalist movement is little more than the eastern pantheist Gaia religion. 

An example of this religious mindset: Richard Dawkins, that great polemicist against Christianity. When challenged by the very Christian apologists that creation worshipers want to keep out of our schools, Dawkins finally admits that there are severe holes in his precious evolutionary theory that cannot possibly be resolved. But what does Dawkins resort to? Time! He states that over billions of years, so many attempts at evolutionary adaptations took place that some of them HAD to work AND become self – sustaining and self – replicating! How? When? Where? Is there any way to test, verify, observe, measure, or prove it? Dawkins freely admits: of course not. Instead, he demands that the logic be accepted that events occuring over a long enough time made it happen. Except that it isn’t logic. It isn’t science. It is FAITH. Where Christians say that “with God, all things are possible” Richard Dawkins and his evolutionary cohorts say “with TIME all things are possible.” End result: Richard Dawkins is worshiping “father time”, the Greek god Cronus and the Roman god Saturn. Dawkins, then, is not an atheist but a pantheist, and so is every other evolutionist. 

If anything, Dawkins and his ilk need more blind faith in Cronus than the God of the Bible requires. The God of the Bible left evidence in the form of 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a host of fulfilled prophecies (and not a single failed one), and lots of other wonders and miracles done before the world. Allow me to say that I have had the pleasure of experiencing at least two of them. A few years ago, I was suffering from worsening asthma, and kidney swelling caused by misuse of my asthma medication. I prayed in the Name of Jesus Christ, and both my asthma and kidney swelling were instantly healed. Both of these were confirmed upon subsequent visits to my primary care physician, who had been prescribing various asthma medicines to me for years (and who also diagnosed my kidney problems and referred me to a kidney specialist), and the kidney specialist that I saw. So, my faith does not require the type of blind faith as possessed by Richard Dawkins and all of the others who followed after Darwin, and it is a good thing too because being someone who has always been somewhat skeptical and cynical, I lack the capacity for that type of faith. I am not from Missouri, but you still have to show me, and Jehovah has shown me much more than father time/Cronus/Saturn will ever show anyone. All to reject the authority of God over their lives!

Now for the second angle. This text was written from the perspective of a Hebrew speaking of God’s creating the nation and people of Israel. Israel rightly viewed itself not as a mere political entity or ethnic tribe, but rather one which owed its existence to a supernatural act, or special creation. Israel’s problem would appear to be that they forgot that their special status was not due to their nationality, lineage, location, religion, priesthood, or temple but instead totally due to God. Because of this, not only were they conquered, sent into captivity, and made into a diaspora, but when God revealed Himself in the flesh in the form of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ right before their eyes, they refused to recognize Him.

Their eyes were blinded and their hearts were hard, so they rejected Him, conspired against Him, convicted Him of crimes though they knew that He was sinless, and sent Him to the Romans to be slain on a tree, in the process having a murderer released in His place. By virtue of a mere technicality they did not commit this deed, for they were not the ones who actually struck the lashes and nailed the nails. But they were every bit as responsible for the deed as is the person who hires a hitman is for murder even though the person who places the contract on someone’s life does not himself fire the gun. Why? Not only did the Jews forget that God sovereignly created their nation, but they also forgot God’s ownership rights. Rather than accepting that they were the sheep in God’s pasture, they felt that because they were the children of Abraham to whom was given the Torah and the prophets that it gave them some sort of claim, some sort of ownership, on God.

First of all, He could only be the God of the Jews and never the God of the Gentiles. Second, He was obligated to restore to the Jews the nation of Israel and the throne of David at the time that they saw fit, and furthermore they could bring this about by virtue of their own piety and religious good works (the stated goal of both the Pharisees and the Essenes). Third, if the Messiah did not come with their mission, political salvation as opposed to spiritual salvation, they had the right to reject Him as a false Messiah. Fourth, God only had the right to reveal Himself to them in a manner that they thought appropriate.

So, they rejected God’s self – revelation through incarnating Himself as a human being subject to natural birth, temptation, and natural death, and they rejected that the Unity of God as expressed in the shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) was actually a Tri – Unity. Now the fact that the very first Name of God revealed in the Torah is PLURAL should have been a longtime question that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ provided an answer to (see John 1:1, a clear reference to and explanation of Genesis 1:1) but because they rejected the authority of God over their lives, being merely the sheep in God’s pasture, they had no interest in the question or the Resolution.

So, they had the Answer slain on a tree and continued to reject Him still even after He overcame their judgment and punishment. (By the way, rabbis to this day have  the “not conceding that He ever rose from the dead, but even if He did it still doesn’t prove that He was the Messiah and the Son of God!” argument that they have been practicing and using for a mighty long time.) So where the evolutionary pantheists deny a monotheistic Creator, Judaism purports to allow for it while denying its implications: that this monotheistic Creator retains the prerogative to exist, reveal Himself to, and deal with His creation in whatever manner He sees fit.

Now while a great many evangelical Christians love “Expelled”, the anti – evolutionary polemic by the non – Messianic Jew Ben Stein, the truth is that the position of evolutionary pantheists is actually more consistent and less contradictory and hypocritical than of Jews who reject Jesus Christ. The former merely worships an impotent and silent god Saturn. The latter claims to believe in the Torah while denying that the all powerful God that gave them the Torah had the power, prerogative, and motive to incarnate the Torah as a Man and use this Man save both Jew and Gentile. 

The third angle: the church. Just as Israel was a special creation of God, the church clearly is also. However, many professing Christians are making precisely the same error that the Jews did, which is taking God and our status before Him for granted, making it a thing of pride rather than a motive to serve and submit to Him out of humility and gratitude, and thinking that God is just a little bit under our obligation to deal with us as we see fit. The primary way that this manifests itself is a refusal to separate ourselves from the world. On one hand, we confuse the mission of the church – and by extension the mission of Jesus Christ – for being one that is temporal and earthly. We make the gospel a servant of man and his desires rather than making man a servant of the gospel. On another hand, we do what Jude calls in verse 4 “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” In other words, we use our status as Christians as license to sin and claim that God is obligated to forgive us. Oh, we obey all right, but only the things that we see fit to obey when we feel like obeying them.

It is interesting that Jude refers to this as “denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Both groups do this by take the Jesus Christ of the Bible and turn Him into the Jesus Christ that they want Him to be, one that is only a Savior and not a Lord. They want a Jesus Christ that will save them but will not rule them because they do not wish to be the sheep of God’s pasture any more than the inconsistent Jews or the father time worshiping evolutionists. That makes such people, who claim to profess Jesus Christ as God while simultaneously denying what scripture plainly reveals God to be, even bigger hypocrites and even more inconsistent than the perfidious Jews are. These are the ones who claim to have such trouble reconciling the “angry wrathful punishing God” of the Old Testament with the “loving merciful gracious God” of the New Testament, and believe that Jesus Christ came to save everyone but the Pharisees because the church folk who refuse to acommodate sin are the only ones that Jesus Christ will ever condemn. Apparently, such people believe that God decided that He was wrong, so He sent His Only Begotten Son so that we could enjoy the same pleasures of sin that Moses refused (Hebrews 11:25). Pardon me, but would not such a God owe the Jews an apology? God forbid!

So whether you are an evolutionary pantheist, a Jew, or a carnal Christian, Psalm 100:3 is still true, and its meaning applies to you. You had best take its implications seriously by obeying the words of Jesus Christ as expressed in Matthew 3:2 and Matthew 4:17: repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Believe that Jesus Christ is God and Savior, be baptized in His Name, and be saved. 

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Regarding Evangelical Evolutionary Atheist Hypocrites

Posted by Job on March 23, 2009

This one is courtesy of – and will be entirely lifted from – brother Laz.

 Evolutionary Evangelism

Caught this editorial on the January 10, 2008 issue of the journal Nature,

“Spread the Word: Evolution is a scientific fact, and every organization whose research depends on it should explain why.”

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?

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Liberal Jesus Seminar Scholars: Telescopes Prove That God Does Not Exist

Posted by Job on September 11, 2008

This is how foolish a heart determined to reject God is. Excerpting the From the introduction to The Five Gospels:

The contemporary religious controversy, epitomized in the Scopes trial and the continuing clamor for creationism as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution, turns on whether the worldview reflected in the Bible can be carried forward into this scientific age and retained as an article of faith. Jesus figures prominently in this debate. The Christ of creed and dogma, who had been firmly in place in the Middle Ages, can no longer command the assent of those who have seen the heavens through Galileo’s telescope. The old deities and demons were swept from the skies by that remarkable glass. Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo have dismantled the mythological abodes of the gods and Satan, and bequeathed us secular heavens. 

So … since demons, which are SPIRITS, cannot be seen with a telescope, that proves that they don’t exist? By the way, the Bible clearly makes numerous references to evil spirits being present on earth. When they are, does the Bible make references to being able to discern these evil spirits with the human eye? You had Satan appearing as a serpent in the Garden of Eden, some visions of evil spirits that John recorded in Revelation that probably were never meant to describe natural realities but spiritual ones, and that is it. This is actually more foolish than liberal Episcopal priest and scholar John Shelby Spong claiming that scientific and astronomical discoveries proved that the Bible narratives were false because Jesus Christ could have never ascended to heaven, because once Christ went past the clouds, He would not have been in heaven but in outer space.

It really does make me wonder whether liberal scholars interact with actual Christians when they do their “studies” and “debates”, or if they only sit amongst themselves and interact with Christian caricatures and beliefs that they assign to Christians. One would only need to read Augustine’s “City of God”, which preceded Galileo by 1100 years, to see that Christians believe in a spiritual plane and a natural one. Here, the Jesus Seminar pretends that Christians are no different from pagans and animists whose “gods” are mere personifications of natural forces and objects and actually “live” in them. The tree spirits of Celtic and other pre – Christian European lore, for instance, actually lived in trees, and the same with gnomes, elves, fairies, leprechauns, etc. Similarly, sea gods actually live in the sea (Neptune of Greek mythology) or are the sea itself (Yam of Canaanite mythology). In Greek mythology, their gods lived atop Mount Olympus. And of course there is Mormonism, whose god was a man on another planet. In those systems, the gods do not transcend nature, but are part of it. There is no true concept of natural plane versus spiritual plane, and there certainly is no concept where a spiritual God created the universe, everything in the natural plane that exists including not only space but also time, from a spiritual reality whose state of being is in no way a function of the natural reality. Meaning that were the natural reality to be wiped out tomorrow, the spiritual reality would still exist … moreover the spiritual reality of God would have still and always existed even had God never created the universe in the first place. This cosmic and metaphysical view only exists in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which is why those are the only ones that believe in the resurrection of the dead. In the naturalist religious systems of paganism and animism that the liberal atheists are deceiving people into thinking that Christianity is just another (and by the way, evolution is nothing more than naturalist religion whose doctrines and theologies are described scientifically, and for that matter so is modern environmentalism) not only does resurrection of the dead break all the rules and is therefore inconceivable, but it serves no purpose. It cannot play a part of a redeemed or renewed creation, because there exists nothing outside of or apart from time and space to redeem or renew. Even the religions that include an underworld in their belief system, the underworld was part of the natural order. The ones that believe in reincarnation or advancing in planes or levels: more of the same. Their entire cosmic or metaphysical worldview is a closed system or locked box where nothing, whether matter or energy or anything else, can be created or destroyed because the natural order is all their is because their god or gods are INSIDE of it. And incidentally, this naturalistic – materalistic worldview includes MORMONISM as well. They teach that Jesus Christ is the product of sexual relations between God and Mary because in the system that the Jesus Seminar liberals claim as representing Christian thought, there is no other way to produce offspring. Please note that Greek and other pagan mythology also depicts gods as procreating sexually … with no spiritual reality that transcends the natural one, there is no other way. 

Really, all that is needed to show how these people are not even debating Christianity but rather a caricature, a straw man, to suit their propaganda purposes is Genesis 1:1. It has a self – existing eternal God creating the entire natural order: time, space, matter, energy, etc. For those of you who believe in the big bang theory, there you go. (The originator of the big bang theory actually withdrew it because he feared that it would be used to justify Genesis 1:1 and everything else in the Bible that followed, including his own need for a personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.) You can go a little bit further and see where the Bible speaks of God creating the heavens. One of the “heavens”, according to ancient Jewish cosmic thought that became early Christian thought, is in fact the outer space that Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, saw, and the creation narrative speaks of God populating those heavens with stars and other objects. 

So armed with even this limited set of knowledge that Christians present to our 2 year old children, Christians should not worry themselves over straw man caricatures of our faith. The challenge is not on Christians to explain why we cannot see the dwellling place of God with our telescopes. The challenge is on these false scholars to explain why they claim that Christians believe such a thing. 1 Kings 8:27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!” Whether this highest heaven is outer space or some level that is above even that, the Bible itself tells us not to look for God there, for God is not a part of creation and does not live in it. God is and represents a spiritual reality that exists independently and separately from creation. This same creation, rebellious as it may be – and these Jesus Seminar “scholars” certainly do represent this rebelliousness – does not and cannot exist independently and separately from the God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit that not only created it, but continuously sustains and governs its existence. 

As you can see, the lies of the atheists do not even meet their own standards of scholarship. God is real, and He revealed Himself through us by the orderly workings of creation (without which there would be no fields of science and mathematics, let alone the systems of reason and logic that we use in them), His inspired word to us the Bible, and ultimately His Son Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. Jesus Christ is your only path to salvation and to avoid the eternal punishment of those who reject God. In order to follow that path, click on the link below to read and listen to

The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in Apologetics, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Atheists Made This Video

Posted by Job on August 22, 2008

Had tip: TheWayOfTheMaster.Org

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Knoxville Liberal Unitarian Church Shooter Jim Adkisson IS AN ATHEIST WHO HATES RELIGION!

Posted by Job on July 28, 2008

More here from WorldNetDaily, who beat me to the punch by 20 minutes (grr!) and GetReligion who beat me by 15 (grr grr!). Is that what the media is reporting? NO! They are reporting that Adkisson targeted this unitarian universalist church because Adkisson hates liberals in stories like this (see link). Also, CNN’s report is more of the same. From there, they allow people to presume that Adkisson is a fundamentalist Christian. Not because, mind you, that there is a pattern of fundamentalist Christians doing things like this. Do you know why? BECAUSE THERE ISN’T! The famous hate crime committers in America, the killers of people like James Byrd, Tina Brandon (Brandon Teena), and Matthew Shepard were not Christians. Timothy McVeigh was not a Christian. Neither is Eric Rudolph. No, it is the media and left wing types who do all they can to make you THINK that they are Christians. This includes, for instance, the JUDGE in Eric Rudolph’s trial, who from the bench admonished him for “breaking the law because of his faith.” The media actually frequently claimed that it was North Carolina fundamentalist Christians that helped Rudolph hide from and avoid the authorities for so long – that he was a hero among, you know, the Jesse Helms crowd, for his attacks on abortion clinics and homosexual night clubs – and when Rudolph set the record straight in interviews after his capture, THEY REFUSED TO REPORT IT!

But look here, buried in this USA Today item below – and it is not even in most other news outlets – is the truth:

“Karen Massey, who lived two houses from Adkisson’s home, told the Knoxville News Sentinel of a lengthy conversation she had with Adkisson a couple years ago after she told him her daughter had just graduated from Johnson Bible College. She said she ended up having to explain to him that she was a Christian. “He almost turned angry,” she told the newspaper. “He seemed to get angry at that. He said that everything in the Bible contradicts itself if you read it.” Massey said Adkisson talked frequently about his parents, who “made him go to church all his life. … He acted like he was forced to do that.” 

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the media to do much with this angle … and that is those who will even report it at al. Just like they didn’t report that Timothy McVeigh was an ATHEIST. Similar to founder of the hate group “World Church of the Creator” Matt Hale (whose follower murdered former basketball coach Rickey Birdsong in a rage over Hale’s being denied an Illinois law license), McVeigh rejected the Bible because it teaches that all people are equal. Eric Rudolph also rejected the Bible, and freely admitted that his decision to become a terrorist was influenced by anti – God philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche (of the “God is dead” fame)! Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold of Columbine? Atheists. Also, an extremely underreported item during the late 1990s was when an atheist walked into a Southern Baptist youth event in Texas and started killing people before committing suicide … his last words were “What you people believe is @#$%!” Despite being asked to do so by Congress, attorney general Janet Reno refused to even consider investigating it as a hate crime. (Reno’s department also sent out a memo claiming that people who went to church more than once a week … people just like the ones that this atheist murdered … were exhibiting extremist cult behavior and should be monitored by the federal government … when a stink was raised over the memo Reno’s justice department withdrew it.) And the teenage shooter of Ted Haggard’s former church in Colorado was a fellow that had rejected Christianity. 

The amazing thing is that even in this USA Today comment thread, you have tons of people attributing this fellow’s actions to Christianity. Why? Because of this same media. The oped columnists and news writers continually talk about THE POSSIBILITY of fundamentalist Christians being violent. These folks know full well that this only actually occurred in rare and isolated acts of violence against abortion doctors and clinics. I recall that when John Ashcroft – not a fundamental Christian mind you – was having his confirmation hearings for attorney general, one of the main reasons the media gave for opposing him was the idea that it would send a signal to violent pro – lifers that they could start back bombing clinics and killing doctors and women, and that Ashcroft would not prosecute them. The truth is that the last three cases of pro – life activists committing violence was in 1996 (the atheist Rudolph), 1993 (Pensacola, Florida) and 1992 (Buffalo New York). Even during the 1970s and 1980s incidents of violence were extremely rare, yet the news media and popular entertainment presented it as constant threats. 

And I did mention popular entertainment, correct? Movies, TV shows, and novels frequently present fundamental Christians as committing politically or religious motivated violence. Not only do several such come out each year, but we have had at least one horror movie featuring a fundamentalist Christian depicted as a serial killer (“Frailty”) and an X – Files episode depicting the same. There are tons of other examples … as a matter of fact killer Christians are practically a staple on the long – running “Law And Order” TV series, depicted almost as often as drug dealers, gang members, and mobsters. 

So after 30 years of being conditioned to view Christians as violent, it is no shock that people immediately jump to conclusions. Keep in mind: THIS IS DESPITE THERE BEING NO FACTUAL BASIS FOR THIS! There are no statistics backing this belief, there are also no sensationalized public instances of Christians going on violent rampages with political or religious motivations. There were a few loners in the pro – life movement two decades ago (legal trials PROVED that the criminals were not affiliated with the pro – life organizations, but they went ahead and bankrupted Operation Rescue and started prosecuting pro – lifers under the RICO statute anyway … please note that civil rights, gay rights, feminist, and other leftist agitator groups were NEVER prosecuted under RICO!), Klu Klux Klan related violence (and the KKK was much more of a fraternal and freemason outfit than an actual Christian one … WHAT CHRISTIAN WOULD BURN A CROSS?) and that is it. As evil as their crimes were, they do not constitute a basis for people to believe that Christians are prone to politically and religious motivated acts of violence (or other words, TERRORISM). But that is what the media and Hollywood want you to believe, and in the minds of most Americans, they have already succeeded.

www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-27-tennessee-shooting_N.htm

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The Logical Conclusion Of Darwinism: PETA Says A Fish Or A Pig Or A Dog Is A Boy

Posted by Job on July 22, 2008

Read the article: 

Veganism Is Murder

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Polonium Halos and Creation

Posted by Job on June 16, 2008

My note: Robert Gentry is a member of the Seventh Day Adventists.
Polonium Halos and Creation « Fisher of Men

Polonium is a radioactive element, and decays quickly. As it decays it leaves behind halos, but these halos disappear very quickly, unless there is a means to capture the evidence of them. It turns out that these halos are captured in granite all around the world.

Evolutionists say the universe created itself, and the earth was a hot molten mass for millions or billions of years until the rock cooled and hardened. The thing about that is that if the rock is molten and fluid, the evidence for the decay of polonium will quickly disappear. If the evolutionists are right, there should be zero evidence of polonium decay in earth’s rock.

Robert Gentry is a creationist who has been working on this topic for decades, and has published this information in prestigious, secular, scientific journals. No one has ever been able to answer how these polonium halos could be there from an evolutionary viewpoint.

Gentry compares the polonium halos to a tablet of Alka Seltzer being dropped into a glass of water. If you leave it undisturbed for a few minutes, the bubbles from the tablet disappear. But, if you drop the tablet in, and instantaneously freeze the water, the bubbles will be encapsulated in the frozen water. This is what happened with the polonium in the granite. The polonium decays, and within 3 minutes or less, the granite is hardened, and the polonium halo is frozen for future generations to see.

Atheists have faith that science will someday be able to explain these difficult issues. I agree that science will someday find an answer; it just won’t have anything to do with the big bang or evolution.

Here’s a couple of websites to look at for more information:
Gentry’s site
Answers in Genesis article on halos in coalified wood.

While you’re at it, take a look at this website.

Posted in Apologetics, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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