When Will the Rapture Be?

Will the Rapture Happen Pre-Trib, Post Trib, or Mid-Trib?

Why I am “Mid-Trib”

There is an ongoing debate about eschatology (The study of the end of the world)  that has been raging for decades. When are Christians going to be raptured? Are we even going to be raptured? Will we be raptured before the tribulation, sometime during the tribulation, or after?
Interest in the rapture has trickled down from Bible scholars to the common people. Even the ordinary person senses that the end times are drawing near. People want to know.

What is the Rapture?

At some undetermined point in the future, Jesus promised that believers would be taken out of the world.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:21 KJV)

This is also described by the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:17

What do pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib mean?

Most scholars in modern times are “Pre-trib”. They believe that believers will be raptured before any of the events of the great tribulation occur (The Great tribulation is described in the biblical book of Revelation and elsewhere) It will be a time of great suffering worldwide. People who believe that Christians will be raptured before the tribulation are nicknamed “pre-trib” (for pre-tribulation). This is the mainstream belief. If you listen to Hal Lindsey or read Tim LaHaye, and most preachers who preach on the subject, this is their point of view.

Mid-trib: believe that Christians will have to suffer along with the rest of the world until some point in the middle of the tribulation, then will be caught up in the air to be with the Lord.

Post-trib: believe that believers will have to suffer the entire tribulation.
There are also people who do not believe in the rapture at all.

When will the rapture Happen?

Several times through the Bible, we are told that no man knows the day or the hour. But we are given signs to watch out for, and a specific sequence of events that must happen. These are laid out in Matthew chapter 24 as well as 2 Thessalonians.

  1. The day will not come until the man of sin is revealed (2 Thessalonians Chapter 2)
  2. Believers will be arrested, persecuted and killed. (Matt. 24:9)
  3. The abomination of desolation will be in the Holy place (Matt. 24:15)
  4. False prophets and false messiahs will be rampant (Matt. 24:23-24)
  5. There will be great wonder in the heavens, such as the sun darkened. (Matt. 24:29)
  6. Then Jesus will come and take the chosen ones. (Matt. 24:31)

Notice that there are going to be some serious events before the elect are taken out of the world.

So, why mid-trib?

It boils down to when you think the Tribulation starts. There is a seven-year period specifically laid out in Revelation. Leading up to that time, the biggest part of the misery in the world is going to be inflicted by worldly powers. God will not be inflicting generalized judgment at that time.

  • Daniel 7:25 says the Saints will be handed over to the fourth beast for a time, times, and half a time. We cannot be handed over to the beast if we are already raptured!
  • And the verse that really cinches it is when the Lamb of God opens a scroll sealed with seven seals. As each seal is opened, something tragic happens on the earth. There is going to be famine, pestilence, and death. But if you notice, in Revelation, there are martyrs in heaven who ask God how much longer this can go on, and: “they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters–their fellow servants of Jesus–had been martyred.” (Revelation 6:9-11 NLT)

Summary

So, whenever you mark the time that the Tribulation begins, believers are clearly going to be severely persecuted before the rapture takes place. Take heart, though. It is pretty clear that the believers are gone before the horrible “Trumpet” judgements (beginning in Revelation 8:6) and “Bowl” judgements (Beginning Revelation 15:5) begin. When God pours out the bowls of wrath. Nobody wants to be here for those! Things are going to get bad very quickly.

Find Jesus if you have not already. Then go get baptized right away if possible (you do not have to be baptized for eternal life, but it sure helps down here on earth).

Note that there are also very good reasons why people are “Pre-trib”. Ultimately, we need to wait and see! Nevertheless, come Lord Jesus!

‘Brotherhood’ Crucifying Dissenters

“Crucifixion is a hadd punishment, stipulated in the Quran, Sura 5:33, and therefore an obligatory part of Shariah”

Read the Story on Atlas Shrugs

 

In Darwin’s Own Words

Darwin, himself, knew that there must be innumerable transitional species. There must be millions if we gradually evolved from, as my professor likes to say, “from Amoebas to College Students”

In the sixth chapter I enumerated the chief objections which might be justly urged against the views maintained in this volume. Most of them have now been discussed. One, namely, the distinctness of specific forms and their not being blended together by innumerable transitional links, is a very obvious difficulty… But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory.
Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
http://www.classicreader.com/book/107/69

But there are none. Not one, although they are still desperately looking. Lucy was a lemur, not a human.
Where is the half-fish-half amphibian? Where is the half-amphibian-half reptile?
Where is the half-man-half-ape?
He doesn’t exist.
He never did.

The only explanation is: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7 KJV)

Spiritual Gifts

My second sermon.

Listen (mp3)

Notes

Indonesian headhunter, BMW, New suit (Romans 6:4)
He is not going to just sew a spiritual gift onto your old garment.
You have to learn. Sure there is child-like faith, but you have to grow. (Later Pg. 3)
Watchman Nee
Body, Soul, and Spirit 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 4:12.
The Tabernacle and the veil rent
Conscience: C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”
Communion: Romans 8:16

Intuition: 1 John 2:20b, 27 (NLT)
…the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth.
Pp. 86-87 Big Book.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.
Spiritual gifts are a God-given talent to do things that are beyond a person’s unaided capability.

Fruits (mature Christian) vs. Gifts (What you do for the body of Christ) vs. Witchcraft. (God is not giving you “powers”)
The purpose of the Spiritual gifts are not to make the gifted person famous, they are intended to benefit the entire body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).
1 Corinthians 12 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit (NIV).
? message (word) of wisdom
? message (word) of knowledge
? faith
? healing
? miraculous powers
? prophecy
? distinguishing between spirits
? speaking in different kinds of tongues
? interpretation of tongues
Greater things than these: (John 14:12)
“Sign” and “Serving” gifts: (Healing, tongues, miracles, interpretation)
What is our gift?
We can choose our gifts!  We need to eagerly desire them! 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1

Probably not Gifts
Quote:
“Everything from laughing, crying, barking like a dog, meowing like a cat, passing out at the altar, jumping over pews, to transforming into Superman seems to be claimed as a true manifestation of the Spirit”.
Greg Heisler, Spirit-led Preaching (Nashville, Tennessee, B&H Publishing Group, 2007), 13.
Ecstatic experiences with soulical characteristics.

Some people overemphasize the gifts, some have erred to the other extreme and even attributed the gift called “speaking in tongues” to demonic activity.
Tongues
1 Corinthians 14:2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
Acts: more accounts of people who did not speak in tongues than who did.
Love
Paul interrupted Chs. 12-14 with Chapter 13.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Summary
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts
Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body
The Preacher and little old lady with the pot-luck and a hotline to God.
Baptism Romans 6:4-6
God has to break through the soul to get to the spirit
Living Sacrifice
Let the cross do its work
You are not your own!
Like ripping off a Band-Aid. Peter never prayed for people’s relief, he prayed for them to be strengthened. Nor did Paul (1 Peter 1:6, 2 Thessalonians 1:4)
Let God rip off the Band-Aid

Spiritual advancement is measured by faithful obedience.
~ Watchman Nee

How to get God to fill you with the knowledge of his will:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:9-12)

1. spiritual wisdom and understanding
2. live a life worthy of the Lord
3. please him in every way
4. bearing fruit in every good work
5. growing in the knowledge of God
6. being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might…

Crystal Jesus
Altar Call

Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

My Math class brought up a subject that I had no background in. I was very hard pressed to find an explanation of inductive and deductive reasoning for dummies 🙂
I did some research on the Internet and still could not find something simple. So after much adieu…

Inductive Vs. Deductive Reasoning Explained.

Deductive: Think of a detective. He deduces (reduces). He sees the big picture — a crime was committed. He then takes the evidence and deducts the parts that don’t fit until he comes up with the core of the matter. Deductive deducts the false. Elementary my dear Watson…

Inductive takes small pieces of information in and puts them together into a big picture.

Inductive study takes various individual pieces of evidence and looks for patterns (For instance, individual Bible verses) and cements them together into the big picture — a cohesive whole — perhaps into a theological proposition.

Debate with a Pluralist

Below is an email discussion I had with my dear friend whom I’ll call “Conversant” who was an atheist a few years ago, but now is a self-avowed Pluralist. He wanted to debate politics…

Me
Don’t know if you were joking around last night, but debating politics is too much on the fringe of importance to risk bad emotions.

But I am interested to know, however: disregarding what the the skeptics say, and un-Christlike behavior of so-called Christians, why do you reject Jesus?

Conversant
I don’t reject Jesus. I believe that Jesus lived in a time of many men teaching different parables at that time. I believe that the Christian faith grew from that and used his teachings as a foundation to grow a religion in order to inspire or control (depending on your point of view if you follow this theory) the population at that time in history. What I do reject is the notion that if I don’t accept Jesus as my personal savior I (and all other persons on this earth who are non-believers or of another faith are damned to Hell).
As far as us debating politics and having ill feelings towards each other……I would hope that our friendship would trump that from ever happening. I enjoy our debates and find them a good exercise in voicing and reflecting on what I believe (something I rarely did when I was using and boozing). What I am learning to do is to respect all peoples faith and learn a little bit about them so that I may grow spiritually. What I feel inside is that life lived through the positivity of love and tolerance is an indescribable force and that when I operate in that manner I feel that I am on a good spiritual path.
Thanks for the question….and perhaps you would like to answer this. Does your belief in Jesus preclude any other faiths beliefs in your spiritual quiver.

Me
In short, yes. Because Jesus was not a mere man — he was God came down to Earth in human form.

A good man or teacher would not claim to be God unless it were true. Otherwise he was a maniac (how many people have been put in insane asylums claiming to be God – but Jesus was not – in fact time itself is divided by the (albeit miscalculated) date of his birth) or he was completely evil. There can be no middle ground.

I can find at least 5-10 places where He claimed to be God without even trying. That is why he was crucified.

Therefore, if God says the only way to heaven is through Him, He must know what he is talking about!

Admission to Heaven is not based upon being good. Otherwise Heaven would be completely devoid of humans.

Conversant
Well, I’m grateful we don’t live in another place or during another time period where we would feel compelled to kill each other.

Me

You didn’t get it, did you?
Sigh. Yeah, glad I don’t have to burn you at the stake… 🙂

Conversant
get what?

Me
Multiple choice…

Was Jesus:

  • A. Lunatic
  • B. Liar
  • C. Lord

Conversant
You forgot
D. None of the above

Me
None of the above is not possible. He could not be an ordinary man and claim to be God unless he was a liar or a lunatic.

He claimed to be God, and every time He claimed it, the Jews wanted him dead.

Below are just a few.

——–

Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am”. At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. John 8:58

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly… Jesus answered them, “I told you, and ye believed not… I and my Father are one…
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. John 10:24-31

Jesus saith unto him… Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Matthew 26:64-66

——-

The apostle Paul confirms:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:5-7

And the apostle John confirms:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14

Conversant
I don’t think that in this instance that you can change my belief by stating yours. I respect your interpretation of scripture as one of absolute truth. I do not share this belief. Therefore; while D. None of the above is impossible for you to consider, it is the choice for me.
Consider the existence of the color red. Consider your perception of the color red. Can you say with certainty that what your human brain has processed and is replicating in your image-sensory world….. that it is the same as another persons perception of the color red. Could you prove it?

Me

It’s not a subjective issue. Just because someone thinks the world is flat does not make it true.

You don’t have to believe the Bible is infallible. There is tons of historical, archaeological, and forensic evidence to back it up.

Have no fear. You don’t have to change your life, become “good”, start going to chuch, or anything except believe to get to heaven.

Conversant
I thought that if you want to get to heaven……..you got to raise a little hell.

Obviously end of discussion.
I pray at least a seed was planted.
I stand on the statement that God’s word will not return to Him void.

Islam a Religion of Peace?

 

The politically correct people in the US are being led to slaughter like the Eloi people in H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine.

“Killing is a great Divine gift.”

Ayatollah Khomeini: “Those who say Islam should not kill don’t understand [it]. Killing is a great [divine] gift that appears [to man]. A religion that does not include [provisions for] killing and massacre is incomplete. Those who claim that Jesus was averse to killing and war, harm his prophetic mission… Killing is the same as mercy.”

“Violence is the heart of Islam.”

Ayatollah Yazdi – Senior Advisor to Ahmadinejad and IRGC Leaders: “We must wipe away the shameful stain whereby some people imagine that violence has no place in Islam… we have decided and are determined to argue that violence is the heart of Islam.”

Jihad Watch

The Law vs. Grace

My First Sermon!

Tony got my names transposed. All three of my names can be first or last names, so after 51 years, I’m used to it. 🙂


Note that if you download it, it registers as being about 44 minutes long, but it is only 27. I used the RealPlayer trimmer. Tried it twice. It is just mis-marked on the file. I may try to trim it with another piece of software.


Player may not work on Firefox browsers? If player doesn’t work, you can download by right-clicking the link, below and choose “Save Target As”.

Right-click here to Download


Exodus 20


Rabbi Simlai 3rd century AD says there are 613 laws in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.


Talmud


A bunch of rabbis over the centuries had put together an enormous library of
interpretations of these laws. There were laws telling you how far you could
walk on a Sabbath day, and how much weight you could carry without breaking the
Sabbath, and numerous others. These are the kinds of things that the Pharisees
went by that Jesus complained about.


Law is necessary for an eternal society


Sin is destructive.


Housebreaking a puppy


During the World War


a luxurious French villa lay in the path of the oncoming armies. Although
deserted, it was shelled and left with great gaping holes in its stone sides. A
few swine, which had somehow escaped extermination, rooted their way into the
magnificently furnished drawing room. Over the rich, velvet carpet they tracked
their muddy feet, overturned the upholstered furniture, tore the expensive
draperies and chewed whatever gave any promise of satisfying their hunger. The
beauty, the elegance, the cultural characteristics of the place meant nothing to
the beast nature. They were not partakers of the intellectual or spiritual
qualities of the owner.


To the unregenerated millions of earth, the glories of Heaven would be like
the French villa was to the swine. They are not partakers of the Divine nature
and would have no capacity for enjoying the holy atmosphere of the Glory Land.


I’m sure the pigs were “good” as far as pigs go. But they did not belong in a
French villa.


Isaiah 55:8-9


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.


“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


Jesus will bring you peace, joy, love, lasting happiness…


A lot of people try to entice people into the Kingdom: “Jesus loves you! He
will make your life better” Which is true, but not true from a fleshly
standpoint. Jesus promised tribulation (John 16:33). He did not promise a bed of
roses. People who are told, “Seek Jesus, he will make your life better” will be
disillusioned when life happens. “I thought you told me…!”


Gal. 3:21b (NIV)


the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by
faith.


How should Christians deal with the law?


We obviously cannot go around killing people and committing
adultery..


Dear Dr. Laura:


Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. ……I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with
as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle,
for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be
an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however,
regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.



  1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
    pleasing odor for the Lord as written in Leviticus.1:9. The problem is my
    neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite
    them?

  2. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2
    clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him
    myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

  3. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination, Leviticus. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality?
    I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

  4. Leviticus. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have
    a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
    vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

  5. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around
    their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus. 19:27.
    How should they die?

  6. I know from Leviticus. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
    me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

  7. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus.19:19 by planting two different
    crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
    different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and
    blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of
    getting the whole town together to stone them? Leviticus.24:10-16. Couldn’t we
    just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who
    sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus. 20:14)

We’ll see if we can go back and answer these later.


“There are lots of people worse than me. It’s not like I killed
somebody!”


Try saying that to a judge.


Law is a schoolmaster (Gal. 3:19-25)


Law was not meant to save.


Galatians 2:16


know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus
Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified
by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no
one will be justified.




Adam was not promised damnation.


The Ten Commandments never offered eternal life.


The Jews had only a vague understanding of the concept of hell


Judaism 101


Torah emphasizes immediate, concrete, physical rewards and punishments rather
than abstract future ones…


Sheol


Abraham’s bosom



The law cannot be kept


See how successful the Hebrews were


James 2:10


“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is
guilty of all.”


Romans 3:20 (NIV)


Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the
law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.


Grace has superceded Law


Matthew 5:17


“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not
come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”


Fulfilled the sacrificial law and holidays


(except the ones that are future)


Jesus said he did not do away with the law. But Paul said we are not under
the law!


Confused? Me, too…


The concept of laws being superceded is not foreign to the Jews:


Exodus 20 vs. Jeremiah 31:29-30


… visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
fourth generation…


‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on
edge.’ Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes–his
own teeth will be set on edge.



The book of Galatians


Circumcision on the 8th day



Galatians 3:10


All who rely on observing the law are under a curse



Romans 10:4


Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone
who believes.



I Corinthians 15:56-57 (NIV)


The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks
be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Colossians 2:14 (NIV)


God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled
the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood
opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.



Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV)


Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with
regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These
are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in
Christ.



Hebrews 9:9b-10


the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience
of the worshiper.



Matthew Henry wrote:



So Christ made an improvement of the law and the prophets by his additions
and [clarifications]… the Christian institutes … promote [the law] to the
highest degree. The gospel is the time of reformation, not the repeal of the
law, but the amendment of it, and, consequently, its establishment.


Love thy neighbor vs. Ten Commandments


(Which were divided in two: Love the Lord thy God 1-4 and Love they neighbor
5-10)

The law won’t save you, but we are expected to act like the
King’s kids


Jesus’ first sermon


Some behavior will keep you out of heaven:


1 Corinthians. 6:9-11


God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7)


We will be Judged according to our works (Rev. 20:13 )


Don’t use grace for an occasion of the flesh (Gal 5:13)

Galatians 4:4-7 (Abba)


Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the
Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”



2 Peter 1:5-8


(These things do not save us, they keep us from being unproductive.)


Answer the Leviticus questions.


Get on the Ark

Secular Humanism vs. Christianity

The Secular Humanist Worldview

 

Origins

The secular humanists believe that the entire universe and life are simply an
incredible coincidence. They believe that the universe created itself 4.5
billion years ago, and lucky for us, some combination of chemicals combined to
make a single-celled life form that mutated over billions of years into the
incredible array of life we see today on planet earth.

Identity

 
To the secularist, we are nothing more than an advanced animal (Weider
& Gutierrez, 2011, p. 57), or a bunch of cells and atoms.
  

Meaning/ Purpose

 
I would venture to say that for most unbelievers in the western world,
their main purpose is to the pursuit of some sort of temporal happiness.
Everyone has a different idea about happiness. Some try drugs, others pursue
money, some it’s a misguided concept of love. The list is virtually endless. In
the inner cities, some people’s purposes may be mere survival.

Life can not possibly have any deep meaning to a pure secularist since life
is “just an accident”. When taken to extremes by those who don’t believe in God,
on one hand life can either be considered cheap (for instance Communist purges)
or if taken to the other extreme, all life is considered precious and humans are
no more value than other animals (Weider & Gutierrez, 2011, p. 57). In an
astonishing dichotomy, the same groups of people who vote for a candidate who
promotes abortion are also the most vocal environmentalists. And they obviously
cannot see any problem with this.

Morality

 
The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) bylaws assert that
humanists want to build “a more humane society through an ethics based on human
and other natural values…”and they reject “supernatural views of reality” (IHEU,
2009). But there are no genuine natural values. Only someone from a western
culture could come up with an idea like that. A real unbeliever raised in a
third-world country with no Western values would laugh at such a “wimpy”
concept. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” (Commonly
attributed to Josef Stalin). Without a moral God, there is no reason why Stalin
would not be able to send the entire IHEU to the firing squad if they complained
about his morality.
  

Destiny

 
Though they may try to leave an earthly legacy behind, the only thing a
true atheist can look forward to after death is annihilation.
 

The Secular Worldview vs. the Christian Worldview

Origins

In contrast to the Secularist’s view that everything was an accident, the
Christian believes that God created the universe and all life. The Christian
believes in “microevolution” or adaptation. This is where an animal will undergo
slight changes in order to adapt to changing conditions, but no new species is
formed. For instance the beaks of Darwin’s finches change with the environment,
but the finch will never evolve into, for instance, an eagle. There is no
scientific evidence that any life form has transitioned into another life form.
And God was careful to make note that this would not happen (Genesis 1:11-12,
21-25).

Identity

 
In contrast to the secularist idea that we are but mere animals, the Bible
tells us that we were a special creation, formed in God’s image. The animals
were spoken into existence in groups, but Adam was made from the dust into a
living soul (Genesis 2:7). We were to be caretakers of, and have dominion over
the earth (Genesis 1:28). Adam changed the whole thing when he disobeyed God,
and we were cast out of paradise. But God sent us a Savior; and under the new
covenant, we are now to be conformed to Christ’s image (Romans 8:29). He was our
perfect example, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can grow to become
more and more Christ-like (2 Peter 1:5-8).
 

Meaning/ Purpose

 
In contrast to the vain and empty pursuits of the unbeliever, the
Christian’s purposes are to know God (Weider & Gutierrez, 2011, p. 61); to
love one another (John 13:35); and to serve each other (Matthew 25:34-40). There
is no higher calling, no occupation so satisfying. Anybody who has ever given a
gift to a child and watched them excitedly open it knows first-hand that it is
more blessed to give than to receive.
 

Morality

 
Without God, morals have no real clout. The IHEU (above) wants to build a
utopian society based on “natural values”. Which is an exercise in futility
because there is no such thing. The strong arm of God backs the Christian moral
code. But happily, we do not live by the letter of the law under the New
Covenant. God writes His laws in our hearts. In my experience, I don’t
want to sin. This is in stark contrast to before I believed! Before God
found me, I vigorously pursued nearly every form of carnal pleasure I could
think of. God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7); we cannot use grace for an occasion
to sin (Galatians 5:13); but God knows we are weak and we will stumble (2
Corinthians 12:9).
 

Destiny

 
In contrast to the Secularists’ bleak hope of annihilation, the believer
has the hope of eternal joy. The hope of being welcomed into the eternal Kingdom
of God (Matthew 25:23). Some of us will even be kings and priests (Revelation
5:10).
… And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be
no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.
(Revelation 21:4)

IHEU (2009). IHEU Bylaws. Retrieved July 31, 2011 from
http://www.iheu.org/bylaws

 

References

 

Weider, L., & Gutierrez, B. (2011). Consider. Virginia Beach,
VA: Academx Publishing Services, Inc.

Nature Nurture and God

What Would I Have Become?

When I was about two years old, my parents got a divorce. Dad got custody of my brother and me, and Mom soon moved back to Kansas never to contact us again. In later years, Dad would tell me that when I was a baby, a rich old Indian (Native American) man wanted to buy me from my parents because he had no heir; but Dad would not sell. After that, from time to time, the question would come up in my mind: what would I have grown up like if I had been raised by a rich old Indian?

Then when I was about 18 years old, my brother found my natural mother. By this time, she had two girls from subsequent marriages. She was a working mother and the girls, in stark contrast to my strict upbringing, had very little supervision – they were allowed to do just about whatever they felt like. Later, my brother moved down to Oklahoma to spend his last couple of years of High School with Mom and was essentially allowed to do whatever he pleased. This again sparked my interest in how I would have “turned out” under different circumstances.

My Thoughts on The Nature Vs. Nurture Argument

I don’t think that any thoughtful person could attribute 100% of our characteristics to either nature or nurture alone. “You need nature to be able to absorb nurture” (Ridley, 2003, p. 173). The extent that each affects us will probably be debated until Jesus returns. Which is a great segue into my next thought: There appears to be very little mention of spirituality and probably none about how the Holy Spirit and the “Renewing of the mind” in psychological circles. I can attribute much of my mental foibles to genetics as well as my environment. But since I was about age 20, the Holy Spirit has been renewing my mind into something that I could never have accomplished myself. Many emotional diseases could be attenuated or eradicated by the Holy Spirit if people would seek Him. I’ve worked with alcoholics and addicts for years, and have seen several be able to completely rid themselves of antidepressant medication after they stay sober for a while and let God do His work.

The History of the Nature Vs. Nurture Issue

The concept has been around even before Shakespeare’s time (Ridley, 2003, p. 71). Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), a half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was credited with coining the phrase: “Nature versus Nurture” (University of Indiana, 2007). Some people strongly affirm that genetics influence what people become, while the other side favors “nurture”. Ridley (2003, p. 69) says that “it was Galton’s fate to ignite the feud in 1864”. Since then, the discussions have often been very passionate. The feud has raged for over a century. And by all appearances, it will not be over in my lifetime.

What are The Most Essential Characteristics of This Issue?

Psychologists want to know to what extent our traits are genetically inherited from our parents, and what is the influence of our environment (i.e. upbringing) on who we become. Certainly some physical features are exclusively inherited (I have blue eyes because my ancestors had blue eyes.). Some, like a propensity to gain weight, are partially inherited, and partially influenced by our environment (Myers, 2010, p. 460). But since this is a psychology paper, I’ll be concentrating on the psychological aspects.

What do we inherit from our ancestors, and what role does our environment play?

Some traits are more inheritable than others are. For example, a person’s temperament is almost exclusively biological (inherited) (Myers, 2010).

Personality

David Myers (2010) says that personality is virtually 100% inherited: “The environment shared by a family’s children has no discernable impact on their personalities.” (p. 139). And I know this to be true. My brother and I are 21 months apart. We were raised almost as twins. We both got nearly identical clothes, and same treatment. We were grouped together as a unit. It was “The kids” as though we weren’t even individuals. But we have always been as different as night and day in personality. My biological mother affirms that I was easy-going, and my brother was “wild” even from birth. And to this day, despite nearly identical upbringings, we are still very, very different.

Beliefs

There are a few things that are not so strongly tied to genetics. Among those are “attitudes, values, manners, faith, and politics” (Myers, 2010).

Nature in the formative years

Matt Ridley (2003) shows how complex the issue really is:

Nurture is reversible; nature is not. That is the reason responsible intellectuals have spent a century preferring [environment over genes]… But what if there was a planet where it was the other way around? … [A] world in which lived intelligent creatures whose nurture they could do nothing about, whereas their genes were exquisitely sensitive to the world in which they lived.

Search no more… You live on precisely such a planet. To the extent that people are products of nurture… they are largely the products of early and irreversible events. To the extent that they are the product of genes, they are expressing new effects right into adulthood, and often those effects are at the mercy of how they live. (p. 151)

If a person is exposed to certain environmental factors while in the womb, or during critical phases in childhood, there can be irreversible catastrophic consequences. A girl named Genie was raised chained to a potty chair or a crib most of her childhood. She was finally found and freed. But tragically, the only words she learned to speak were “stopit” and “nomore” (sic). She was deprived of appropriate verbal input at a critical age. (Ridley, 2003, pp. 169-170)

Jensenism: The heritability of intelligence.

Arthur R. Jensen (1923-) became the focus of a very emotional controversy when in 1969 he published an article saying that intelligence was a result of genetics, followed by biological environmental differences. He asserted that socioeconomic status (SES) had little or no influence on intelligence. This was published at a time when it was popularly believed that the 15 point IQ difference between blacks and whites was attributed to financial status. People were outraged that Jensen suggested Black people were genetically less intelligent. (Miele, 2002, p.18)

So, was Jensen right? Is intelligence inherited? Intelligence seems to be a product of genetics. But perhaps not as much as Jensen thought. David Myers (2010) says that the heritability of intelligence runs about 50 percent (p. 429) though he then goes on to explain (p. 434) that there is a “stubborn” ethnic gap in intelligence scores. But that has been narrowing since 1970.

Conclusion

“Mental similarities between adopted children and their adoptive families wane with age, until the correlation approaches zero by adulthood” (Myers, 2010, p. 428). I could expect my native intelligence and personality to be about the same after I grew to adulthood. What I would do with this mind would certainly be influenced by my environment. I could not imagine that if I had been whisked off to Libya or the Soviet Union as a child that my life would be much the same, for instance.

Like Bandura’s reciprocal determination (Myers, 2010, p.577), my genes most certainly affect what I am interested in. So discounting an environment of inadequate resources, I would still have been interested in paleontology as a child and not so interested in math. Genes ultimately control who we become, but our experiences add shades of hue to our genetic dispositions. “Our genes shape the experiences that shape us” (Myers, 2010, p 429).

So, all secular things considered, with similar advantages, I probably would still have grown up to be just about what I am today. And Jesus would have had to step in and mould me into someone He can work with. Because left to my own devices, I did not do very good!

 

References

Miele, F. (2002). Intelligence, race, and genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

Myers, D. (2010). Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.

Ridley, M. (2003) Nature via Nurture. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. Published again in 2004 under the title: The agile gene: How nature turns on nurture

University of Indiana (2007). Human intelligence: Francis Galton Retrieved June 16, 2011 from http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/galton.shtml

Jesus: More Than Just a Man – He is God

What does Mark 9:2-29 tell us about Jesus?
First, it tells us that Jesus is divine – or at least more than just a mortal man. While walking down the mountain, He asked the disciples not to tell anyone about the transfiguration that had just happened — certainly not an everyday event! He had requested several times for certain deeds not to be proclaimed (i.e. Mk 7:36, Mt 8:4, etc.). Probably for several reasons, but the first thing that comes to my mind is for His own safety. His life was in constant danger, and every time He alluded to His divinity, the people wanted to throw Him off a cliff or started picking up stones. But it was not yet His time. Secondly, the talk of resurrection (v. 9:9) shows that Jesus is more than an angel (or other supernatural being), but the actual Messiah, Himself! Jesus alluded to the fact that John the Baptist was the Elijah predicted to precede Him, further demonstrating that He is nothing less than the predicted Messiah (vv.
12-13).

The central message:

As mentioned, above, clearly one central message of these verses and the surrounding context is Jesus’ Divinity.
If we include the verses before and after (Mk. 9:2-29), it is a panorama or
snapshot of Jesus’ history. The transfiguration shows Jesus in His glory before the world was (vv. 2-12); then He came down among men (vv. 9-13) to teach and to do for us what we could not do for ourselves (vv. 14-29). It spoke of His pending resurrection (v.9). And by casting out the demon that the disciples could not (vv.14-27), He displayed His dominion over demons and superiority to man.

It also shows that we are completely blind and powerless without Jesus:

a.) Peter is completely bewildered at the transfiguration.
b.) The apostles cannot grasp the concept of the coming resurrection.
c.) The other disciples are unable to cast out the demon, and
d.) There were possibly still questions in their minds concerning Jesus’ Messiah-ship as well. For instance, it had been prophesied that Elijah would precede the Messiah. So they may have been politely asking: “Ok, so if you are the Messiah, where is Elijah?” (v. 11)

Judaizers – The Law vs. Grace

The Judaizers

The entire book of Galatians is Paul’s effort to correct the heresy of Judaizers who were trying to tell people that they had to be circumcised and follow Jewish law to be saved. Paul explains at length that we are not saved by law or ritual (i.e. Galatians 4:4-5). In Chapter 5, he is talking about circumcision: how if a person trusts in circumcision to save them, then Christ is of no value (5:2). Paul was furious! He even went so far to say that he wished the people who were trying to convince the Galatian believers to be circumcised (Judaizers) would emasculate themselves!

How Paul deals with the Judaizers

In Galatians 5:19-25, Paul helps distinguish what proceeds from the Spirit, and what proceeds from the flesh. He describes the evidences of living by the flesh (sexual immorality, drunkenness, etc.) and then he proceeds to describe the results (fruits) of walking in the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, etc.) and encourages us to continue to walk in the Spirit.

Judaizers were telling people that they had to follow Jewish law to be saved. If they had succeeded, Christianity would have become just another Jewish sect (Barclay, 1976). In the preceding verses, Paul is talking about how if a person trusts in circumcision to save them, then Christ is of no value (Gal 5:2). Paul was furious! He even went so far to say that he wished the Judaizers would emasculate themselves! In verse 13, he warns the church not to use our Christian freedoms to indulge the flesh. Verses 5:16-18 may have been seen by the 1st century church as a “how-to” guide for living in grace instead of under the law. Paul explains that if we live by the Spirit, we will not satisfy our fleshly nature. It’s not going to be easy! Our flesh and spirit are at war, and this conflict does not allow us to do what we want (cf. Romans 7:14-25). And that if we walk in the Spirit we are not under the law. The verses that follow (vv. 19-26) are indications of a life of walking in the flesh contrasted to those of walking in the Spirit. Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Gal 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

How might the Galatian people perceive Paul’s letter?

The poor Galatian people had to be so confused! Judaizers were telling people that they had to follow Jewish law to be saved (Barclay, 1976). Paul was furious! (Gal 5:12) If they had succeeded, Christianity would have become just another Jewish sect (Barclay, 1976, p. 3). Paul devotes most of this letter to answering the judaizers. Chapter 5 is the peroration (summary) of his argument (Fausset, 1871). In the preceding verses, Paul tells us we are called to freedom but warns us not to use our Christian freedoms to indulge the flesh (v.13). The poor Galatian people might see vv. 5:16-18 as a “quick-start” guide for living under grace: Live by the Spirit, and we will not satisfy our fleshly nature. But it’s not going to be easy! Our flesh and spirit are at war; we are never free from this conflict (Gl 5:17b NLT). Verse 18 reminds us that if we walk in the Spirit, we are not under the law. The verses that follow (vv. 19-26) describe the fruits of a life of walking in the flesh vs. those of walking in the Spirit.

We could relate to the Galatian people!

We in the Western World could easily relate to the Galatian people. The Galatians, as a part of the Roman Empire, would have been bombarded on all sides by a myriad of religions competing for their attentions just as we are today. And I dare say the subtleties of law vs. grace would easily be lost on the average new believer in America. A new believer in America (and many “old” believers) would be easy prey for a slick-talking judaizer.

The Theology of Galatians 5:16-18

Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Gal 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

The theological principles of Galatians 5:16-18 are: 1.) How to live a clean life – to keep from following through with our carnal desires with the help of the Holy Spirit (v. 16); 2.) The ongoing war between our flesh and spirit (v. 17) and; 3.) Christian liberty – living by grace rather than under the law (v.18).

How can we apply God’s Grace to our lives?

1.) In the year 1531 AD, Martin Luther wrote: “When I was a monk I thought I was lost forever whenever I felt an evil emotion, carnal lust, wrath, hatred, or envy. I tried to quiet my conscience in many ways, but it did not work, because lust would always come back and give me no rest…” You don’t have to be a monk to feel this way. I also tend to be a “perfectionist” and have a very hard time dealing with any shortcomings. It is comforting to know that we are not under the law. And as I walk in the Spirit, though I feel unholy desires at times, when I walk with God, I need not carry them out.

Today I am free of the obsession to drink by the grace of God. When I first got sober, I tried everything I could think of to be at peace when not drinking – to no avail. Today, I am doing what is suggested in the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 steps are a “spiritual program” based on Christian principles. It is not about being “good”, it is about getting rid of the garbage in our mind that is blocking God, then improving our relationship with God and helping others. Today though once in a while, a drink sounds tempting, it is no longer a losing battle because I walk in the Spirit. I quit trying to cure myself long enough to let God in to do His work.

References

Barclay, W. (1976) The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians Revised Edition. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

Fausset, A.R. (1871) A. R. Fausset commentary on Galatians: The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians

Luther, M. (1531) Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians

Wikipedia (2011) Retrieved April 3, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galatia

Finally a Sensible Approach to Westboro “Church”

I saw an article today that gave me hope. A pastor in Seattle has invited Westboro protesters to donuts and a sermon.

This is the kind of thing that will beat Westboro’s evil: love. Perhaps if even one member is touched by a truly godly sermon, the word will spread and Westboro will be defanged.

Read the story here.

Make doughnuts not protest — Seattle pastor offers Westboro Baptist picketers sweet treats

Does Jesus Teach Tolerance?

In a word, “no”.
He tolerates things that appalled the “religious” of the times. But notice, for instance, Zacchaeus who immediately offered to pay restitution; and clean up his act, repentance was implied (why pay people back then start ripping them off again?) Or the woman caught in adultery, He instructed her not to sin anymore.
Jesus accepts sinners, but he expects us to turn from our sins.
His first ministry, after the temptation, but before he called the disciples was walking through the countryside proclaiming “repent!” (Matthew 4:14)
On the other hand, Jesus did not tell people to go out and kill infidels. But would that be considered “tolerance”?
You decide.

Step 2 of AA – A Christian Standpoint

Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Restore us to sanity?

Yes, we are insane. Everybody is to some degree. No not necessarily ready for the rubber room, but a form of insanity nonetheless. Insanity has many different definitions like most words. But clearly doing something destructive time and time again is a form of insanity.

The first time I read the 12 Steps was on the wall of a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I read step 2, looked around the room, and thought smugly, “Maybe these guys are insane, but not me. I can just skip to step 3.”

Turns out I was probably the craziest one in the room at the time. I was over 5 years sober before I realized that.

That’s real insanity.

And in AA you will hear stories galore. Once you are around for a while, what seemed to be normal behavior when you were drinking, you will see is entirely insane.

But that’s not the insanity they are talking about. Again, they are talking about the insanity of the first drink. Knowing this behavior is destroying your life and the lives of those close to you… But here you are drinking again.

In Step 1 we learned we had a problem. The problem can be serious and often fatal. Our lives are unmanageable. (If it were not unmanageable, there would be no reason to quit drinking.) And there is no solution for it within our own power. We are powerless.

In Step 2, we find there is a solution. The solution to homelessness is a home. The solution to powerlessness is power. And since we have found we do not have the power, the solution must lie outside ourselves. The solution lies within a power that is greater than we are.

AA is very liberal about what higher power you choose. Some even go so far to say a doorknob can be a higher power. Which is of course hyperbole. A doorknob has no power. People who suggest such things are trying to get you to reach outside yourself… for something. Anything. A power that is truly greater than you will come later after you become willing to reach out.

AA’s success was due partly to the fact that people did not have to believe in God the same way you do to stay sober. Some people I hear in AA circles have had bad experiences in organized religion. They judge God by the mistakes His people make. Which is sad, but a fact of life.

But there is clearly a solution. I’ve met people who have been sober over 30 years. And I had a hard time staying sober 24 hours! They solved the problem – but how?

Some people who have had a bad experience with religion choose to use the AA group as a power greater than themselves until they can manage to eject the prejudices that they have. Surely the AA group with many sober members is more powerful than one poor soul who can barely draw a sober breath.

Then there are people who belong to other faiths or are atheists in AA and remain so. I’m not going to argue with them here.

How to find God?

God cannot be seen with the human eye. He is not electromagnetic. He does not reflect light in the tiny bandwidth we can see with our eyes.

He must reveal Himself to you.

And you have to ask Him. He will reveal Himself to you in a way that will make sense to you. It will not be the same way that made sense to me. It will not be in the same way He revealed Himself to your sponsor. Everybody is different. God will customize His revelation to you.

Note: It will probably not be a “burning bush” or a spectacular supernatural event. Things will happen in just the right way at just the right time that when it all gels together, you will have what they call in AA a “Spiritual awakening”.

Note also that there is no mention of doing any rituals or incantations or other special things to find God. Simply ask Him with a humble heart, and start watching for His answer.

We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.
Alcoholics Anonymous “The Big Book” Page 46

Step 1 of AA – A Christian Standpoint

Alcoholics Anonymous’ Step 1 is about desperation. How desperate a person must be depends upon the individual. Some have to sink quite low; others “get it” without going so far down.

Step 1 states, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.” (Alcoholics Anonymous Page 59)

Two things are going on at the same time. We are powerless over alcohol: No matter how much willpower we exert, we are not able to stop drinking. Our lives had become unmanageable: No matter how much it wrecks our lives, we are not able to control our drinking or stop.

Why don’t you just quit? If willpower alone would do it, there would be no alcoholics. We’d just quit. Some people can be quite heavy drinkers and not be actual alcoholics. Alcoholism is actually a threefold disease. It is a disease of the mind and of the body. It is also a disease of the spirit, though some people do not believe in spirits.

Why don’t you just read your Bible, pray and Jesus will remove your alcoholism? If that were so, then then AA would never have had to been formed – the alcoholic would just go to church and that would be that. In the 1930s when AA was being born, people were going to church and reading their Bibles even if they didn’t really believe in what they were doing. Remember “Otis” the town drunk on The Andy Griffith Show? Even he went to church. Sure, Jesus could just cure you by a miracle, but that would not be getting to the core of the problem.

It is a disease of the body. It is an allergic (abnormal) reaction to alcohol. The reaction is not sneezing like hay fever, or not hives like an allergy to strawberries. The allergic reaction to alcohol is to immediately want another drink. Non-alcoholics to not experience this reaction. A non-alcoholic will want to stop drinking after a while. The alcoholic will want a drink worse after the 5th drink than he did after the first.

It is a disease of the mind. In AA lingo, it is called the obsession of the mind. The alcoholic’s mind wants a drink. The alcoholic cannot stop thinking about a drink for any appreciable amount of time. This is a very compelling desire, and can go on for months or even years (in my case, a little over two years. Dr. Bob, co-founder of AA obsessed for 2-1/2 years. I thought I was going to match or beat his record. I got close! But by the grace of God, it finally went away after 25-1/2 months). An obsession is described as an idea that overpowers all ideas to the contrary. The result is: at first the alcoholic may have made a solemn promise to himself never to drink again (And he really means it!) only to find himself sitting at the bar just a few hours later wondering how it happened.

It is a disease of the spirit. Sometimes called a soul-sickness. Alcoholics can be filled with resentment: Churning over and over in their minds bad things that other people have done to them. Alcoholism brings fear. Fear of just about everything. Whether the fears are founded or not, they are very real. One of the first things that happens in your mind is that alcohol lowers a person’s inhibitions. People will do things while drinking that they would not do sober. This is why men try to ply women with drink. Doing things that you would not do otherwise will cause you to have a guilty conscience. Spending money on drinking that, for instance, should be spent buying your children shoes can lead to a guilty conscience. Some people become violent when drinking. People drink to drown their sorrows. You lose all self-respect. One great AA speaker said, “I became everything I detested in a human being.”

A person really arrives at step one when still drinking. Some people will call the trip to step 1, step zero. You have come to the end of your rope. You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it. You realize that you have to have help. You are powerless over alcohol.

Step one is not just admitting — “saying” — you are an alcoholic. People used to call me an alcoholic all the time, and I’d say, “Heck, yeah! Bring me another beer!”
Admitting you are powerless is an entirely different process: a process of helplessness. A feeling of desperation.

The Theology of “For the Bible tells me so”

“For the Bible Tells Me So” is a documentary that attempts, among other things, to prove that the Bible says it is ok to be gay. Is that the case? Is homosexuality divinely ordained? Read on….

At 20:20, Reverend Steven Kingle, “If you read the Bible at a face value level, it leaves out some very important things. The first one is just a few verses before that; that Moses teaches it is an abomination to eat shrimp… it is an abomination to eat a rabbit.

Call it what you want. It was not a capitol offense to eat a rabbit. However, they even mentioned in the movie that homosexuality and certain other sexual abominations were capitol crimes.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu… “The Bible was written in the idiom of the time… We don’t take it as literally so…”

Et Tú Tutu? Bible scholars have poured their hearts into accurately translating the Bible. They know that their very souls are on the line… This was especially in the forefront of people’s minds the 1600s. Any Bible student knows that it has been remarkably well preserved, and the King James and most modern translations, such as the NIV are meticulously translated. There is no mystery about Biblical idioms if you study. Secondly… There is nothing idiomatic about the statement that someone should be put to death! It is obvious, either Tutu doesn’t know what an idiom is (I find this unlikely) or he is deceived.

At 21:36, Reverend Dr. Laurence C. Keene: When the word “abomination” is used in the Bible it is always used to address a ritual wrong. It never is used to refer to something innately immoral… Eating pork was never “innately” wrong… (The word “always” was emphasized in his speech. It was not added by me.)

This guy is truly scary. He does not know Hebrew and is misleading his followers – and anybody else watching this video: I cannot trust another word he says.


Strong’s H8441 – tow`ebah: a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable

  1. in ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages)
  2. in ethical sense (of wickedness etc.)

At 22:12 Reverend Susan Sparks That particular section about a man not lying with a man was about procreation…

  1. Where did she come up with that? Where is her evidence?
  2. God did not say “why”. Does knowing the reason why not to kill make murder any less of an offense? God rarely explains Himself – He said not to. God also talked about not having sex with close family members and animals. He did not explain why.
    How ridiculous does this sound? “Oh, well. I’m not in the mood to procreate, the planet is overpopulated, anyhow. So I’ll just have sex with that animal over there – or maybe my sister…”

At 21:36, Reverend Dr. Laurence C. Keene: Onan spilled his seed on the ground. It was an abomination.

Commentators are virtually unanimous: God struck Onan down not for the act of coitus interruptus. Onan spilled his seed on the ground to keep from getting Tamar pregnant because any child born to her would have belonged to his late brother…

At 23:12 They show a clip from an episode of TV’s West Wing where actor Martin Sheen proposes a scenario: When someone works on the Sabbath – who should put him to death?

The Sabbath being a capital offense was superceded by Jesus when He said that the Sabbath was made for the man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27) However, homosexuality was condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Homosexuals (and many others) will not be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

 

 

For insight on this movie from the perspective of the ex-gay, see the “For the Bible tells me so” Movie Review by Thomas Coy
 

 

 

Palestinian Children Sing a Catchy Tune!

When we die as martyrs

Muslim Children Trained for Combat and Martyrdom

Is teaching children to be suicide bombers and terrorists right or wrong? Religion of Peace? You decide…

No, Westboro Church, God Does not Hate Fags

It would appear some people have stopped reading here… 

Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers–none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NLT)

But Paul continues in the very next verse

some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away… (1 Corinthians 6:11 NLT)

God loves people. God is Love… He hates the fact that we sin, but anybody who thinks that they are sinless has some self-examination to do. He loved you before you believed, why not homosexuals?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you can continue to practice such things with impunity. God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). But he will help the homosexuals overcome their sins just the same as He will any other sinner.

Case closed.

By the way, there is help if you are looking to be free from homosexuality.

http://www.exodusinternational.org/

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