Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal



Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Face Of Evil


Michigan Abortionist Michael Arthur Roth, who was caught by police with 14 containers of aborted baby remains in his car, has entered a plea of “No Contest” to three felony counts of Larceny in a Building.

The 75-year-old appeared in a Macomb County Circuit Court Monday in the latest episode of a saga dating back to October, 2015, when police discovered stolen drugs, abortion equipment, and aborted baby remains in the trunk of his car.

According to reports at the time, police in West Bloomfield, Michigan, found “14 containers of human tissue, possibly fetuses, medical equipment and large amounts of Fentanyl, a drug used for pain and sedation,” leading to the suspicion that Roth had been secretly carrying out illegal home abortions.

The discovery of the cache came about as the result of an automobile accident in which Roth hit a child with special needs, critically injuring him. Police investigators obtained a warrant to search Roth’s impounded car and found the human tissue in containers along with the other contraband during the search.

Read about it here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Myth Of Scientific Objectivity


There's an essay here entitled "The Myth Of Scientific Objectivity" by a software engineer that argues science has never been truly objective but is always hostage to the  "political, moral, and religious views" of the scientist. The author thoughtfully reflects on the truth that in a fallen world, science can never be truly objective. His conclusion? "Scientists would do well to start with a frank acknowledgment that they do not really know the deeper sources of their own dearly held scientific truths."

My friends who work in scientific fields were aghast when they saw that the organizers of a planned “March for Science” had tweeted that “colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues [black power emoji][rainbow emoji].” Who can blame them for their horror? The impartial search for truth is having enough problems these days, what with the discovery that many prominent scientific results, over a broad swath of fields, are non-replicable and likely false. 

.... What makes them wary, however, is the even more illiberal desire to inject the views and interests of progressive social causes into the methodology of science itself (hypothesis formation, experiment, analysis) and perhaps even into its conclusions. 

...  In fact, the purported objectivity of scientific inquiry is a damaging myth, and the illiberal instincts of the Marchers for Science represent a corrective, though not a cure. Science has been ideologically captured since its birth, and “value-laden inquiry” is not a recent deviation but is rather fundamental to its successful practice. The successful conquest of the institutions of science by overtly politicized forces would change little on the ground, but it would help to update society’s perceptions so that they match the underlying reality. We should welcome the March for Science as it sets out to destroy the academy’s undeserved reputation for neutrality and to reveal science for what it has always been.

.... This is why those most invested in science as a way of knowing the world react with such horror to the proposal that values, even the progressive values they overwhelmingly share, should inform the scientific method. 

.... The political, moral, and religious views of a scientist really do affect the results that he gets. 

.... Another way in which our metaphysical beliefs construct the body of evidence that is available for theory to address lies in the ways we classify and categorize the world. 

.... The point, rather, is just that science is not unique, and that it can never be self-justifying. Questions like “which science?” and “why this science?” are often useful ones.

..... science is made up of fallible institutions and fallible individuals. Yet the mechanisms of peer review, grant-making and funding, access to laboratory resources, and so on make it all too easy for a dedicated cabal to deliberately (or even accidentally) freeze out research that does not conform to their vision of the world.


*******

Amen.  Organized science has often proved and continues to prove to be the biggest adversary to impartial discussion and consideration of any data that does not conform to the accepted worldview — an alien concept to many people due to the way science, particularly in the mainstream, has been mythologized as a totally dispassionate and objective enterprise that only cares for so-called "truth" (though the anthropogenic “global warming” scandal no doubt helped undermine that myth!)

The scientist is just as motivated by emotion as the next person, whether it be greed, fear, malice, love, pride, or ambition. Degrees and Ph.D.s don’t suddenly transform someone into a person that is utterly impartial and free of emotional or intellectual prejudice, or immune to other forms of corruption (in this fallen world) for that matter.

Most important is the worldview held by the scientist. A materialist (or naturalist) worldview (which many hold) will inevitably drive his conclusions.

The term “skeptic” comes from the Greek skepsis, which means examination and doubt, and not knee-jerk denial. Somewhere then, organized skepticism and enthusiastic debunkers went wrong. Somewhere along the way, some people began to unconsciously mistake closed-minded cynicism and arrogance for skepticism—and the one thing the best known “skeptics” never seem to doubt, of course, is their own set of ontological or existential assumptions.

One reason so many people make it through life with a fairly closed mind to “paranormal” information in particular is that they never have an experience that forces a catastrophic psychological upheaval upon them, leaving them to reassess everything they have ever assumed to be true - such as an encounter with Christ. Being born again (John 3:3) shatters one's worldview and revolutionizes their grasp of reality. At that point we have access to the ultimate source of truth.

Holy Ground


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Nothing is proven until it is officially denied"


For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Matt 24:24, ESV)

There's an interesting review (authored by a retiree from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security) here of a new book the makes the case that caution must be exercised in believing anything reported by the press.

Some of these smear techniques can probably be found in a study of politics in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur. 

...... The Internet has made it extremely difficult to spread fake news. Dan Rather learned this when he attempted to pass off a memo that he claimed was created in the 1970s. It was immediately recognized as a fake because it was created with a computer font that did not exist at the time. The “dossier” claiming to show Trump connection with the Russians is similarly an obvious fake. It is amazing that people in the intelligence community can get away with claiming that it might be accurate. The first page of the dossier is classified “Sensitive Source -- Confidential.” You do not have to be an intelligence expert to know that sensitive sources are never classified confidential.


*******

This is precisely why I watch and read very little from the mainstream press and media. I get almost all my news from various independent sources on the Internet. And I exercise caution in believing anything. Scripture explicitly warns of growing deception towards the end of the age that will be so strong as to be capable of even deceiving the unwary elect. Case-in-point: the plethora of advertising for "DNA Kits" that can allegedly reveal one's ancestry. There is little doubt that a significant contingent of the church believes the hype and have even purchased the kits. But a little research brings us this scientific perspective ....

Anyone with a spare $100 to $900 can buy a "DNA ancestry kit." Self-collection of DNA requires only a quick swab of the inside of the mouth to gather cheek cells. Mail that smear back and the company will then compare your DNA to various other samples. 

But claims that this analysis will tell you much about where you came from are downright fraudulent, anthropologist Deborah Bolnick of the University of Texas at Austin and 14 co-authors recently reported.

..... But, Marks points out, these companies are preying on the public because they simply don’t have enough comparative information to pinpoint a gene on a world map. They might match your DNA to some group on some continent, but what they don’t tell you is that you would probably also match the group next door if only they had some of those samples as well.

.... More insidious, these companies pretend to trace your unique ancestry through mitochondrial DNA, but that’s simply not possible. A few hundred years, a few generations, and every person's history is a genetic mishmash. One little gene isn't going to inform anybody about anything.


*******

The gullibility of many in the church will ultimately bring ruin to their lives.

Stop being gullible and live. Start traveling the road to understanding. (Prov 9:6-8, GW)

What is the Relationship Between Persons of the Trinity?


Monday, October 16, 2017

The Growing Evidence for ‘‘Demonic Possession’’:What Should Psychiatry’s Response be?


There is an interesting academic paper here published in 2005 entitled "The Growing Evidence for ‘‘Demonic Possession’’:What Should Psychiatry’s Response be?" While the author does not approach the subject from the Biblical worldview, he draws the conclusion that demonic possession is real and wrestles with the growing recognition of the limitation of powerful drugs, the resurgence of electroconvulsive therapy (EVT), and the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder (MPD).

As a result, it is impossible to avoid arriving at the surprising conclusion—at least for the moment—that evil spirits are real and that they sometimes obsess or possess the living.

..... American clergy commonly distinguish between afflictions that are ‘‘purely emotional’’ and those that are ‘‘spiritual.’’ This distinction prevails throughout the deliverance ministry.

... Moreover, is it all that far fetched to consider the further possibility that powerful neuroleptic medications might also discourage an obsessing spirit from oppressing its victim—might, like shock therapy, create a hostile environment in the brain for oppressing spirits?

.... Much of the world is mystified by the West’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of spirits and takes a dim view of any therapy that excludes spiritual healing from the picture. It is possible that the West took a backward step long ago when, under the spell of scientific materialism, it dogmatically refused to give spirits their due. Millions of us might have been harmed by this refusal.

.... I mentioned above the apparent cure by MacNutt of a schizophrenic who had been in a mental institution for 12 years. And Peck is not the only psychotherapist working in America to treat mental illness as possession. Colin Wilson mentions two who occasionally treat their patients as if they were possessed. One of them, Dr. Ralph Allison, a specialist on MPD working in California, occasionally ran into personalities that did not act at all like split-off alters. Of one of these Allison wrote, ‘‘Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find a more plausible explanation for his existence than the spirit theory’’.

.... I believe that the evidence surveyed here provides good reason to think that Jesus’ interpretation of mental illness is at least sometimes on the mark. If it is, the implications for us would be significant.


*******

As I noted earlier here, medical psychiatry now recognizes demonic possession (at least in principal). I referred to Dr. Richard Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist .....

Dr. Richard Gallagher is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University and New York Medical College. He proudly calls himself a "man of science." While he was studying medicine at Yale, he knew about biblical accounts of demonic possession but relegated them to an ancient culture's attempt to grapple with mental disorders like epilepsy. Today however, Gallagher has become something else: the go-to guy for a sprawling network of exorcists in the United States. He now believes demonic possession is real. He's seen the evidence ..... For the past 25 years, he has helped clergy distinguish between mental illness and what he calls "the real thing." 

The academic paper from 2005 is worth reading in entirety. The author's conclusion?

Psychiatrists should question their materialist assumption that mental illness is strictly a matter of an aberrant brain, carefully examine the literature of possession, experiment to determine why exorcists and deliverance ministers often succeed where psychiatry fails, and develop a more complete inventory of techniques for healing the complete person.

Since the paper was published in 2005, the cultural situation in the West has quickly deteriorated with increasing acceleration in the intervening 12 years. At the same time, one must be cautious of the abuse and outright fraud perpetrated by some self-proclaimed "exorcists" such as Bob Larson - i.e. see here. But as the light of the gospel has essentially been banished from the public square, the powers of darkness experience increasingly free reign. The materialist is helpless; only the church is empowered to effectively confront and combat this evil and free those who have been enslaved.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:10-12, ESV)

Surgical Sex


Paul McHugh was the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the world-class John Hopkins Hospital in 2004 when he published this article entitled "Surgical Sex". He relates in some detail why John Hopkins (who was the first hospital in the U.S. to offer so-called "sex-change" surgery) decided to stop offering the procedure.

Until 1975, when I became psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I could usually keep my own counsel on these matters.

..... Once again I concluded that to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.

This information and the improved understanding of what we had been doing led us to stop prescribing sex-change operations for adults at Hopkins—much, I’m glad to say, to the relief of several of our plastic surgeons who had previously been commandeered to carry out the procedures.

...... Quite clearly, then, we psychiatrists should work to discourage those adults who seek surgical sex reassignment. When Hopkins announced that it would stop doing these procedures in adults with sexual dysphoria, many other hospitals followed suit, but some medical centers still carry out this surgery ...... some surgeons and medical centers can be persuaded to carry out almost any kind of surgery when pressed by patients with sexual deviations, especially if those patients find a psychiatrist to vouch for them. The most astonishing example is the surgeon in England who is prepared to amputate the legs of patients who claim to find sexual excitement in gazing at and exhibiting stumps of amputated legs. 

........ Much of the enthusiasm for the quick-fix approach to birth defects expired when the anecdotal evidence about the much-publicized case of a male twin raised as a girl proved to be bogus. The psychologist in charge hid, by actually misreporting, the news that the boy, despite the efforts of his parents to treat him and raise him as a girl, had constantly challenged their treatment of him, ultimately found out about the deception, and restored himself as a male. Sadly, he carried an additional diagnosis of major depression and ultimately committed suicide.

...... I’ve learned, there is a deep prejudice in favor of the idea that nature is totally malleable.

Without any fixed position on what is given in human nature, any manipulation of it can be defended as legitimate. A practice that appears to give people what they want—and what some of them are prepared to clamor for—turns out to be difficult to combat with ordinary professional experience and wisdom. Even controlled trials or careful follow-up studies to ensure that the practice itself is not damaging are often resisted and the results rejected.

...... I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment. The children transformed from their male constitution into female roles suffered prolonged distress and misery as they sensed their natural attitudes. Their parents usually lived with guilt over their decisions—second-guessing themselves and somewhat ashamed of the fabrication, both surgical and social, they had imposed on their sons. As for the adults who came to us claiming to have discovered their “true” sexual identity and to have heard about sex-change operations, we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it.


*******

Much has changed in the 13 years since Dr. McHugh published his informative article. Sex-change surgery is now increasingly the rage everywhere (although it's biologically impossible to change gender since every cell in the human body is genetically coded as male for males, and female for female.) After nearly 40 years of common-sense, in 2016 John Hopkins bowed to the political and cultural madness and decided to resume sex-change surgery.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now says life begins at conception


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released their 2018-2022 draft strategic plan here ...., which unequivocally states that life begins at conception and deserves protection. In the introduction it says,

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”

The draft mentions conception five times total.

No doubt this will give apoplexy those who advocate for and especially those who reap profit from the practice of child sacrifice in the form of abortion. Nothing infuriates the enemy more than shining the light of truth on his works of darkness.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Ps 139:13-16)

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Great Deception


'I seem to be either a de-sexed monstrosity, or I’m a damaged, mutilated male. I’ve been alone a long time. I’ve been forced into celibacy. I yearn for mere conversation and cuddling.'

There is must-reading here entitled "What Two Former Trans Men Want You To Know About All The Lies" on the transgender rage that is burning through the culture with devastating results. It is the chief weapon of mass destruction now deployed by the enemy against the only part of creation made in the very image of God Himself.

Paul, a computer programmer who is currently unemployed, is 38 years old and in the process of “detransitioning,” undoing steps towards the sex change he began a decade ago.

Before “transitioning” from male to female, Paul struggled with dysphoria for years. He remembers his high school days filled with shame over his “girlish” interests and peer groups and struggling with gynecomastia (swollen breast tissue in males), isolation, and confusion. When Paul first learned about transgenderism from an article in his student newspaper, he felt he had found the missing piece.

..... “On the day of surgery, I was surprised at how it was suddenly unfolding into something larger than I expected. I tried to stop them, but I was then anesthetized. After surgery, I went into shock at how thoroughly I’d been altered in both appearance and function,” Paul says. “I was a sex addict, and sex was now disrupted. I also now found myself in a constant, low level of groin pain. A year later, the bleeding began. I was told to wait it out, see a specialist, and not to get a lawyer.”

After a painful recovery, Paul was told that, despite having been told otherwise before surgery, he couldn’t actually stop hormone treatment. He confronted his doctor, whom Paul says admitted to lying, claiming “rules were broken for his benefit, to increase access to care.”

..... In an era where transgender rights are at the forefront of social politics, media does its part to selectively inform people about the realities of transition. Transition guides tailored to teens are made up of cartoons and glittered chest binders. Stories on detransitioners are written off as “uncommon” or “myths,” and those who dare tell the stories of those who regret their transition meet repercussions.

..... Undergoing gender reassignment is regarded as the Holy Grail for those struggling with their sex. When the potentially fatal outcomes are not adequately tracked, however, shouldn’t honesty be the priority when speaking about the lifelong effects of the transition process?

Paul’s advice to children looking to transition? “Don’t.”

*******

In fact, the entire world of "transgenderism" is one giant web of deceit. The culture certainly doesn't want you to be exposed to the truth. The problem is that sooner or later truth always intrudes and ultimately demolishes the bizarre worldview. The bad news is that what's often left is a smoldering ruin of a life. The good news is that Christ alone has the power to recreate a life worth living upon those ruins.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8, ESV)


The Catastrophic Vision of Hugh Hefner: How our Culture Lost Its Soul


There is yet another opinion piece, this time on Breakpoint here reflecting on the true legacy of Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy.

Back on September 27th, Hugh Hefner the founder of Playboy, died at ninety-one.

An ancient Roman maxim says that one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but it would be irresponsible to not take note of his ideas and cultural influence, along with their consequences and victims.

...... Eleven years ago, Chuck Colson put Hefner’s legacy into proper perspective. On the occasion of Heffner’s 80th birthday, Chuck said that “Hugh Hefner did more than anyone else to turn America into a great pornographic wasteland.”

Hefner’s journalistic eulogists are celebrating his rebellion and ultimate triumph over the “puritanical elements of the [1950s].” You know, that “dark and joyless time in America,” as writer Matthew Scully put it, “when one could actually go about daily life without ever encountering pornographic images.” Without Hefner’s pioneering vision, “American males could not avail themselves of hundreds of millions of obscene films every year—as they do now.”

That our pornographic wasteland is filled with so many victims is also part of the man’s legacy, which can only be fully understand in light of the larger story of the sexual revolution.

You see, Hefner once claimed to have changed America, and it’s hard to argue that he didn’t. He took Alfred Kinsey’s ideas of sex separated from morality and embodied them in images and words, making them seem glamorous, sophisticated, and respectable.

Along with the birth control pill, porn was the other tangible artifact of the sexual revolution and catalyzed the separation of the sexual act from its God-given purpose. Instead of a self-giving, life-giving act in the context of marriage like God intended, sex became an act of selfish pleasure in the cultural imagination.

Porn turned image bearers into objects to be enjoyed instead of subjects to be respected and honored, while giving the illusion that there were no consequences or guilt. Hefner was what I call “the artist” of the sexual revolution, granted a loosely-used modifier here. Ideas alone can’t change culture; they need champions, and the most effective champions are artists and educators.

...... Hefner’s legacy includes fatherless homes, objectified women, porn-addicted and trafficked children, and the sexualization of all aspects of culture. And in a supreme bit of irony, a decreased lack of interest in sex with real-life women by addicted men.

All of this is the result of what Hefner called the “Playboy Philosophy”: ultimately the divorcing of sex from its God-given context—marriage—and its God-given consequences—children.

I posted about Hefner’s legacy on Facebook soon after his death, and one commenter quoted Jesus, “For what will it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?” And thanks in large part to Hugh Hefner, the same might be asked about our entire culture.

*******

Amen. Well said.

Dead Sea Scrolls scam: Dozens of recently sold fragments are fakes, experts warn


Article is here.

The forgery market will presumably continue as long as the lure of owning a piece of the word of God tempts the growing Evangelical Christian community, which doesn’t always have the scholarly means to verify their high-ticket purchases.

While the wealthy Green family and the Museum of the Bible employees appear to be able to take a philosophical approach to the risk of forgeries, there are other smaller Evangelical Christian collectors and centers — including some Christian universities in the US — which bet the farm to own ancient scripture.

“The sellers of these fragments have preyed on the well-meaning faith of Evangelical Christians who are compelled by the idea of owning a piece of ‘the Bible that Jesus read,'” said Davis.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Latest Lunacy From Dan Brown


Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is finally showing his true colors, bizarrely asserting that "collective consciousness" will replace God.

Humanity no longer needs God but may with the help of artificial intelligence develop a new form of collective consciousness that fulfills the role of religion, U.S. author Dan Brown said on Thursday.

Read about it here.

*******

There no true scholarship to be found in Brown's works. A combination of imaginary history and fanciful conspiracy theories, his books represent the "Oprah Winfrey" of the genre. You're better off playing video games. Christians that read his drivel or watch his trash on the movie screen are at best wasting their time, and at worst fatally weakening the foundations of their worldview.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8, ESV)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ... (1 John 4:1-6, ESV)

"I’ve Had An Abortion, And That’s Why I Know Congress Needs To Stop Them"


Theresa Bonopartis wrote a sobering article here that every congressman and supreme court justice needs to read in entirety. The truth is blindingly painful to those who live in denial.

No one told me what was about to happen, or about the development of my baby. I was injected with saline, which caused me to go into labor as, I was later to find out, my son was thrashing around inside me as his body burned. After many hours, I gave birth to a dead baby boy.

I can still see him lying on the bed next to me as I stared in disbelief. I could not believe that this was legal. What was wrong with us that we had allowed this? My mind could not wrap around it, as I looked at his tiny hands and feet. How could this be possible? Yet it was, right there on the maternity ward where the woman next door to me was celebrating the birth of her child.

..... We have gone from making abortion “rare and legal” to enshrining it for all nine months at the expense of everything, including the long-term impact on the mothers we profess to care about. This negative impact is still being denied by those who have made abortion their god, despite women themselves speaking out on the pain and destruction it has caused.

How did our country come to this? Can average people continue to do nothing just because they feel it will never affect them? When will we honestly look at the repercussions of our more than 40 years of abortion legality, with 60 million unborn babies dead and countless numbers of mothers, fathers, and others suffering?


*******

I've said many times that all those who favor the legality of abortion should be forced to witness one and the aftermath. After all, if it's nothing more than ridding the body of a "mass of tissue", why should they not be willing to observe it so that they may be better prepared to defend it? Why would virtually none of them gladly observe? Because instinctively - deep down - they know something evil is occurring. The louder and more raucous the support for abortion, the greater the inherent suspicion that something is terribly wrong. Barring personal repentance, a fearsome judgment awaits all those who enabled legal abortion. And a day of reckoning approaches for the culture that practises child sacrifice on a wholesale level.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

We Are To Provisionally Obey, Not Admire Or Idolize


Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Rom 13:1-2)

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. (1 Pet 2:13-14)

Contrary to what many (most?) evangelical Christians would say, I do not consider politics to be a "noble" aspiration but a necessary evil in this fallen world. In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense,

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

The Bible is explicit about the relationship between the Christian and civil government. We are to respectfully obey legal government authority, and the government is to treat us justly and fairly. But even when the government does not fulfill its role, we are still to live up to ours. However, when the government directs/asks us to do something that is in direct disobedience to God’s Word, we are morally obligated to disobey the government.

The problem is that many contemporary Christians seem to hold an almost-sacrosanct view of civil government, especially that of the United States. The founding fathers were keenly aware of the fallen nature of man and thus deeply suspicious of civil government and orchestrated a Constitution to specifically limit the power of government. We are to respectfully obey unless directed to do something that contradicts Scripture. But respectful obedience is worlds away from admiration. Somehow I have trouble picturing 1st century Christians holding Apr 21st celebrations in the church in honor of the founding of Rome (believed to have been founded on Apr 21, 753 B.C., see here.)

As I observed earlier here,

The hypocrisy of those ensconced in power in Washington D.C. is exceeded only by their greed and lust for power. The founding fathers clearly understood this and thus sought to limit the power of the U.S. government via the Constitution.  But ingenuity is now inventing creative ways around it to satisfy the greed and lust for power inherent in fallen man.

I would never encourage or enjoin anyone to seek political office. Yes, I recognize the necessary presence of Christians in the political process, but view it as a necessary evil in this fallen world. The allure and trappings of power are simply far too seductive for the vast majority of Christians to withstand. I believe the best qualified candidate is the one that does not want or seek political office. (George Washington, the first president of the United States did not seek or want the position - see here.)

There is a difference between the respect that Scripture mandates for civil government and the almost fawning attitude that many evangelicals display. I certainly don't espouse the position of someone like the Jehovah's Witnesses who view civil government as illegitimate (I served on Active Duty for 20 years.) The Bible is clear that all civil authority is mandated by God and I respectfully obey. But it's  a necessary evil in this fallen world ...... and one that is quicksand for many unwary believers.

How could Jesus be fully God and fully human?


Monday, October 9, 2017

In truth, we have erected a house of cards that is surely destined for collapse.

Carl Truman presents excellent analysis here on the prevailing culture of celebrity. It's well worth reading in entirety.

..... the most important question does not concern the righteousness of the two sides’ positions. Rather, it concerns why any of us should allot special importance to the political views of a group of men whose sole claim to fame is the ability to play a schoolyard game with exceptional competence. And why is Jimmy Kimmel, a late-night comedian, suddenly a national authority on the philosophy of healthcare? The absurdity of these phenomena should be obvious. If it is not, then that is a sign of the absurdity of contemporary society.

..... We might also regard the cult of the celebrity as a symptom—perhaps the symptom—of the near-total collapse of the ethical into the aesthetic. The red carpet at the Oscars is surely the greatest evidence for this. All those stunningly attractive people, all those designer dresses—that’s what catches the popular imagination. But how many abortions are represented in that parade of the bold and the beautiful? How many sordid affairs? How many broken marriages and consequently children? 

.... If freedom made the American public square great, entertainment appears to be in danger of making it rather ridiculous.

*******

In 1978 Christopher Lasch wrote "The Culture of Narcissism", defining an entire age in terms of a personality disorder where all of America was fixed on itself with a kind of "transcendental self-attention." Lasch noted the narcissist identifies with individuals of grandeur, because he believes he is like them—and he labeled our entire culture narcissistic: thus our increasing need for celebrities.

There is very little - if any - truth to be found in the lives and discourse of the overwhelmingly vast majority of celebrities. Those that pay heed to them erect a house of cards on sand that is surely destined for collapse.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fencing With Bigots


George Weigel presents truth here with an imaginary dialogue between a judicial nominee and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary of what once imagined itself “the world’s greatest deliberative body”. It's must-reading in entirety.

Senator Proudie: Do you believe that Roe v. Wade was rightly decided?

Professor Valiant: As a lower-court judge, Senator, I would apply all governing Supreme Court precedents in cases that come before me. Beyond stipulating that, I do not think it appropriate for a nominee to the federal bench to comment on issues on which I might have to rule.

But if you were to ask me a more general question, Senator, as to whether I think that the Supreme Court can get it wrong on occasion, I would say “yes.” I think the Supreme Court got it wrong in 1857 in Dred Scott v. Sandford, when it held that an African-American whose ancestors had been brought to the U.S. as slaves could not be a citizen and thus had no legal standing. I think the Supreme Court got it wrong again in 1896, when the Plessy v. Ferguson decision upheld segregated public facilities in the states. Would you agree that the Supreme Court got it wrong in Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson, Senator?

Senator Proudie: [Incoherent muttering.]


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The hypocrisy of those ensconced in power in Washington D.C. is exceeded only by their greed and lust for power. The founding fathers clearly understood this and thus sought to limit the power of the U.S. government via the Constitution.  But ingenuity is now inventing creative ways around it to satisfy the greed and lust for power inherent in fallen man.

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Sam 8:10-22, ESV)

What was crucifixion like?


Saturday, October 7, 2017

North Korea ‘Decoders’ Are Sounding Alarms


Earlier this year, I chronicled here the prediction by a Jewish Rabbi in 1994 that the rogue nation would become the nuclear key to the final war of Gog and Magog

North Korea boasts about its nuclear weapons program by releasing photos and videos of its missiles. But in them are tiny clues to their true capability. A team of U.S. analysts, working outside the government, shows how they decode these images to determine when North Korea is bluffing – and when it is showing true power. These open-source experts conclude it's too late to stop North Korea from becoming a member of the nuclear club. Video is here.

The different theological positions on the rapture of the church

As I wrote earlier here, I hold to the "pre-wrath" rapture of the church. Here's a short video of Kent Hovind briefly explaining the different theological positions on the rapture of the church at the Second Coming of Christ.


Friday, October 6, 2017

There's A Sucker Born Every Minute


(PT  Barnum (5 July 1810 – 7 April 1891) was an American showman who is best remembered for his entertaining hoaxes and for founding the circus that eventually became Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. "There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase closely associated with Barnum although there is no evidence that he actually said it. Early examples of its use are found instead among gamblers and confidence men.)

Brent Bozell tells us here about Dan Brown's (author of The Da Vinci Code) latest lure for suckers.

Dan Brown, the author of "The DaVinci Code," is back with another blockbuster anti-religion novel, and CBS "Sunday Morning" rolled out the red carpet on Oct. 1 to honor him and his massive commercial success. The segment began with what he called his "fortress of gratitude" -- his house loaded floor to ceiling, over several stories, with bookshelves ... stuffed with copies of Dan Brown's own books.

So we know who Dan Brown worships .......

..... Brown's somehow not "anti-religion," but CBS announced his new book "puts God on the edge of extinction." Brown proclaimed "Traditionally, all the gods fall. And my question is, are we naive to believe that the gods of today will not suffer the same fate?"

Dokoupil followed up. "Would that be a better planet?" Brown responded, "I personally believe that our planet would be absolutely fine without religion, and I also feel that we're evolving in that direction."

But he's absolutely not anti-religion.

Welcome to how secular liberals spend their Sundays ... while thinking it's the churchgoers who are sharing a smug affirmation of their beliefs.


*******

Affirming the old adage that a sucker is indeed born every minute, we witness many people (and Hollywood) giving such credence to Brown (who plays so loose with the facts to the point of holding a cartoonish worldview) and paying him homage for his fictitious "research". Brown clearly has an axe to grind. In 2006 Daniel Henninger correctly nailed Brown as "P.T. Barnum in print".

While the culture at-large lovingly adores Brown because he quietly affirms their hedonistic lifestyle by arrogantly dismissing the uncomfortable notion of a transcendent God, the wise will ignore his snake-oil babble.

But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene (2 Tim 2:16-17, ESV)

Government Dependency Is A Form Of Enslavement


John Stossel penned a thought-provoking essay here on the subject of dependency upon government handouts.

The idea that the federal government must lead in rebuilding is only a recent phenomenon, says the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards.

“Prior to recent decades,” he writes, “private charitable groups and businesses have been central to disaster response.”

In 1906, the massive San Francisco earthquake and fire that followed destroyed 80 percent of the city. Yet that tragedy “is remembered not just for the terrible destruction it caused, but also for the remarkably rapid rebuilding. … (The) population recovered to pre-quake levels within just three years, and residents quickly rebuilt about 20,000 buildings.”

The rebuilding was quick because it wasn’t done by a cumbersome government bureaucracy. Rich people and companies donated labor and goods. “Johnson and Johnson quickly loaded rail cars full of donated medical supplies and sent them to San Francisco,” writes Edwards.

Also, “90 percent of San Francisco residents had fire insurance.”

Today in America, even people who live on the edges of oceans don’t buy insurance. “Why pay?” many think. “There probably won’t be a problem, and if there is, government will step in.”

The more the federal government intervenes, the more people come to rely on handouts.


*******

He is absolutely correct. Washington DC spends money like a drunken sailor precisely because it's not their money they are so careless with; it's other people's money. And they have now successfully cultivated a fatal dependency from the majority of the American public. Government dependency addiction is actually a form of enslavement that is no different than being monetarily in debt. This doesn't bode well for the trying times in which we live. When disaster falls, most are now like sheep, waiting for someone to come take care of and protect them. With little foresight, most live only for the moment, unprepared for the storms that inevitably befall a fallen world.

There is only one kind of dependency that fosters self-sufficiency: dependency upon God. However, unlike previous generations that largely depended upon God, the current culture ejected God from the public square and jettisoned any allegiance to Him. The result is multitudes enslaved to a fallen civil government.

But for the few that retain dependency upon God, self-sufficiency is a natural outworking of that dependency.

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor 3:5, ESV)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Yes, Virginia, there is real evil


The denial of an objective moral law, based on the compulsion to deny the existence of God, results ultimately in the denial of evil itself.
Ravi Zacharias

(Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response entitled "Yes, Virginia, there Is A Santa Claus" was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.)

Many worldviews deny the reality of evil.

Nihilism is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Evil is nonexistent from the perspective of this worldview.

Christian Scientists are among those that teach that evil is an illusion. The movement’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “Sin, disease, whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal.” Suffering, on this view, may appear to surround us, but this only an appearance.

In the Patheos Library Benjamin E Zeller states “Groups and subcultures within the New Age exhibit the belief differently that evil exists only as an illusion propagated by unthinking minds. A Course in Miracles, one of the most popular channeled texts of the New Age, insists that the physical world itself represents merely a shadowy projection of the power of thought. Evil, good, suffering, and pleasure do not really exist in this worldview, at least not in the bodily physical way that most people assume.”

For the atheist, life is a cosmic accident, morality is an arbitrary game by which we order our lives, and meaning is non-existent. As Oxford University’s Professor Richard Dawkins explains, human life is nothing more than a way for selfish genes to multiply and reproduce. There is no meaning or dignity to humanity. Evil cannot exist.

Of course materialism (naturalism) cannot account for evil since nothing can be inherently wrong or right. Of course, the culture-at-large believes that man is inherently good, something Scripture explicitly denies. Evil denotes an absence of good. It is that which is depraved and immoral. But without transcendent good, evil is both subjective and relative. If we deny the existence of God, we lose an objective rule of good that applies everywhere, for all time, to everyone. "Good" becomes whatever one wishes, no matter how depraved.

In 2005, Al Mohler penned some thoughts worth reading here on the goodness of God and reality of evil.

I suspect that more than a few false worldviews were shattered by the Las Vegas shooting. Reality always has a way of rudely intruding into the fantasy worldviews concocted by a world in full-scale rebellion. Truth is ultimately inescapable.

Yes, Virginia, there is real evil.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Merry Christmas on the Feast of Tabernacles!

As I wrote in 2013 here, I agree with Messianic Jews that Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles and not on the arbitrarily picked date of Dec 25. Merry Christmas! Sukkot (Tabernacles) 2017 begins in the evening of Wednesday, October 4 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, October 11.

Given the precise fulfillment of Passover, First Fruits, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, it strains credulity to believe that the birth of Christ (the very Incarnation of the Son of God) would not fall on a specific OT Jewish Feast day.   All the OT feasts find their ultimate fulfillment in Christ.  For me, the Incarnation is the greatest and most mind-boggling miracle of all where the infinite, eternal God joined His divine nature with a human nature for the rest of eternity.  I find it inconceivable that God would not orchestrate this stupendous event - accompanied even by an angelic host - with a specific OT feast.

Keep in mind that the Hebrew calendar varies each year since it is tied to the Moon’s (lunar) cycles.  This means Jewish holidays, while always the same each year on the Jewish calendar, fall on different days on the modern Gregorian calendar.

The historical record of lunar eclipses is intriguing (found on the NASA web site, Catolog of Lunar Eclipses, Catalog of Lunar Eclipses: -0099 to 0000 ( 100 BCE to 1 BCE ):

     6 B.C. - No Total eclipses
     5 B.C. – No Total eclipses
     4 B.C. - Total eclipse, Mar 23 at 9:17 p.m.
     4 B.C. - Total eclipse, Sep 15 at 23:07 p.m.
     3 B.C. - No Total eclipses
     2 B.C. - No Total eclipses

The Jewish calendar for 4 BC can be found on these two web sites:

http://www.shirhadash.org/calendar/holidays.cgi?y=3757
http://www.shirhadash.org/calendar/holidays.cgi?y=3758

Comparing these references, we see that the total eclipse that occurred the night of Mar 23 in 4 B.C. occurred almost 3 weeks (20 days) before Passover on Thu Apr 12, 4 B.C., when John the Baptist would have been born according to this chronology.  The total eclipse that occurred the night of Sep 15 in 4 B.C. occurred exactly 3 weeks (21 days) before the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles on Sat Oct 6, 4 B.C..  How likely that God would use these two rare astronomical events to mark the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.  

Consequently, with all the circumstantial evidence, I believe that John the Baptist may have been born on Passover, Nisan 15, Thu, Apr 12, 4 B.C., and if so, then Jesus Christ was born six months later on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Tishrei on Sat, Oct 6, 4 B.C.  

"A summer that seemed destined to be remembered for its magnificent solar eclipse had lurched suddenly toward the eve of destruction"


There's an interesting article here in secular USA Today pondering the recent chain of calamities. Yes, the solar eclipse was magnificent, but it also was a divine warning as I noted earlier here,

Bad news - I strongly suspect that as long we continue our headlong rush into rebellion and moral depravity, the catastrophes will increase in both frequency and scope.

An Honest Obituary For A Wicked American


Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine amd empire, died at age 91 last week. In contrast to the accolades paid him by most, Ross Douthat of the New York Times penned a true appraisal of Hefner's life here.

Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying mansion where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.

Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself — a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself ......

.... But in every way that mattered he made those changes worse, our culture coarser and crueler and more sterile than liberalism or feminism or freedom of speech required. And in every way that mattered his life story proved that we were wrong to listen to him, because at the end of the long slide lay only a degraded, priapic senility, or the desperate gaiety of Prince Prospero’s court with the Red Death at the door.

Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins ......

..... that only prudish Christians and spoilsport feminists are willing to say that the man was obviously wicked and destructive, is itself a reminder that the rot Hugh Hefner spread goes very, very deep.


*******

Rachael Lu echoes that perspective here.

Ladies, don’t let your sons grow up to be Hefner. If your boy turns into a lecherous porn-loving Playboy, you screwed up.

In the wake of Hefner’s death, it’s been interesting watching admirers try to gin up a few not-completely-laughable phrases to present Hefner in a positive light. We are told that he was a social justice warrior and an entrepreneur, who graced the public square with his intellectual firepower. If true, these observations should only serve to deepen our disgust at what Hefner became. He stands as an ominous illustration of an important truth about the lives of men. Just like women, men have to make choices .....

..... Across nine decades, he relished nearly every conceivable advantage, and then passed from this life with all the manly gravitas of a pimply fifteen-year-old. This was not a life well lived.

The Hefnerian credo is a manifest failure. Aspiring playboys should take note. No matter how much lipstick you put on the bunny, it is not possible to indulge every appetite and still be a man of sophistication and substance. Dirty old men are dirty old men, even in million-dollar bathrobes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sex change regret is on the rise, so why aren't we talking about it?

Around five years ago, Professor Miroslav Djordjevic, the world-leading genital reconstructive surgeon, received a visit at his Belgrade clinic: a transgender person who had undergone surgery at different clinic to remove male genitalia - and since changed their mind.

That was the first time Prof Djordjevic had ever been contacted to perform a so-called gender reassignment “reversal” surgery. Over the next six months, another six people also approached him, similarly wanting to reverse their procedures. They came from countries all over the western world, Britain included, united by an acute sense of regret.

At present, Prof Djordjevic has a further six prospective people in discussions with his clinic about reversals and two currently undergoing the process itself; reattaching the male genitalia is a complex procedure and takes several operations over the course of a year to fully complete...

Read about it here.

*******

As the article asks, "why aren't we talking about it?" The answer is simple: because it contradicts the transgender lunacy currently being pushed by the culture at large. Back in Feb 2016, I linked here to an article warning of growing sex change regret - something the LGBT community clearly does not want publicized.

... a national survey of more than 6,500 transgenders that asked the question, “Have you tried to commit suicide?” Forty-one percent answered, “Yes.” One need look no further for compelling evidence of widespread transgender and sex change regret.

... A Swedish study from 2003 found that post-operative mortality and suicide rates for transsexuals are many times higher than the general population. And that’s in Sweden, probably the friendliest environment on the planet for transgender individuals.

As noted here, one person with sex change regret came to the realization that his fascination with transgenderism was actually a fabrication born of mental disorders. More with regret are chronicled here. Those who dare to speak the truth are immediately castigated and ostracized by the culture at large.

As reported here, a psychotherapist who counsels transgenders sought to conduct a study on people who make the surgical transition but want to reverse it; however, a university killed the project because it was “politically incorrect.” The conflict developed at Bath Spa University in Bath, England, when James Caspian wanted to write a thesis on people who “detransition.” It would have been part of his master’s degree in counseling and psychotherapy at the school, which was known as Bath College of Higher Education until 2005. Caspian described the decision as astonishing and a betrayal of academic research values

All sin ultimately brings regret. The key question is what kind of regret?

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Cor 7:10, ESV)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Lulled Into A False Worldview


Because of the extraordinary advances over the past few decades in science/medicine/technology, I believe more than a few Christians have unfortunately succumbed to the false worldview of materialism. Materialism is the understanding that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter. While some causes can clearly be attributed to physical means (i.e., a toothache caused by tooth decay), the failure to recognize and acknowledge the existence of immaterial causes can be devastating.

The chief symptom of a wholesale cultural abdication to materialism is the increasing denial of any personal moral responsibility - i.e., alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, sexual immorality, serial murder, etc. ......... all must have a physical underlying cause, so say the "experts". However, any treatment that focuses solely on the physical will at best - do nothing, and at worst - merely subdue the symptoms. Sometimes powerful drugs are used to subdue the symptoms, but the root underlying cause remains because nothing is done to address the real cause.

Christians that succumb to materialism often compartmentalize God, restricting Him to select areas and activities of their life. But they forfeit the truth that can ultimately set them free. While they may audibly acknowledge the reality of the spiritual realm, the way they live their life says otherwise.

There's an interesting entry here posted in Dec, 2011 entitled "The Denial of the Spiritual Realm in Western Christianity". The author (apparently on staff at Fuller Theological Seminary) observes,

We have gone along with our culture’s dismissal of the supernatural realm out of the fear that we will offend other people, lose a seat at the table of public discourse or be written off as weird. 

..... The availability of healthcare is a serious issue, but how different would our discussion be if Christians were known for their ability to heal the sick? Addiction is a serious issue, but how different would our discussion be if Christians were known for their ability to bring healing to emotional wounds, which are often the root cause of those addictions, through prayer? Many ideologies promise safety and salvation to people, but how different would the world be if Christians were confident God could act in this world? Furthermore, because we deny the fact that the demons exist, whatever demonic forces are at work go unchecked. While I do not believe there is a demon under every rock and tree, this is an issue that cannot be dealt with through secular means. Until we take the demonic seriously, many of us, our families, our clients, our congregants, our staff and faculty here at Fuller, our communities and our nation will continue to struggle with demonic oppression.


*******

Indeed.

I suspect though that as the culture descends ever deeper into depravity, in desperation some sleeping western Christians will finally wake up ... and become powerful agents of light and truth.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Antiabortionist Illegally Arrested

In America today, this video is the norm rather than the exception, as the culture deplores anyone who dares to publicly oppose the daily slaughter of the innocents. At best, even if not illegally arrested, they will almost certainly be bullied by the authorities.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Star Trek Follows The Culture Downhill


When Star Trek: Discovery‘s third episode debuts this Sunday, the hour will make history for the 51-year-old franchise: Revealing Trek‘s first openly gay TV series character — Lt. Stamets, played by Anthony Rapp (Rent). 

..... While there’s no indication of Stamets’ sexuality in Sunday’s episode, titled “Context Is King,” his relationship with another member of Starfleet becomes a story point in the show beginning next week. “I’m really excited and happy when a gay character is a part of a story — especially when a gay character is created in a complex and human and non-stereotypical, interesting way, and that has certainly been the case with Stamets,” Rapp told EW. “And you get to see his relationship. There was a little glimpse [of a relationship with] Sulu in Beyond, and it was a nice nod. But in this case, we actually get to see me with my partner in conversation, in our living quarters, you get to see our relationship over time, treated as any other relationship would be treated.”

Read about it here.

*******

There is no question that the new gay character will be portrayed as an ideal role model - someone that young people can aspire to emulate. Ever notice how virtually every gay person in prime time TV is presented as happy, witty, intelligent, healthy, moral, tolerant, charming and physically attractive? Nothing at all like homosexuals in real life which usually tend to be the very opposite? Homosexuals have a much higher risk of mental health problems (see here) and homosexual youth in fact have a much higher suicide rate than heterosexuals (see here.) Homosexuals tend to die much younger and exhibit “major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships” (see here.) Indeed, in the most gay-friendly nation on the planet, Dutch researchers Sanjay Aggarwala and Rene Gerrets reported in a recent issue of “Culture, Health & Sexuality” that adult gay men in the Netherlands were three times more likely than heterosexual men to report a mood disorder or anxiety disorder, and ten times more likely to report suicidal thoughts (see here). So much for the "gay" lifestyle (young people may not know the original meaning of the word). Nothing at all like you see portrayed by Hollywood. The worst sin always masquerades as an angel of light.

Darkness and light are metaphors for evil and good. Scripture uses light as a spiritual metaphor for truth and God’s unchanging nature (James 1:17). It is repeatedly used in the Bible to help us understand that God is wholly good and truthful (1 John 1:5). When we are “in the light,” we are with Him (1 Peter 2:9). He exhorts us to join Him in the light (1 John 1:7), for giving us light was His purpose (John 12:46). Light is the place where love dwells and is comfortable (1 John 2:9-10). God created light (Genesis 1:3), dwells in the light (1 Timothy 6:16) and puts the light in human hearts so that we can see and know Him and understand truth (2 Corinthians 4:6).

When 2 Corinthians 11:14 warns us that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” it means that Satan capitalizes on our love of the light in order to deceive. He wants us to naively think that he is good, truthful, loving, and powerful – the very things that God is. Most people are not drawn naturally to darkness, but to light. Therefore, Satan appears as a creature of light to entice us to believe and embrace his lies.

The words of God have power. Just as God’s voice spoke physical light into existence, it can speak spiritual light into our hearts. Exposure to His voice – in His Word – will help us recognize the difference between the true good light of God and that which is counterfeit.

Romans 1:15-28 clearly warns us that the end state of willful rebellion against the knowledge of God is homosexuality. When a culture willfully and repeatedly rejects the true Creator, there finally comes a point when God lets sin have full reign - and homosexuality is the final fruit of that rebellion. Rejecting the Creator subsequently and inevitably means dishonoring, abusing and misusing the very pinnacle of His creation that is made in His image. Satan cannot attack God so he attacks the part of creation made in the image of God. Male and female together constitute the image of God (Gen 1:27). Thus the ultimate misuse of that part of His creation is homosexuality which is the opposite of God's perfect intent for male and female (Gen 2:24).

Satan presents sin to us as something pleasing and beautiful to be desired, and he presents false teaching as enlightening and life-changing. Isaiah 8:20-22 describes the darkness that results from ignoring the Word. Darkness is a result of attempting to find truth apart from Truth Himself. The inevitable result is the invention/creation of false truth. Satan’s masquerade as an angel of light is effective because it turns white to black and black to white and gets us believing that God is the liar, that God is the source of darkness. Then, in our distress, we focus our hatred towards the only One who can save us.

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time partaking of Hollywood's seductive offerings, will find it increasingly difficult to maintain the Biblical worldview. Wise Christians should be very selective in their sampling of Hollywood's increasingly decadent fruit.

Man Tased While Attempting To Shake Megachurch Pastor’s Hand


Remember that all satire has an element of truth as the starting point. The Babylon Bee has an excellent satire piece here worth reading.

If you’re going to make a bold move like attempting to shake your megachurch pastor’s hand as he makes a beeline for the green room after service, make sure your church’s security team isn’t armed.

..... The pastor was reportedly able to leap out of the way, narrowly avoiding making contact with a church member, before he was quickly escorted to safety by staff members.

“That was a close one,” Hanson said later in a video posted to Instagram as he flew to a stop on his book tour. “I may not know the names of my security staff, but I’m eternally grateful to each and every one of them for their service.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Modern Day Babel


Many people in Silicon Valley believe in the Singularity—the day in our near future when computers will surpass humans in intelligence and kick off a feedback loop of unfathomable change.

When that day comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence."

Read about it here.

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The realization of a "Godhead" based on artificial intelligence? The wonderful technological advances of mankind are a doubled-edged sword in this fallen world. On the one hand, they have the capacity for much good. On the other hand, they empower his sin nature to new heights of rebellion and depravity.

Skynet Is Coming


The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

…… Certainly, “network everything to everything” sounds a bit like the setup for the Terminator franchise, wherein a fictional defense contractor, Cyberdyne Systems, convinces the Defense Department to link the U.S. arsenal to a single artificially intelligent entity. Skynet, of course, determines that humans are a threat to its existence and uses its ubiquitous command and control powers to launch a war on humankind.

Read all about it here.

*******

As the world descends into moral anarchy, this potential future for the most powerful military on the planet doesn't bode well. There is only one Person who can - and will - stop the destructive madness with His glorious and fearsome return.

For most, it will be the worst day of their lives. For the others who earnestly await Him, it will be the best.

The Truth About Gender


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Withholding Truth Is Not Love


Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Eph 4:15, ESV)

More than a few Christians have the misguided notion that withholding truth is love when it is painful to hear. They are wrong.

Theologically, there is something called the “double effect.” A good (or neutral) action can sometimes bring about both a good and bad result. We may only intend the good result, which does not come from the bad result but merely together with it. In such cases, it is not only permissible, but even praiseworthy, to perform the action because the good result will far outweigh the bad result. While surgery to repair an injured shoulder can be quite painful and lengthy to recover from, the end result (a fully functional shoulder joint) outweighs the temporary pain and discomfort.

Love itself sometimes brings about a double effect, especially when it comes to telling the truth. Jesus had no compunction in telling the truth, even if it cost Him disciples.

“I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. . . . He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” . . . From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the twelve. ( Jn 6:53, 59-60, 66-67)

Theologian Frank Pavone puts it eloquently,

Truth is very much like food. We need it. Without it, we cannot grow, or even survive, as human beings and as a human community. We are made for the truth, to always receive more of it, to contemplate it, to find our fulfillment in it. And this is easy to understand when we realize that God not only gives us truth, as one of his greatest gifts, but he is truth. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). And that truth leads to another great gift and human need: freedom. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:31).

Love gives the beloved what he needs, even when there is some pain involved in receiving it. Hence parents bring their children to the dentist, no matter how much the children may protest. In my ministry to priests as director of Priests for Life, I often give seminars about how to preach and counsel parishioners on some of the most contentious moral issues of the day. In the midst of this, I often address the relationship between compassion and truth. Many clergy and lay counselors see these two goods as being in competition with each other. They want their people to grow, but they want them to know that God loves them, here and now, just as they are. Indeed, God loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to leave us the way we are. Love calls us to change. To be compassionate, therefore, means we both perceive and provide what the person needs, and therefore we give them the truth that leads to conversion. At the same time, to bear witness to the fullness of truth means to bear witness to compassion, because if we do not see God as boundless compassion and mercy, then we are missing the full truth about him. One does not have to balance being compassionate and being truthful. One does not have to “shift gears” between being pastoral and being prophetic. They are all part of the same dynamic, two sides of the same coin: namely, loving our people.

..... Think, for instance, of groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. They think that killing children by abortion is sometimes the most helpful course of action for a mom or dad. They even have Scripture studies and liturgies for “choice.” These people, presenting themselves as preachers of Christ, have in fact lost their way, and are “tossed back and forth by the waves” of the culture of death. Thinking they are serving God’s people, they are actually killing them.

The image of the body in this passage also shows us that when we share the truth of Christ, we are not talking about disconnected truths, but rather an integral person. The various truths of Christ are not like books in a library, where one may decide to check out whatever books one wants, and leave the rest behind, or where the library itself may choose to exclude some books from its collection. The biblical image, instead, is a living body. All the parts are, as Paul says, “ joined and held together by every supporting ligament." You can’t pick and choose which parts of the body should be there. When you accept the person, you accept the whole body. You can’t eliminate a finger without the head complaining. What you do to one part of the body affects the whole body. So with the truth of Christ, the reason we cannot withhold any part of it is because by doing so, we affect all the rest of it. All the truths are an integral unity; they are a living Body, Christ himself.

...... Love not only demands we omit nothing from the truth, but that love communicate that truth in a particular way. To communicate the truth in love takes more than following a set of dos and don’ts, or of choosing the right words or tone of voice. Something has to happen within ourselves before we do or say anything: We have to realize that we are speaking to our brothers and sisters, that we are all on the same side. People need to know that. A discussion of the truth, whether in private or public, should acknowledge the pain that people may feel about the issue we are discussing. The psychological attitude to take and to convey is, “We are in this painful situation together and need to help each other out of it.” If the person reacts angrily, we should approach in the way we would care for those afflicted by personal disasters. We are dealing with good people who have pain, not with enemies.

..... Speaking the truth in love can be seen when we don’t just speak at people, but, like the Lord, bring them into the process of discovering the truth. We don’t just serve up conclusions; we respect their  mind and heart and will to engage and wrestle with the truth. All of us are called to wrestle with God, just as in that mysterious passage from Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestled all night with the Lord. Jacob was injured in the process but blessed with a deeper knowledge of God and of himself. Sharing the full truth, in content and in method, trusts the readiness of others to accept it, and that very  process, rather than silence or a dilution of or apology for the truth, is what shows the love.