I Am So Disgusted with This…

I regularly listed to a radio program called “Renewing Your Mind” from Legonier Ministries.  Most commonly, a gentleman named R. C. Sproul speaks.  He is referred to as ‘Doctor’, a Doctor of Philosophy – not Medical.  He is a Reformed theologian, a Calvinist.  He is remarkable erudite, well read, well spoken and deliberate in his thought and belief.  I really like the guy as a theologian and Christian.  He seldom refers to himself as ‘Doctor’, even in the authorship of a number of books.  I think I would like him as a conversationalist or coffee drinking friend.

Which is why what I heard today is so depressing and disgusting.  Today being Tuesday, 16th December 2014.

For background, the lecture today was not a diatribe on the evils of science.  Dr. Sproul was discussing the nature of God in the Lord’s revelation of His Name to Moses in Exodus.  The exceptional comments were made tangential to that subject.  In the course of his lecture – his talks take on more of ‘information transfer mode’ than the ‘emotional, swaying’ feeling of a ‘sermon’ – Dr. Spoul was recounting a conversation he had with the late Dr. Carl Sagan.  I recount Dr. Sproul’s recantation here, in my own words from memory.  I hereby submit the meanings of statements are not changed from what I heard on the program.

Dr. Sagan:  We [scientists in the field of astronomy] can trace the Universe back to the first ‘instant’ of existence.

Dr. Sproul:  Why did you stop there?

Dr. Sagan:  Because we don’t see any need to go further.

Doctor Sproul’s reported statement of Dr. Sagan in response is an outright lie.

Here’s how I make such a sweeping statement with confidence.  I will warn the reader a knowledge of the  Lemaitre Theory of the origin and expansion of the Universe (derogatorily nick-named the “Big Bang” by detractors who finally had to withdraw their objections due to evidence) is needed – I am not going to write an entire book here to explain all the terms and concepts required.

The first quantity of time is what is known as a ‘Planck Time’ unit.  It is the smallest amount of time possible to measure.  By theoretical standards, it is the smallest amount of time possible to measure.  Just for fun, a Planck Time is 10 to the negative 43 seconds in length.  Written out, that is 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds.  The length of time to hold a red-hot horse shoe is much longer.

The first of these units following the initial expansion of the ‘singularity’ is the ‘unknown’ period.   What exactly happened in that period of time is unknown; not because scientists are not interested or curious about it; not because they see no need to go further; but because science cannot determine the ways the laws of nature work during that period.  And all the astronomers, physicists, cosmologists, and all the King’s Horses and all the King’s men know it and admit it, publicly.

Specifically, Dr. Sagan knew it.  I’ve know about it for some twenty years, based on my reading on the subject.  My reading of various astronomers, physicists and cosmologists tell me this as ‘old news’.  This information was ‘old news’ twenty years ago.  That Dr. Sagan was unaware of the problem and concluded ‘no one cares to find out’ or ‘we don’t see any need’ is simply absurd.  The statement uttered by Dr. Sproul is both false and indefensible.

Another rather sweeping falsehood Dr. Sproul advanced – and this may just be ignorance – was a comment on the ‘singularity’, the Universe prior to being the Universe.  Dr. Sproul reported cosmologists claim the singularity existed for ‘eternity’ prior to expanding.  This is not just incorrect, it is false.  Again, I explain:

‘Time’ is a function of our Universe as it currently operates.  ‘Time’ is coexistent with ‘space'; the ‘Space-time’ of Albert Einstein and Relativity.  (Over simplified, time cannot exist without space and space cannot exist without time.)  Time is functionally associated with ‘change’, perhaps entropy at the bottom of things.  Without something to change, ‘time’ is meaningless as a concept.

In the singularity, nothing moves or changes.  (That is part of why it is called a ‘singularity'; it is most ‘singular’ in nature.)  Without movement or change, there is no time.  So, the singularity could have been in place for ‘gazillions’ (a technical term meaning a whole lot) of years or for a Planck Time – prior to beginning to expand.  No astronomer or cosmologist would assert the singularity being in place for eternity.  Eternity in this specific case is far too hard to define.

As I mentioned when I began this essay, I am a fan of Dr. Sproul.  His knowledge and ability to explain Biblical concepts is amazing.  I’ve listened to him for years and never had occasion for more than a quibble.  Nor do I remember the substance of any of those quibbles.  Further, he goes out of his way to be fair to any who disagree.  He admits there are those who disagree, and he is generous to them in disagreement.  He has explained – on occasion – the theories of those who disagree.  He is not dismissive to any who have a rational explanation for disagreement.

So I am truly concerned and puzzled about his statements today.

Prior to writing this essay, I did attempt to contact Legonier Ministries by email and pointed out my concerns.  According to their website, they may or may not even notice the message in the vast quantity they receive constantly.  No answer is guaranteed.  Nor does Dr. Sproul read the email as a matter of course.  I would be happy to hear from them.  When they respond I shall update this posting.

 

Update as of Wednesday, 17 December 2014.  No return message in any form.

I listened to the Legonier/R. C. Sproul broadcast today.  It was a continuation of yesterday’s broadcast.

Dr. Sproul today made it clearer, but without going ‘whole-hog’, he takes the traditional (not orthodox, but traditional) view of Creation; aka the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) doctrine as normative.  In order to do this, one must ignore the nature of God and also believe – or at least accept without discussion – that God is too stupid to fully think out the Universe, AND is too lazy to spend much time in the process of Creation.

It does, however, play well to those who cling to a ‘conform to tradition’ based view of Christianity.

I do not condemn anyone for such a view, other than it does not glorify God in any fashion.  What I do condemn is the denigration of God required for such a view and the assumption one can lie without qualm about others as a result.

 

 

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Rioting in Ferguson, Missouri

Last August, a young, black man named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a local police officer; one Darren Wilson.

Mr. Brown – according to video surveillance in a local store – was involved in a ‘strong arm’ robbery of that store. Mr. Brown and an associate stole a box of cigars worth just less than $50.00 from a local convenience store. Mr. Brown and the associate used physical force to intimidate the clerk in the store to effect the robbery.

Michael Brown was 6’4” tall and weighed just less than 300 pounds. In the common tongue, Mr. Brown was physically large and intimidating.

Officer Wilson encountered Brown and the associate shortly after. Brown attacked Officer Wilson, convincing Officer Wilson that Brown was going to either kill him or cause ‘great bodily harm’ to him. Officer Wilson shot and killed Brown, ending the incident.

Here is the crux of the current rioting: The local community want revenge. And the time-honored excuse to loot all the stores in the area.

The family of the late Mr. Brown said in an interview with a television reporter in the last two weeks said, “We want justice. But if that doesn’t happen, we will continue to protest.” In real terms, this statement equates ‘justice’ with a Grand Jury indictment. In other words, what the family wants is revenge on Officer Wilson. The family doesn’t care about Mr. Brown’s illegal actions. The family doesn’t care about the legality of the events. The family hereby announces the life of their Michael is far more important than any other principle and all other people.

The family of Michael Brown really does not care about what happened other than Michael Brown’s death resulting from his own choices and actions. Brown acted with disregard for other people in his community, the law (regarding robbery, theft and physical attacks on others) and Officer Wilson. None of this means anything to the current rioters. All they seek is revenge on the Officer who stopped Michael Brown’s illegal activity.

No one seems to remember the autopsy performed on Michael Brown. The gunshot wounds substantiate the testimony of Officer Wilson. For instance, Michael Brown did NOT have his hands ‘up’ when he was shot. Michael Brown was not shot in the back. But none of this has any effect on the family or ‘community’.

Why? Probably the chief reason is IF Michael Brown was acting illegally and was killed as a result of his felonious attack on Officer Wilson, THEN the actions of Michael Brown demonstrate his guilt AND the corporate guilt of the family and local community. This incident shows Michael Brown’s family never taught him – in a meaningful way – that stealing is wrong. Michael Brown’s family never taught him – in a meaningful way – that attacking other people (store clerks and police officers in this case) is wrong.

But the people of the local community want to claim Michael Brown – strong arm robbery and bully – was completely proper in what he did. Because that is the life style encouraged in the locale. If Michael Brown was wrong in his actions, then the life style exemplified by Mr. Brown AND endorsed by the local community, is wrong.

The really hideous aspect of this is the current Presidential Administration seem to agree with the felonious and immoral life style of Michael Brown. The Federal Department of Justice – a misnomer in this episode – is ‘investigating’ civil rights charges against Officer Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department. There seems to be an assumption ‘civil rights’ include strong arm robbery and physical assault on others.

No doubt I will be accused of being a racist. In doing so, those who so claim are ignoring the racism already demonstrated by those who use the death of Michael Brown as an excuse to loot stores and demand the blood of a white police officer. In doing so, those who so claim ignore the blatant racism demonstrated by the current Federal Department of Justice.

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The movie, “Interstellar”

I saw this movie last night – Thursday, 20th November 2014 – at the suggestion of the local Astronomy Society. The underlying basis for the Society’s interest was the claim the movie was scientifically sound. This, of course is a claim to be examined.

Allow me to say first I enjoyed the movie.

The story line is fairly consistent, with exceptions. What comes out halfway through the plot does not contradict the previous knowledge in any significant manner, with one major exception.
(Not to say there are no surprises, but the surprises are within the reasonable and logical realm.)

The acting is very good; all the characters are ‘who they are’, for lack of a better phrase. Characters seem to believe they are that character. An observer doesn’t get the feeling they are a group of actors merely repeating memorized lines.

Special effects are good. Then again, compared to some of the movies I remember as a younger man, they’d have to be. Nor in my opinion did the special effects overshadow the story line. Too many movies seem to think special effects replace plot and acting.

Spoiler alert: The ending of this movie is somewhat expectable and somewhat strange. I will probably mention things here that might compromise any surprises contained.

The beginning of the story is that of Earth in the near future. The underlying premise of the situation is a variation on the Global Warming Caused by Humanity farce. Global Warming is not mentioned by name, however, ‘nature’ seems to become hostile to humanity. No reason is given for this, just the symptoms. Various types of ‘blights’ have attacked crops and those species of crop food are no longer grown – they cannot successfully be grown.

One species is okra. There is some form of disease that attacks the plant and renders it useless as a food crop. This is a plot device I find somewhat humorous. While the annihilation of a food crop is bad news, I would not note the lack of okra in any event. Millions of children might even cheer.

However, wheat has already been ruined and corn looks to be next. No mention of rice, but rice isn’t normally grown in dry land farming.

The only explanation given for the crop failures is the various ‘blights’ that have occurred. There are also dust storms reminiscent of the ‘Dust Bowl’ conditions of the 1930s in the United States. No reason given for this phenomenon, other than the unexplained but suggested revolt of nature.

At this point, I find the movie waxes somewhat political and religious in non-obvious ways. For instance, one of the characters says there are ‘no armies anymore’. Only very ‘gifted’ children are allowed to attend college – which seems to be a state controlled and decided process. Those who cannot attend college (must?) become farmers. Farming is the default duty of all citizens, due to increasing food shortages.

The school teacher objects to a book brought from home. The ‘home book’ is an old text book which has been retired and a new ‘corrected’ version only is allowed. The ‘corrected’ book denies the U. S. Moon landings in the 1960s, explaining those were merely political propaganda used to destroy the Soviet Union. (I’m sure this will delight some of the more gullible conspiracy buffs.)

So the United States in this movie has a government operating on the premise of controlling citizens and telling them lies. Sounds like the Democrat Collective has fixed the voting machines for good, doesn’t it?

However, with all that, regular citizens are reasonable free to run their lives with a great deal of control – other than the financial and ecological constraints widely thought to be ‘nature’.

Also missing from the life of regular people is any hint of Christianity – or any other religion. No churches seem to exist – at least not seen – no one mentions prayer or anything remotely resembling ‘religious belief’.

Then the protagonist, through his rather intelligent and cute ten year old daughter, finds a coded message in a pile of dust. The message is the map coordinates of the only remaining NASA laboratory in the United States. (This is the major exception to the logic of the plot I mentioned.) NASA is working on a project to build a large enough space ship to move humanity to another ‘viable’ world. A world that is not worn out and where nature has not ‘turned’ on mankind.

Here is the contradiction: Why would a government who denies and even discourages any sort of scientific inquiry secretly fund a NASA project to leave Earth? Why isn’t money being spent on research to counteract the ‘blights’ wiping out food crops? Of course, if the government is controlled by the Democrat Collective, genetically altered plants, crops and foods are all forbidden.

The movie’s expressed reason for the secret NASA base is simple. The ‘people’ would not willingly fund such research. These are the same ‘people’ that are being manipulated into believing the Moon landings never happened. These conditions are contradictory.

Then the ‘exploratory’ space ship leaves Earth to seek out a suitable place to move humanity. From here on, the movie is a fairly ‘normal’ science-fiction, more or less action story.

To repeat an earlier statement, everything in the movie – EVERYTHING – is explained in secular humanist terms. In some regards this isn’t a big deal, but it re-emphasizes the secular humanist mindset of Hollywood, chic society and chic science.

There are some ‘gaps’ in the story line. One glaring example is the failed exploration of a water covered planet near a black hole. In the approach to the planet, not one but two missions didn’t notice the monstrous tidal waves. The waves are evident to visual inspection (looking) by the way.

All in all, it’s a pretty good movie. It has a ‘happy’ ending, and one I liked. There are some glaring scientific contradictions involved. But as is true in many stories, without those ‘errors’, there would be little story left. Most viewers will not note or recognize the contradictions.

It is worth seeing as entertainment. It is not a great lesson in either science, human relations, philosophy or politics. But it is reasonably fun. Not as fun as “Guardians of the Galaxy”, but GotG isn’t as pretentious, either.

Oh. The robots are rather original.

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Questions about God

Thomas Didymus is popularly known as Thomas the Doubter. I find this somewhat misleading, as the term implies a refusal to believe and a confrontative attitude.

Thomas is ‘famous’ for his demand to see the Risen Christ prior to believing. In fact, Thomas’ refusal to believe based on the word of others was well-founded and completely reasonable. After all, Jesus had died at the hands of Roman Army executioners. People did not ‘come back’ to life by their own volition.

Thomas asked the question any normal person in his position would have asked; but been afraid to ask. I find the same courage and honesty in this writer’s questions – in response to the question: “…what is one thing you would like to know about God?” The writer thought of several things about God to know.

Being the bashful, retiring sort, I thought I’d give answering them a shot. The answers here are based on statements and concepts from the Bible and I’ve tried to support the answers by references.

 

1.  What is God’s gender?

The most definitive statement in the Bible is that of Jesus who said “God is Spirit” in John 4:24. A second definitive statement is Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a human being, that He should change His mind.”

Combine that thought with the creation of mankind in Genesis 1:27, “God created humankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them”. Note that both male and female were created in God’s image.

Therefore: God is inclusive of the basis for both male and female, while being limited to neither. Yes, this somewhat breaks with ‘tradition’.

God is traditionally viewed as ‘male’. Historically, men have been the engineers and builders. Warriors and protectors have been thought of as men. That and the deep down ‘male chauvinist pig gene’ – which I have and bear proudly, by the way – tend to push the image of God as a ‘male’.

On the other hand, God is also described as ‘feeding and nurturing the children’

Psalm 116:5 “… our God is compassionate.” Compassion is a ‘soft’, more feminine trait than building or fighting.

Jesus in Matthew 23 and Luke 13 speaks of “… gathering children as a hen gathers chicks …” a rather female reference.

So I would say that while God includes both masculine and feminine attributes, God is ‘above’ such limits. He is not a combination, but something greater than either.

So why does the Bible always refer to God as ‘He’? Both Hebrew and English – and I think Greek – used the male pronoun as the default applying to both men and women in a group or in the instance of an unknown or undefined person. This concept predates both political correctness and women’s liberation.

Since God (the Father) is – strictly speaking – neither male nor female, language might suggest referring to God as ‘It’. But ‘It’ doesn’t sound all that respectful. Aside from that, the Bible describes God as thinking and talking and interacting with humans; ‘It’ is really lacking for such a being.

God the Son – Jesus – is a man. So He said, anyway.

God the Spirit? We’re back to not having a body.

 

2. Can God taste food? What are His favorites?

I cannot find any direct references on the subject.  Not having a body, He probably doesn’t eat much.  However, since God created all things, including the concepts of ‘taste’ and ‘flavor’; and since God enabled mankind to taste and enjoy food, I find it difficult to believe God has no clue about the matter.

Surely Jesus – who is God, never forget – was human (totally human and totally God all at once), Jesus could taste food. So as a practical consideration, yes, God can taste food.

What are His favorites? Deuteronomy 10:17 reads “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who is unbiased…” Okay, that’s a bit out of context. God is ‘unbiased’ toward people and issues.

My suspicion is God has a vastly varied palate. He even likes durien fruit and Brussels Sprouts. I’m pretty sure He likes fillet mignon and pizza as well.  I’m pretty sure chocolate has to be on the list. Probably lentils with proper spices. Red meat.

We will have to ask Him when we get there. I’m sure the answer will be a delightful surprise.

 

3. What the differences between the Garden of Eden, Heaven and the New Earth? What kinds of things are/were in each place? What has He planned for us there?

This is not really, definitely known. The Bible does list some comments, I find the answer to be incomplete, but promising.

The Garden of Eden was the place where humans were first located. They had direct communication with God. Genesis chapter three indicates God Himself showed up and had a chat with Adam and Eve. In my mind, this seems to be God in human form, or Christ. Not everyone agrees with this.

The Garden was a neat place. It seems that while Adam had ‘duties’ to perform, they were not onerous. It was not until the Lord cast humans out of the Garden did Adam have to earn his way by ‘sweat’.

Traditionally, the Garden of Eden was a place which was ‘on Earth’ and certain information is given to locate the area. This much time later, it does not seem locatable. There is a theory wherein all the Earth is the Garden, and man’s Fall changed the nature of the planet. Frankly, I don’t know and I don’t think anyone else does, either.

Heaven is God’s abode. From what we read, Heaven seems to be in Eternity and therefore doesn’t have ‘time’ – at least not in the same way we humans experience it. It seems God has always been in Heaven, which indicates to me that Heaven is a direct result of God’s presence. Nothing – at least not that we understand – has an existence apart from God. Therefore, Heaven is not the ‘home of God’ in the same way Mount Olympus or Asgard is seen as the home of the respective gods. Heaven does not pre-date God.

The New Earth is – in my understanding – what Earth was supposed to be in the first place,except in some manner not subject to decay as the current one is.  Before, that is, mankind rebelled against God and fouled up the whole shebang. (That’s a technical word.) I don’t know what exactly it will be, but everyone there will like it and enjoy it. Don’t worry if you don’t fully understand the concept. I think learning about it will be part of the ‘fun’ – for lack of a better word. No is there any requirement to fully comprehend the concept in order to gain entry. It comes with being one of God’s children.

Ask me again in 200 years. I’ll have a better answer.

 

4. Did we have some sort of life before we were born?

Not likely.  There is no evidence for it in the Bible. Many of the Eastern religions and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) teach such.

The first chapter of Jeremiah records God’s recruitment of Jeremiah. Verse 5 says:

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you.
Before you were born I set you apart.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

There are those who want to claim this indicates a ‘pre-world’ life. I think it merely indicates God knows the future and has a plan for all time already in action.  The only ‘pre-birth’ record given is in the womb, not in a past ‘existence’.

The only thing about pre-birth is the comment the Lord made to Jeremiah in chapter 1:5 “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you.
Before you were born I set you apart.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

 

5. Is He bigger than all of his creations… all of the galaxies, stars etc?

In short, yes. Of course, part of the question begs the further question, What means ‘bigger’? God is spirit, so He does not have a physical body larger than the Universe. However, his ‘authority’ and power is what created the Universe, so His ‘authority’ and power encompass all the Universe and everything included.

Also, part of the beliefs about God is His ‘omnipresence’. God is ‘everywhere’ at once. Not that God is ‘everything’ or ‘in everything’, but simply all of His creation is within His vision and comprehension – and that includes not just every where, but every when.

 

6. Has He created any other planets with humans?

Not discussed in the Bible. There have been some who – since it isn’t explicitly spelled out – conclude there is none.  Then again, the Bible doesn’t mention China (either mainland or Taiwan) or the United States, either.  I am of the opinion that ‘not mentioned’ means ‘not important enough to tell you all right now’.

By ‘humans’, I presume you are also including the possibility of other sentient beings, not limited to bipedal, carbon-based life forms with symmetrical bodies, hair, toe-nails and body odor with whom we can breed?

If so, I think the possibility is great such does exist somewhere in the Universe. The Galaxy is a big place. “Billions and billions” of stars and no doubt a few planets like ours. The Universe makes the Galaxy look teeny-tiny.

That’s not a guarantee there are other sentient species out there, just my suspicion there possibly are some.  Not logically impossible.

 

7. Does He get bored watching us?

No. God is infinite and perfect. Meaning complete and self-sufficient. Also consider God has existed forever and will continue to exist forever. Compared to infinity, the several thousand or several billion years humans exist – depending on which view of creation and history one assumes – isn’t much time to bore God.  Disgusted, perhaps.  It’s all ‘right now’ as far as He’s concerned.

 

8. I want to know if all of history is happening all at once, and if our prayers have the power to change the past?

Wow! That’s a blast.  I’ve wondered the same thing. I don’t know for sure.

‘History’ happens to us bit by bit. At least it does to me. On the other hand, God sees all of the existence of the Universe as ‘right now’. God exists not only ‘everywhere’ but ‘every when’ as well.

Can our prayers change the past? Who knows? If God changed the past at our request, that would then be ‘our past’. We’d never know if it were changed.

On that subject: God is the ultimate authority. There is no Cosmic Supreme Court that over-rules God. So there is no ‘time-keeper’ apart from God to rule on which view is the ‘real perspective’.

Nor am I convinced our prayers change God’s mind as to what happens. I’m sure He’s much more concerned about our obedience and surrender to His Will, which INCLUDES our love and concern for others. In other words, God is more pleased to hear us praying for the welfare and eternal benefit of another than He to hear us praying for a new bicycle or even keeping the dam from breaking. Prayer is a mechanism for us to talk with (including hear from) God more than to submit requests or tell Him how to run His universe.

 

9. Does God pass our prayers along to the deceased?

If you mean that ‘Say “Hi” to Mom for me’ sort of thing, I think so. But I think we’re missing the point here. As far back as Dante’s The Divine Comedy and probably before, people have the rather self-centered notion that people in Heaven – or Hell – have nothing better to do than to watch Earth and keep track of what us ‘living’ humans are doing. I rather suspect those in Heaven are so far more ‘alive’ than those of us here they are rather busy with the joy of Heaven. They are in Eternity, we will be along – presumably – in just a moment from their perspective, so there’s no point in writing or even getting out the cell phone, if you understand. People in Hell are cut off from all communication by their own desire. No point in sending signals.

If you mean the “Send Uncle Cletus down to watch over my dog while I’m on vacation” sort of prayers, I don’t think so.

 

10. Does He loves our pets the way we do?

Since God loves us better than we love our pets – or family or spouse or anyone – I expect so.

 

11. Can He can talk to animals? Do they (animals I presume) share some sort of language? Do animals have a language (the snake talked in the Garden of Eden didn’t it?).

Better than Doctor Doolittle.

From all the animal research you humans do, they seem to. And yes, the snake (actually ‘serpent’) spoke. I’m not sure what that means in dog years, but the serpent was able to communicate on a fairly sophisticated level and convince Eve to rebel against God’s direct command. The rat! I mean, serpent.  (Nasty, egg-sucking thing.)  Yes, the snake did.

 

12. Does He see women as inferior to men, and in that case, why did he make me a woman?

No. ‘Different’ does not mean ‘inferior’. Women were created directly in God’s image, noted above in question one.  So, no, I don’t think so. Do you feel inferior somehow?

There is a whole long discussion about the roles of ‘male’ and ‘female’ and it’s too much to type here. The short version is both men and women have functions and one cannot absolutely and permanent replace the other. Men are better – in general – in upper body strength, and women are better – in general – in small motor skills; just as example.  Aside from that, it takes both sexes to reproduce.

God made you a woman because you’re much prettier than I am.  Okay. I do not know why God decided I’d be a man and you would be a woman. I do know God knows what He is about and makes no mistakes. If God were fallible, He would not be God.

13. Why doesn’t He follow people around with a booming voice like he did in the Garden of Eden and as a result have every person in this world aware of his presence, and more likely to become a Christian and end up in heaven with him.

Exodus 33:3 reads Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, and I might destroy you on the way. He might ‘stay away’ from us for OUR protection.

If you’ll notice, God following people around in the Garden of Eden with a booming voice did NOT stop people from sinning. In fact, when Adam and Eve heard the ‘booming voice’ they ran and hid.

Instead of preventing people from rebellion – sin, in a word – against Him based on fear essentially [Let’s NOT hack off the booming voice!], God arranged forgiveness based on His grace and love. In that way, everyone and not just the ones who were terrified of the booming voice could be in a proper relationship with God.

Also note the wording at the end of the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:31): If they do not respond to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. In other words, no amount of ‘booming voice’ will keep people from rejecting God’s commands.

Looking about, it seems that only a minority of people choose to accept God’s grace and love. But NOBODY fears the booming voice.

 

14. Why did He order the rape/death of women and children in the bible, and what are His eternal plan for those people? I want to know that those children are safe.

This IS one of those sticky  and popular questions, but the question suffers from more than one misconception. God did NOT ‘invent’ rape and murder. Rape and murder are expressly forbidden by God. Rape and murder came about because people ignored God and did what they wanted, rather that follow God’s commandments. People in general decided obeying God was exactly what they did NOT want to do; they ate the apple, raped the women and killed the children. All in violation of God’s express will.

No where did God order His people to rape anyone. (It happened, but God didn’t order it.) In the place God tells His people to ‘take the women’ of conquered peoples – and it only happened once, in Judges 21 – they were taken permanently as wives. This isn’t ‘rape’ in the normal sense; this was an authorization to marry without obtaining permission from the woman’s father.

If you remember any other place that concerns you, tell me and I’ll look it up.

During the Canaan conquest, the nation of Israel was commanded to kill off many of the local population. There were two reasons for that action. One was the local people in Canaan were idolators and vile behaving people toward others. This was God’s punishment on them for the hideous life styles they had lived. Some of their achievements were sacrificing children by burning them alive (these were their OWN children, by the way). They developed the method of torture execution of skinning people alive – a real crowd pleaser.

The second reason was God didn’t want the nation of Israel to ‘mix’ with the locals. They had enough bad habits of their own and didn’t need to pick up any more bad habits.

Consider this: Death is not the ultimate end. Death is certainly not the worst that can happen to a human being. I’d rather be killed than a traitor to either God, country or friends. I’d rather be killed than a coward. I’d rather be killed than be one who uses others without consideration for them.  Dying and going to Hell because one rejects God is far worse than just dying.

What is the ‘eternal plan’? I know that God is a God of love, justice, morals and far-thinking. I know He is fair and just. Honest, too, or He’d have covered up anything nasty or nasty sounding. 2nd Peter 3:9 … because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. The term ‘perish’ here refers to eternal punishment in Hell, not mere physical death. (We’re ALL going to die physically.) Are those children ‘safe’? They are in God’s hands. I cannot guarantee anything, but I’d bet they are safer with God than they are being raised by Pagans.  Without the knowledge of sin and law, the law has no penalty. Romans 5:13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law.

Now, before any slack-jawed, under-witted, dim-bulb asks if it’s okay for them to kill children in order to ‘save’ them, I have two questions: One. Did God specifically instruct you to kill those children? Two. Does the laws of your state or locality recognize such commands as a defense to First Degree Murder?

15. What does He really think about gay people and abortion? Are we are blowing either issue out of proportion? Why is being gay wrong, and is it really a moral issue.

Homosexuality is prohibited in both Old and New Testament.
Leviticus 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman;  it is a detestable act.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves.

1st Timothy 1:9 …realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 1:10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching.

1st Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Be in no doubt. The ‘practice’ of homosexuality is forbidden. According to Paul – who wrote the epistles of Timothy and Corinthians – just like all the other categories and specifics of sin mentioned. By the way, the terms ‘liars, perjurers, verbally abuse’ can easily include ‘gossips’. Yeah; gossips are in the same group as ‘practicing homosexuals’. Not to mention adulterers.

But see what Paul says next in – (follows from the 1st Corinthians 6:9 verse above) -

1st Corinthians 6:11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  So no one is ‘stuck’ in such a lifestyle.

Read in context, both the law of Moses and the Christian ‘commands’ about homosexuality both speak more about the ‘actions’ than the people involved. One also notes the penalty is the same for both homosexual relations and fornication – heterosexual relations.

Why is being ‘gay’ wrong? One can say with certainty it is wrong; less sure is the reasoning behind it. The best understanding I have of the matter is this; it violates the basic rules on how things work. The act of homosexual ‘sex’ in essence mocks the concept of procreation inherent in sex. Much in the same way as fornication (between heterosexual partners). It reduces the sex act to entertainment with no further purpose.  I’ve pointed out to some non-believers it is an evolutionary dead end. (Nothing in this sort of thing to ensure survival of the species.) If nothing else, it is expressly forbidden.

So what does God think of homosexuals? God wants them to have a relationship with Him; to be cleaned of ALL sin – just like everyone else – and be included in Eternity with the redeemed.  Homosexuals are not singled out. Not only that, but the escape clause is published. (Verse 11.)   Just like everyone else, they are encouraged rather than welcome to come to Jesus, confess their rebellion, ask for forgiveness and submit to God’s will. (Not mine, not yours, not some televangelist.)

Are we blowing the problem out of proportion? When we put homosexuality in a ‘special category’ and declare they are fully out of God’s reach and never to be forgiven, yes, we are. Should we just ignore it and bring unrepentant people of any persuasion into the fellowship and ignore what God says about it? No.

The difficulty is this: Most of the homosexual people I know – several, by the way – do not see what they do as ‘sinful’. Without a knowledge or consciousness of sin, one has nothing to repent. That’s a real deal breaker. Still, I don’t see any value in grabbing such a person by the ears and screaming ‘sinner’ in their face until it makes sense to him or her. I tend to pray that my lost friends will come to realize their need for God – I’ll let God handle the details.

 

Abortion is merely a special form of murder. It is the modern equivalent of sacrificing children to Molech. Instead of sacrificing to Molech, people are sacrificing to convenience, pleasure, and self-gratification.

That abortion is ‘legal’ is immaterial. There are things God will not countenance, laws or no laws. The argument about ‘my own body’ is absurd. The child’s body is not theirs. The child is a separate person, not a parasite or symbiote or growth.

Some lackwit wanted to argue a short while ago that abortion was ‘good’, in that the child went to Heaven.  So what? The eternal destiny of the child is NOT the question; the question is the action of the murderer.

Like homosexuality, it is difficult which which to deal. Any approach that dumps guilt on the head of the mother to be – or not be – is probably abusive. The only approach is that in which God deals with the people involved – all the people involved – and brings about a difference in view and values.

Abstaining from the sorts of activities which result in ‘unexpected pregnancies’ is a good practice for anyone who might be involved. If that was too subtle, I mean men as well. It takes two to tango, so to speak; a man who sires a child under any circumstances is part of the equation – or problem.

Also like homosexuality, God forgives those who repent and seek forgiveness. This includes the woman who survives the ordeal; the man who sires the child; and the abortionist and his/her accomplices. I will say this, it takes some serious love, commitment and sensitivity to deal with the aftermath. And there is NO point in kicking people who are down already.

 

I had trouble thinking of stuff that was directly related to God because it’s hard to think of him as a person.
I understand. God isn’t ‘just some person’. On the other hand, we are created in His image, so He’s not like a hyper-intelligent slime mold who communicates by changing colors.

God sent humanity a book with a self-introduction and instructions.  He sends preachers and teachers to explain Himself.  God is not hiding.  And He welcomes questions; but He expects the questioners to want answers.

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Filed under Bible, Christianity, Civilization, God

Charles Manson is Getting Married!

By now everyone has heard this news.  Eighty-year-old Charles Manson, infamous as the so-called brains behind the Sharon Tate and Leno / Rosemary LaBianca murders.  A total of seven people.

Now a twenty-six year old woman has decided Mr. Manson is innocent and the two of them have a marriage license.  Afton Elaine Burton is the blushing bride.

Strange things happen, I suppose.

Perhaps I should feel ‘encouraged’.  Perhaps there is a woman for me in my old age.  But I don’t want to murder seven reasonably innocuous people and go to prison for life to find her.  I know:  Picky, picky, picky…

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Filed under General Idiocy, Life in General, Much Ado About Nothing

Perception of the Media

Last week, the national election resulted in a Republican landslide.  The electorate voted to reject the dismal failure of the Democrat – President Obama – dream.

In response, the President Who Would be Divine has announced he will ‘work’ with the Republican controlled Congress as long as the Congress does exactly what the PWWbD wants.  Otherwise, the President will attempt to rule by edict through ‘executive actions’.

So what is the lead on the National Leftist Radio News?  How so many mine owners haven’t paid fines.  Nothing about how the PWWbD is having a slow boil temper tantrum about losing.

What is the second story on the National Leftist Radio News?  How the Republican Congress is antagonizing the PWWbD.

I remember when the last election – the one with the fraudulent voting machines, remember? – elected a pile of Democrat.  The National Leftist Radio News couldn’t stop talking about how the nation wanted Democrat programs, Democrat thinking and so forth.

Odd how that works.

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Filed under History, Idiot Politicians

Did anyone else notice…?

We had a national election last week.  I think it was mentioned on television.

One political party seems to have won elections all over the place, remember?

Now, skip back a week to prior to the election.  Remember all the voting machines that were ‘not operating correctly’?  From across the country, there were voting machines discovered that always showed a vote for the Democrat, despite the actions of he voter?  Those were all fixed and Republicans won elections.

Amazing.  What a coincidence!

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Filed under computers, Idiot Politicians, Politics