Monday, May 28, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
"I, though, am not here to disprove the Bible's stance. I'm here to disprove the Bible.
It was not. based. on. historical. fact. I cannot stress this enough. It is no more based on historical fact than The Chronicles of Narnia. Granted, the Bible may contain some worthwhile moral lessons, teachings, and parables, many of which have concrete applications to our modern lifestyle.
However, most of it is 2000-year-old superstition that has no place in this century. The Bible, which was written approximately 80 years after the death of Christ, and not by any of his apostles or their relatives, has not only been extremely diluted from its ORIGINAL incorrect message, is not a book to base your life on.
God has not presented himself to anybody here, I am willing to fairly say. (If you have seen God, please submit yourself to the nearest hospital for medical care. You very well may be insane.) They have accepted his book based on faith and practice, nothing more. If you were not raised Christian, I'd bet fairly that you would not be today. (If you converted, it makes you that much stronger. You are still incorrect, though.)
You have accepted God and the Bible based on faith. (I.E. blind trust.) Not perception, reason, rational thought, or fact.
I surely cannot disprove God. But you cannot disprove invisible unicorns, or dragons living on other planets, or flying spaghetti monsters that have divine power. Yet I worship none of these things."
Monday, May 21, 2007
- We are lost. This is a statement of condition. Sin has placed us in this condition, i.e., separate from God.
- We are headed to hell. This is the consequence of the condition. Apparently, our condition merits some sort of response, and that response is damnation. Sin has placed us in a state of damnation, i.e., permanent separation from God
- We have a way of escape. This is a statement about Christ. Apparently, the consequence to our condition is not inevitable. Christ has given us a way out. That is what His death basically means, i.e., bringing us back to God.
- We must believe in Christ to be saved. This is a statement about choice. The ball is now in our court, i.e., what will we do with Christ, with His way of escape?
Why I find this important is because these simple yet key elements can help one distinguish the true gospel from other mainstream "gospels" out there, i.e., Prosperity, Social, and Love. All three of these "gospels" do the exact same thing in regards to these four key components: they omit components "1" and "2". Of course, when this happens they create a vacuum that must be filled, for "3" and "4" logically follow from "1" and "2". If Christ did not come and die to redeem us, to destroy the works of the devil, to go through death so that He might destroy the one who had the power of death, then what did he die for? The three mainstream "gospels" fill in the blanks in their own way:
- Prosperity-Jesus came and died to make us healthy, wealthy and wise because before He came we were sick, poor and foolish, and sickness, poverty and foolishness have nothing to do with God.
- Social-Jesus came so that he could cure diseases, end world hunger, and give everyone a good education. His death marked the tragic end of His good works and marked the beginning of our good works. Again, sickness, poverty and foolishness are not of God.
- Love-Jesus came and died because...well, because God loves us...and that's it.
The part of the gospel we must redeem from Modern Christendom and mainstream "gospels" is the truth about our condition and its consequence. Side notes can be the redeeming of sickness, poverty and foolishness (Christ was acquainted with grief and had no place to lay His head, and foolishness is God's weapon of choice against the wise), but we must above all else drag the truth of (if I may say so) "hellfire and damnation" back into the public mind. We are sinners, and we must be saved. Salvation is what a savior does, and if Christ is not a savior, then He is nothing but the same old running gag played over and over again from aesthetic pagans and righteous heathens--be good and help those who are hurting.
I've said it once and I'll say it again: health, wealth, wisdom, a new house, freshly upholstered furniture, new clothes, good stock portfolios, fat bank accounts, social amiability, good hygiene, and a bass boat are nice and all, but what good are they towards curing the soul? How do these things make you unlost? How do they save you? Tell someone that you know who can fix their broken home or liver or bank account, and they will rejoice and be glad, but they will still have lost their souls in the end. Tell someone that you know Who can fix their broken souls, however, and you will have given them truly good news. You may have been unfaithful to the institutions and their advocates, but you will not have been unfaithful to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Way to go!
Beard is, beard is!
Brain is, brain is!
Not just mush!
Us of Lent!
Perhaps it would do Pop Prot writers some good to go to this "Buechner center." Maybe we could start a fund of some sorts?
"Props for Pop Prots: Help send poor, artistically and sacramentally starved Pop Prot writers to school! Just 35 cents a day helps the potential of Prot writers!"
Yeah...it could happen.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (I Corinthians 14:33)
Science versus religion, for many minds, has been an old rivalry. Ever since the Enlightenment brought about the Scientific Revolution there has been trials, debates, arguments, papers, books, essays, TV specials, movies, and virtually any other form of communication devoted to this issue. In the end, religion sees science as the enemy, and vice versa.
Second, I would like to dispel a few illusions about science. Modern science, from its birth to today, has held several guidelines to the way it looks at the world, one of which is that science does not deal in the supernatural, metaphysical or ethical.[iii] So any such claims that science can “debunk” the miraculous has no grounds because the miraculous is by definition a part of the supernatural and therefore falls outside of science. That is one illusion dispelled.
[i] Book I: Aphorism 65
[ii] Chapter VI, Section 57
[iii] There is no book than can claim itself as the original reference to said guidelines. It would be easier to go to the Internet and type “scientific method” into your search engine.
[iv] Some may object to my using Bacon now to support me when earlier I said his words had been used to support Gog. A little explanation will clear things. Gog proponents have taken Bacon’s phrase about faith out of context. Bacon was not an atheist; he was a devout Christian. But in his day (circa 1570 to 1600) unfeigned belief in the miraculous was being used as an excuse to do exactly what Gog does: if we don’t know how it works, then apply it to God. Bacon saw this as a stagnation to science and a misuse of his beliefs. Much of his writings were meant to combat this. In truth, one could say that Bacon, if he were alive today, would be one of the fiercest opponents against Gog.
[v] From Novum Organum, at the end of the chapter entitled “The Plan of the Work”.
[vi] Ephesians 2:12-22 and Colossians 1:20-22
Monday, May 7, 2007
I found his assertion curious. Curious because when I think of the typical idea of the "American Dream," I see big houses, fast cars, fat bank accounts, and financial independence. In short, I see results. With James, however, I see no fancy cars or huge bank accounts (I could be wrong; he may be an undercover drug dealer from Venezuela). All I see is hard work and a sweaty brow. He spends his work days actually working. Not sitting at a desk (like I do, darn it!), but getting out there and working with his hands and earning his living. In short, with James I see the process to the results. For him, the American Dream is not what you get, but how you get it, and he gets it by getting his hands dirty. Again, I find that this is highly curious.
I also find it true. Nobody, and I mean nobody cares to actually do something to get where they want to be. Somehow, we have been fooled (or fooled ourselves) into thinking that we've earned the results without the process, that our mere glorious existence is somehow reason enough to reap all the rewards. Try to inject any thought of (gasp!) hard work into our minds, and we bulk and whine about someone trying to "squash our dreams." Our dreams are squashed by our own laziness more than they are squashed by someone else.
Friday, May 4, 2007
1) ALL Catholicism (whether it be Roman or not) is "scary" to Prots because they cannot separate the original Christianity from the corrupt political institution it became (and maybe still is). Therefore, ANYTHING Christian that is "catholic" is labeled under the Prot's file folder of "scariness."
(2) Putting Christian imagery all over your walls would overwhelm visiting unbelievers (or visitors from "The Church of Relevancy and God, Inc.") and "push" religion on them. We're not here to push any kind of standard on anyone. We're here to make them comfortable and complacent, remember?
(3) Putting Christian imagery all over the place would shout loud and clear a conformity to a particular tradition and worldview and offend our post-modern (or hyper-modern) aesthetics. We're not here to offend or rock boats, remember? I don't recall Jesus doing anything outlandish, like beating people with a whip, insulting religious leaders, dying as a criminal, or any other paradox invented by G. K. Chesterton.
(4) Putting Christian imagery up is old, therefore it is irrelevant. We're supposed to be relevant, remember? We are to conform to the norm, not live in the past.
-from the desk of the Pastor/Curator/Therapist of the Church of Relevancy and God, Inc.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
I particularly liked the writers reference to Plato's reasoning for doing away with poets. Perhaps we need a little more platonic action in regards to Hollywood.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
The East Side Baptist Church exists for the purpose of...
Making Jesus known to the world, encouraging true worship and study of the Word of God, and training believers in ministry and daily living to share Jesus as He is to people as they are.
The Purpose of East Side Baptist Church is to glorify God through our Worship and Witness. We are to win the lost, edify each other, enlist the saints in service, and provide an atmosphere for personal growth in holiness.
The joy of this Statement/Purpose is this:
- That we are to encourage true worship and study, i.e., there is a right and wrong way to do these things, not a relevant and irrelevant way.
- That we are to train believers in ministry, i.e., ministry is not the job of the clergy. We all have a responsibility as the "sons of God" to continue the work Jesus started long ago.
- That we are to share Jesus as He is, i.e., not the way we see Him, or the way that is more relevant.
- That we are to share Jesus to people as they are, i.e., to not be surprised that sinners are sinners, that the lost are lost, that the broken are broken. We do not try and fix people and then take them to Jesus; we take people to Jesus so He can fix them.
- That we are to edify each other, i.e., we do not come to this building to sit down next to strangers. We come to this building, into the presence of God, with the family of God, and we are to build each other up. There is a lot of pain in the pews that goes untouched because we think everything is supposed to be fine in church.
- We are to provide an atmosphere for personal growth in holiness, not your bank account, not in positive thinking, not in good manners and social amiableness, but holiness, i.e., God-likeness, a strong family resemblance to Jesus Christ (as Oswald Chambers would say).
However, the sorrow of this Statement/Purpose is this: that we even have to emphasis true worship and study, the universality of ministry, the real Jesus, reaching real people, edifying each other, and growing in holiness, is a shame. It is good to remember, but bad that we have forgotten.
Next, ask them what's wrong with the man in the article?
If they say, "What he says does not line up with the Bible," ask them what difference does the Bible make in matters of church doctrine or personal belief?
Sit back, and enjoy.