Category Archives: Christianity

I was going to call this ‘Theology’ but Christianity is a better descriptor. I deal herein with the message and doctrines – including some alternatives to the traditional – of Christianity. It is based on Biblical text and concepts. The views herein are from a Christian perspective.

The Danger of a “Little Knowledge”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-robert-jeffress-is-wrong-about-romans-13-and-north_us_598c69eee4b08a4c247f28ad

According to this entry in the Huffington Post, The Bible passage of Romans (chapter) 13: (verse) 1 does NOT justify the use of military force against North Korea intimidation by use of their – North Korea’s – nuclear ability.

Once again, non-believers make the mistake of thinking they have an overwhelming knowledge of God’s Message and will (agenda/program/plan) for mankind.  One is amazed how some cite a particular passage in the Bible and then claim their view is correct, while denying much of the rest of the Bible and ignoring the contextual and historical implications in all passages.

Such is the case here.  The author of the article, identified as “Peter Henne, Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont (in the Department of Political Science)” admits “Now, I am neither a theologian nor a religious studies scholar.”  That part, I believe.  Then Professor Henne goes on to make theological and ‘religious’ comments and conclusions based on his admitted ignorance.

One is forced to the conclusion Professor Henne is coloring God’s Message and agenda with the Leftist program of Karl Marx and Bill Ayers.

One – Professor Henne, for instance – should stick to one’s sphere of knowledge and expertise.  Which seems to be wishful thinking based on Leftist pipe dreams.

 

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Filed under Bible, Idiot Politicians, Nation, Political Correctness, Politics, United States

Several Myths (at least misunderstandings) Regarding the Doctrine of Predestination

In the catalog of Christian Doctrine (among Biblical based, ‘evangelistic’ Christians), Predestination is probably the one with the most misunderstandings and honest controversy. I use the word ‘honest’ in that it doesn’t seem either side of the issue is intentionally falsifying anything. Both camps use the Bible and thinking derived therefrom to form their conclusion. (Just to clarify, there are non-Christians who use Predestination as a ‘talking point’, neither understanding the real concept nor caring for honesty or integrity in the matter; I am not considering them at the moment.)

There are three major misunderstandings or myths about Predestination which seem to abound.

1. People who reject Christ (which includes salvation, grace and forgiveness) are dragged into Heaven against their will as God has already decided the matter.

Not true. God does not drag souls – people – into His loving care as they kick and scream and squirm, attempting to escape. God clearly allows people to make their own choices in nearly all cases, which explains evil actions in the history of mankind. This includes Adam and Eve’s decision regarding the apple (yes, I know; it’s an abbreviation for that whole episode) and the rather reprehensible actions of various evil man throughout history and the ‘bad’ decisions of all us ‘good’ people.

Probably the most misunderstood example of this myth is the conversion of Saul/Paul. To recap Acts 9: 1 to 22, a Jewish man named Saul was on the road (not with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby) to Damascus with the intent of physically and legally (under Jewish law and authority) prosecuting and persecuting any and all Christian believers he (Saul) could find. On the way, a bright light appeared followed instantly by a physical effect on Saul, according to the text (and in my mind), similar to the effect of a taser application or a polo mallet upside the head – but without serious effect other than temporary blindness. Saul fell to the ground and addressed the ‘force’ which effected this aforementioned sensation, asking “Who are You, Lord?” (One notes Saul quickly understood he was hopeless to resist physically.) The ‘attacking force’ immediately identifies Himself, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…”

In another passage, Paul – as he then was identified – recounted the episode and mentioned the initial ‘attack’ was accompanied by the same voice saying “You are hurting yourself [or ‘It is hard for you’, both phrases are correct and the same in meaning in the Greek] by kicking against the goads.”

Then Jesus instructs Saul to proceed to Damascus where he will be met by a believer named Ananias who healed Paul’s blindness and gave Paul some basic instruction in Christianity and introduced Paul to other believers with the Lord’s approval.

From this, some gather Paul was ‘conscripted’ in this episode. I understand this transaction as a ‘last chance’ offer to either side with Jesus Christ as God or not. I will stipulate the encounter was enthusiastic. At no point does Jesus say, “Accept me or die, you rat fink!”

2. People who want to accept Christ (which includes salvation, grace and forgiveness) are rejected as God has already decided the matter.

No real evidence for this happening. In fact, the reverse action is claimed in various places. John 3:16 is probably the best known example. Other verses – not comprehensive – are John 6:37, Ephesians 1:13, Hebrews 7:25. There are more yet, but I see no point in transcribing neither the Bible nor other websites.

One major Biblical based argument is based on Matthew 7:21 to 23. This is the passage where, at the Judgement, some say “Lord, Lord, didn’t we … [do a bunch of religious stuff] … in your name…?” Jesus responds, “I never knew you.”

Looking at this passage, there is NO indication of an actual belief and relationship between Jesus and the rejected claimants. Those rejected are basing their justification for salvation on their ‘good works’ and not on a relationship with Jesus.

3. This isn’t fair.

From what I’ve heard – and understood and believed personally – this is the greatest criticism of the Doctrine of Predestination. Because the criteria for those who are ‘chosen’ and those who are rejected is not spelled out fully and satisfactorily to all, the impression of God arbitrarily choosing ‘this one’ and not ‘that one’ arises.

The nature of God precludes this. God is not capricious nor arbitrary. If one accepts and believes (fully embraces, not just nods and grunts) that idea of God’s nature, then Predestination is not capricious nor arbitrary, whether any of us ‘understand’ the mechanism or not.

However, allow me to present a thought on the matter I haven’t heard before in this configuration.

Part of our understanding of the ‘nature of God’, one of the descriptors of God is that He is ‘omnipresent’. Which means He is present in all places at once. God is not limited to Omaha or Poughkeepsie or Karachi or this church or such.
In my understanding – the reader is free to disagree – God is not limited in time, either. God exists and acts yesterday and tomorrow as much as He does today. So when the Bible says “…before the foundation of the world…” this limitation was only a nod to the readers of that time. It can equally mean ‘…after the destruction of the world…’ So, when does God ‘discover’ any particular person has accepted His grace and embraces a relationship with God through Jesus? Before the beginning of the world? After the end of the world? When the individual ‘does it’?

The answer is Yes. God exists in all those places – times – simultaneously.

No doubt many of the readers will say (in a gentle questioning manner) “I’ve never heard that before”. As I said earlier, I haven’t either. I bet that applies to many theologians and Bible expositors as well. However, feel free to pore over the preceding paragraphs and pick out any weaknesses in either the assumptions or logic. And for Heaven’s sake, tell me!

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Filed under Bible, Christianity, God

Set back for the Christian Community

Today is Monday, 6th February 2017. A well known radio preacher made a fool of himself on the air. Not only that, but he demonstrated a huge ignorance of claims made by Christian preachers in the past. Your humble correspondent does not know if the glaringly erroneous statements were made in complete ignorance of the prior claims, or if the speaker assumed no one would ever check.

A little research would have turned up the past claims; and to assume ignorance and blind acceptance on the part of the audience is both insulting and puerile.

The thought upon which he was expounding is valid. Essentially, he was saying the Bible makes no claims counter to that of modern science, and never conformed to the science – mistaken in the macro and sometimes in the micro – of the past.

There is an underlying assumption here that the scientific understanding of 2017 will never be altered. That ‘we’ are at the pinnacle of scientific understand. That in another three hundred years, or one hundred years, or fifty years or twenty minutes, discoveries will be made that alter the current views.

Probably not completely over rule current understanding, but alter it in the sense of expanding understanding and possibly altering the context of certain understanding. Much like how Dr. Einstein’s concept of Relativity expanded and contextualized Sir Issac Newton’s laws of gravity.

The speaker – who your servant hesitates to name – spoke about how the Bible never supported the Earth being flat. This would come as a shock to nearly all students of Theology and Biblical studies until sometime AFTER the age of Copernicus, Galileo, and the like.

Isaiah 40:22 (In the King James Version AND in the original Hebrew) reads that the Lord sits “… on the circle of the Earth…” and was held to be ‘literal’ – meaning as the reader understood it, not as the writer intended it – and indicated a two-dimentional shape (as understood later in Pythagorean or plane geometry). Therefore, the Bible implied the Earth is flat.

I’m not sure if the speaker mentioned it – I turned the station selector in disgust – but there are three passages of the Old Testament – two describing the same event – wherein the Bible implies the Sun stopped or reversed direction of travel, causing the day to be extended. (Joshua 10:12 to 14, 2nd Kings 20:1 to 11 and Isaiah 38:1 to 8) THEREFORE, the Bible says the Sun rotates around the Earth and the geocentric theory of the Universe is proved – according to the ‘science is bunk’ faction which lasted at least into the 19th Century. I notice it is not mentioned much currently.

I have no doubt of the extension of the days in question. Nor do I have any great scientific theory to explain it. The occurrences may well be miracles in the unexplained things of God sense. However, the heliocentric nature of the solar system is reasonably secure. Nor does the Bible anywhere claim otherwise; it does however record reports by eyewitnesses of what they observed. Which may or may not explicable in simple or familiar terms.

I wonder what repercussions this speaking session portend for the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) movement? The entire YEC theory is based on a ‘literal’ understanding of the King James Version of the Bible. Which this speaker denies.

One can conclude Christianity is not as monolithic as sometimes claimed. Then again, God is a very big God.

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Filed under Bible, Christianity, Flat Earth, religion, science

A Decent Human Being with a Gun

24 January 2017. Thomas Yoxall, age 43, tattooed and pierced, was driving West on Interstate 10 near Tonopah, Arizona. He saw a man (later identified as Leonard Penneles-Escobar) ‘savagely’ beating an Arizona State Trooper (Edward Andersson). Mr. Yoxall could not ignore the situation and stopped.

He called to the man beating the trooper, presumably to stop beating the trooper. The man kept beating the trooper and Mr. Yoxall fired his personally owned sidearm at the attacker, stopping the attack. While tending the trooper, Mr. Penneles resumed the attack on Trooper Andersson; Mr. Yoxall fired one more round, incapacitating Mr. Penneles permanently; Penneles died later from his wounds.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/thomas-yoxall-citizen-who-killed-man-assaulting-trooper-edward-andersson-i-was-put-there-by-god/

Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys; Mr. Thomas Yoxall is the sort of man to be admired and encouraged. Seeing a serious problem, he acted swiftly and surely. Victorious in the conflict, he declines the title ‘hero’ and says the aftermath of killing another human is difficult mentally and emotionally.

A telling comment, Mr. Yoxall says he was “…put there by God.” A good man clinging to his guns and his God.

Not much else to say.

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Filed under Civilization, Crime, Firearms and their use, God, Heroes and Heroism

Trey Pearson, the Homosexual, Christian Rock Singer. And?

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/06/16/christian-rocker-trey-pearson-reflects-on-life-after-coming-out.html?intcmp=hpff

Trey Pearson has publicly announced he is ‘gay’. So what? What possible meaning does this have for the world at large? What does it change in broad (no pun intended) terms? Not much.

It seems to be signaling the end of his heterosexual marriage, but his wife and he remain on good terms, it seems. It may quite possibly end the Christian music career he has been following. It may quite possibly cause broken connections between Mr. Pearson and some in the Christian community.

Frankly, I had not heard of Trey Pearson prior to this article appearing in Fox News. I do not follow ‘Christian music’ as I find most ‘Christian musicians’ are poor musicians in general and could not cut it in the regular music world. Sorry, but that’s my observation. (Feel free to disagree, but it’s a question of taste and not overly subject to rules of logic.)

Having said all that, I want to make a couple things clear.

I do not hate Mr. Pearson. I don’t even know him. He may be a prince of a fellow or he may be a rotten skunk; I simply do not know. I do know he claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ. In that regard he is my brother and I am obliged – ordered, expected – to love him as a Christian brother and also as a human being.

Anyone who fails to grasp that last paragraph doesn’t understand the Bible much, nor the English language.

Do I fully endorse his lifestyle or his actions in some regards? No. As I mentioned, I’m not fond of ‘Christian music’ and homosexual conduct is prohibited in the New Testament. Then again, I don’t fully endorse my – hopefully past – lifestyle or actions in all regards. I’ve never engaged in homosexual behavior, but I have been bitterly angry with others, coveted others property, engaged in petty theft, been derelict in my duties – both secular and Sacred – and chased women. (Not to be indelicate, I caught several.) So my life as a Christian is not unsullied and perfect, EXCEPT as God has forgiven me and credited Jesus’ perfection and atonement to my account.

The same conditions apply to all persons. The exception applies to all persons who have agreed – contracted – with Jesus as followers and protected persons of Jesus. That – as far as I can tell – applies to Mr. Pearson.

So; I will pray for Mr. Pearson, his soon to be ex-wife – and I don’t agree with them divorcing – his family, his future and his service toward God. I would pray and expect he will at some point end his homosexual life-style. Not to satisfy my feelings, or those of any preacher, pastor, or holy man; but in response to God’s extant statement on the subject.

I find this whole matter sad. But it is a sad world, ever since man decided to ignore God’s directions and make up his own. No doubt most of us will survive and even grow stronger in Christ.

Except for those who choose to further alienate themselves from God.

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Filed under Bible, Christianity, God, homosexuality

Rights? What Rights?

North Carolina has passed a state law prohibiting the use of gender specific rest room by people of a gender not identified on the bathroom.

In common terms, men may not use women’s rest rooms and vice-versa.

The Federal Government, specifically the Obama Administration and politically appointed positions of the Obama Administration, has ordered gender specific rest rooms to open to anyone who chooses to use them; regardless of who is already using the rest room.

Note this does not apply only to those persons who have had extensive surgery to remove extraneous sexual organs and features, additionally cosmetically adding the appearance of the desired sexual organs and features; but applies to anyone ‘identifying’ as a member of a sex. So a physically complete, functional female can enter a male rest room at will. Conversely, a physically complete and fully functional male can enter a female rest room at will.

According to the Obama Administration – and a group of supporters presumably and announced as members of the self-proclaimed “GBLT community” (“GBLT” is identified as Gay – Bi sexual – Lesbian – Transvestite or Trans sexual) demand this; as anything less intrudes on their ‘right’ to relieve themselves.

There are several inconsistent and somewhat incoherent thoughts in this.

One: From where does the ‘right’ to use a rest room of the other sex derive? The U. S. Constitution lists no such right along with speedy trials, possessing and carrying arms, security in property and papers, and the ability to criticize the government; probably some others I haven’t mentioned.

The Declaration of Independence – if not the structure of our nation and government as the Constitution, is the spirit of our nation and government – cites ‘inalienable rights’ ‘endowed by our Creator’ as the source of individual rights. I hear no argument nor can I cite such such ‘rights’ as endowed by the Creator. Nor has anyone else heretofore. Ever.

Two: Presuming such rights – and I do not, I speak only for sake of argument – why and how do the rights of ‘this group’ overrule the rights of ‘that group’? In common speech and thought, how does the claimed ‘right’ of a physical male who ‘self-identifies’ as a female, over rule the right of physical females who feel threatened and humiliated by the presence of a physical male in their rest room?

Why is allowing ‘other sex’ people to invade the rest rooms of ‘regular sex’ people so important?

Three: How many of those people who might be considered “LBGT” really want to use the rest room of the other sex? How many Lesbians want to use rest room facilities with men? (Either as the invader or the invadee?) (I see from my spell check I’ve invented another word.) Conversely, how many homosexually inclined men want to use rest room facilities with women? (Again, as invader or invadee?) From my own knowledge derived from the men and women I know to be homosexual, none of them have suggested – to me anyway – they really feel deprived not being allowed in the ‘other’ rest room.

Four: The incidence of homosexuality – including lesbianism – in this country (or among humans world wide) is a very slim minority. There are varying estimates on the percentage. All the scientific surveys and estimates I can find start by saying, “No one really knows” and then proceeds with their best guess. I find it not surprising that most answers tend to support the views of the parent organization or agency. (Non-gay organizations tend to be lower in estimates than gay activist organizations.) However, all groups seem to find the homosexual (male and female) incidence rates are distinct minorities. The rates range from less than four percent to approaching twenty percent.

Therefore, by any count, the number of persons supporting and expecting some form of benefit from the dictate to ‘open the rest rooms’ to any is a rather small minority. What is the desire of the Obama Administration in discomfiting the
majority for the supposed benefit of a distinct minority?

By the way, we are not suggesting – nor does the North Carolina law, nor anyone else – denial of public restrooms to anyone. There is no question of “You have to go home to go”. Unless of course, the ‘open rest room’ faction succeeds; in which case the majority of people will be forced to share facilities with those who want to embarrass and possibly harm them.

Five: President Obama is now threatening to penalize North Carolina and other local governmental agencies if they do not comply with his dictates. All schools receiving federal funds – and of course, ALL public schools have been mandated to receive federal funds – or in the common tongue, individual citizen’s tax money – and therefore, ALL public schools are subject to the extortion by command, to open all restrooms to anyone who feels like it.

What is the purpose of all this? Other than the progressive goal of destroying all morals and values, one does not know. One understands this will expose all school age children – in a very vulnerable state – to the visual review of anyone and everyone. This is desired by the progressive faction of society, but I’m not sure it is desired by many others.

One other thing: If the United States elects a Democrat, either Democrat, to the Presidency everyone may rest assured this attack will continue. The reader may vote as the reader pleases. If getting more money and ‘benefits’ is more important than your children, feel free to vote Democrat.

If one’s children are important, one must consider doing otherwise.

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Filed under Christianity, Civilization, Crime, Idiot Politicians, Nation, Political Correctness

Some Random Observations Regarding God

Following is a rather unconnected and rambling list of thoughts. They are all based on statements or questions presented by non-believers – and a few believers in some cases – and have demanded my explanation. Some of these items have been addressed before in this blog. Perhaps not in exactly the same manner, but hopefully with the same mindset and arguments.

Giving the same old answer to the same old question is to be expected. Asking the same old question after the answer has been provided – and explained, ad infinitum – is rather childish.

1. Dying isn’t the worst thing that can happen.

The stimulus for this is typically a complaint along the lines of someone dying when the speaker didn’t want them to die. The speaker/complainer feels rather victimized because someone – a child, one’s parent or other relation, one’s dog, a favorite actor or singer – has died. Not only has the someone died, but in the opinion of the speaker/complainer, at the improper time or instant. “Why did the little girl (or boy) die because a drunk ran them over? Why didn’t God – obviously God’s fault – stop it?”

In some cases, the dead person died far away and possibly long ago. For instance, “Why did all the various Christians die in the Roman circuses?” Or “Why did God allow the [pick an evil group] to kill such and such a Christian?”

Where I cannot clearly answer all details of all questions, I do have some basic information about the phenomenon.

First, everyone dies. It’s a rule. Not only everyone, but everything. Horses, trees, governments, ideas (perhaps not all ideas, but the ‘fad’ ones anyway), and so on. So even if Uncle Cletus had survived the automobile accident, the cancer would have killed him anyway. Or his age. Or his lifestyle (drank whisky like a fish and smoked like a steam engine). Perhaps an angry husband. But die he would have.

Every so often – less currently – the attack of 11 September, 2001 is mentioned. God is berated for the death of around 3,000 people. Sometimes Moslem terrorists are mentioned in passing, sometimes not. Allow me to point out, had that not happened, would those people have lived forever? Probably not. Dying is often a tragedy and nearly alway inconvenient. But it happens to everyone, sooner or later.

When one accepts the concept of God’s sovereignty and omniscience together, one understands it is God who determines when everyone – anyone – dies; and when it happens, it was the ‘right time’. Just to be sure everyone has a chance to get this, it was the ‘right time’ as far as God was concerned. It may not be the ‘right time’ for the grieving survivor – including me – but it was the right time in God’s plan. If one of the survivors don’t agree, it makes little difference in the long run. One might as well be mad Rembrandt didn’t ‘lighten up’ the painting “Man with a Golden Helmet”. It is decided and done.

Not to mention we haven’t mentioned the sometimes imbecilic decisions which preceded the death. Why blame God when a child is never taught not to run out in the street? Why blame God when a relative abuses his health for years? Why blame God for being God? Some of this thought will be further discussed in section five.

2. Denying God’s existence will not make Him go away.

Many of the non-believers which whom I have discussed the matter justify ignoring God by the simple and circular reasoning of “I just don’t believe it”. One gets the feeling because what I have said does not convince the non-believer on the spot, it is not valid.

I haven’t been convinced of many things, but neither my ego nor faith is enough to convince me they cannot exist simply because I’m not convinced. It seems the non-believer’s faith is great enough to convince them they are the ultimate arbitrator of validity in the known universe.

It really isn’t, of course. It is the near ultimate form of denial. As long as one keeps repeating “Not real…” to themselves, they are safe from any consequence of the entity to be avoided. No doubt someone will post a reply to this essay, denying what I just said. Which proves they really don’t believe and they’re safe from God.

By the way, this denial doesn’t work with many other things in life. The death of a loved one, a diagnosis of cancer, a deadline, insufficient balance in the checking account or a flat tire. Nothing in reality ‘leaves’ just because one is not thinking about it or even honestly unaware of it.

3. The significant difference between ‘love’ and ‘approval’.

“Does God love homosexuals?” Variously, this is phrased as “Does God love [fill in blank of a person or group in opposition to God]?” Examples coming to mind are: Adolf Hitler, NAZIS in general, abortionists, women who abort babies, telephone salesmen, ‘sinners’ (non-specific) and so forth.

It is a ‘trap’ question. If one answers ‘no’, the questioner immediately pounces and announces, “Aha! So God doesn’t really ‘love’ everyone!”

If one answers ‘yes’, the clever questioner immediately pounces and claims, “Aha! Since God loves them, you must be wrong in condemning them as sinners!”

It’s the old ‘heads-I-win, tails-you-lose’, ‘unanswerable question’ gag. Much on the order of ‘Have you quit beating your wife (or husband, I suppose) yet?’

I have provided the answer on several occasions. Yes, God loves everyone, even ‘them’; however, that does not equate to approving or endorsing their actions. This of course is a ‘weasel out’ answer; it doesn’t play into their ‘gotcha’ game. They pretend the answer is artificial and doesn’t make sense, or they don’t quite understand it.

The mistake is in assuming evidence and definitions not given in Holy Writ. Nothing in the Bible suggests that one who rejects God can also ‘claim’ God’s protection.

4. The distinction between a moral code and peer group consensus.

God presents a code of ethics for His followers. In the Mosaic Law, it was seemingly formulated and specific. In Christianity, it is fairly loose in specifics and instead a general set of principles rather than a list of “do and don’t” articles. In fact, the Mosaic Law – the Ten Commandments and associated instructions for living life – was fairly general until the Holy Men of the Rabbinic league decided to specify what everything meant and issued – over a period of time – what everything meant.

This is not to point fingers at the traditional Jewish Rabbis. They did their work with great trepidation and with little monetary gain. Most of them did not get any pay as such for working as a rabbi. The great bulk of them served the Creator to the best of their knowledge and attempted to make others aware of what the Creator – The Name as usually used – wanted everyone to know.

So it has been in Christianity. Since the time of Christ, there have been people who claimed to speak for the Lord, as representatives of Christ and/or the Creator who further defined what Jesus instructed His followers to do. Rather than the formalized teachings of Mishnah and Gemara (look them up), Christianity has issued various documents of instruction in various forms and levels of authority.

The formal, organized, orthodox groups have demanded attendance at certain church functions during the year. Certain dress codes were published, especially for church attendance.

Protestant – as they are called – groups also issued ‘group specific’ rules of conduct and decorum. When I was a young man, a proper Christian was not to drink, smoke (cigarettes), dance, go to movies or engage in any form of sexual conduct with the ‘opposite’ sex. (Hardly anyone really knew if they were the ‘opposite’ sex or the other person was.) Card playing was usually forbidden; whether stud poker or bridge.

Other groups – church denominations – had either more strict or lax sets of rules. Some were very specific and demanding – like no female of any age could use make up or color their hair – and some allowed most everything. This is a whole study in itself and I won’t try to get more specific, other than to say Christianity as a whole has no less ‘commentary’ on what the Bible says than Judaism. It might be mentioned here that Judaism has a few distinctions between ‘groups’ as well. They range from the very Orthodox Jewish to essentially a ethnic, social society.

In the past one hundred years – more or less, it’s been a rather creeping process – many non-believers have set up a parallel belief system to Christianity, but one largely without Christ. The main thrust of the concept is “Christ doesn’t really matter, what He TAUGHT is what matters.” Except for the part about Christ being God, a relationship with Him as the key to salvation, miracles and that sort of thing.

For instance, Christ did teach about helping the poor. Therefore, in the Christianity without Christ religion, ‘giving to the poor’ is of greater significance than knowing and recognizing Christ as God. This ‘giving to the poor’ is also attached to various political systems who claim to assist the poor. For this reason, socialism is deemed to be more friendly to the poor than capitalism. Even if empirical, historic data shows otherwise.

This leads to the view that everyone should be removed from and protected from the results of their actions. “Freedom” is construed as action without limits or constraint. Therefore, birth control and abortion must be available to all women and at public expense. By the same token, medical treatment for sexually transmitted diseases – which could be easily prevented by ‘chastity’, the ‘old fashioned’ idea of only engaging in sex with one’s own and single partner – should now be provided to all at public expense. Recognizing a person brought some disaster – either legal, economic or medical – on themselves by their own choices – misdeeds in most cases – is considered ‘judgmental’ and forbidden.

On the same line, ‘environmentalism’ is a holy and required view; espousing ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ is far more important than other considerations. This is now to the point where evaluating ‘climate change’ and realizing the claims made are insubstantial and non-substantiable is considered heresy. Seemingly punishable by burning at the stake or at least a total and complete excommunication from society.

All these things – and many other associated – are now ‘assumed’ to have equal – indeed, preferential – standing with the moral code promulgated by God. Therefore, ‘free’ (public funded) abortions are now more important than celibacy or chastity and ‘environmentalism’ is more important than ‘thou shall not steal’.

In this logic, the God who said “Thou shall not steal” is wrong and the pretend god who who said ‘Gaia is the Earth Mother’ is right. Consequently, anyone who recognizes the Creator of the Universe is, at best, out of date and in error.

5. The significant difference between ‘holy’ and ‘happy’.

God commanded His people to be Holy, as He was Holy. This is recorded in the Mosaic Law and re-stated by Christ in the New Testament teaching of Christ. Whereas there are writings and poems or songs in the Old Testament book of Psalms about wealth and prosperity, the record of both Old and New Testament writings demonstrate God does NOT guarantee His followers with health, wealth, prosperity and “a rose garden” at all times. The story of Job, the history of the nation Israel and the deaths of Jesus and many of His followers demonstrate this concept.

What it – the message of God – does teach and guarantee is God keeps His followers in a positive state of mind through bad times. The Bible teaches those who rely on God will be ultimately rewarded in eternity, not immediately.

If it hasn’t been mentioned before, or no one has noticed, one is not issued a Rolls-Royce, a mansion in Beverly Hills and a wardrobe from the most fashionable designer immediately upon becoming a Christian.

Nor have I been protected from injury or illness due to my belief in God. I have to admit, I thought I was dead a couple of times, but God has preserved me. I expect to die at some point. All my grandparents – both sides – and my parents have died. Most of them were better Christians and probably better people than me. I have to replace the tires and oil in my car periodically. My dog got old and had to be put down.

The idea God makes life perfect for His followers is simply NOT part of Christian (or Jewish as I can tell) doctrine. Those who expect all their wishes fulfilled and a perfect life are confusing Christianity with a 1960 television show with Barbara Eden or a Disney movie.

6. “I don’t like it!” is not a valid criticism.

When dealing with those non-believers who justify their non-belief on what God ‘fails’ to do or does wrong, I’ve noticed a commonality. All of them are upset that God doesn’t do things they would do, or not in the way they would do them.

The conversation invariably comes around to ‘God shouldn’t do [such and such] – or allow [fill in the black here] to happen’. In other words, God didn’t follow this person’s wishes and is therefore wrong.

Not only that, but the person objecting demands God comply with their wishes in order to gain the objector’s favor.

So, just exactly is God in this case? Or more properly, who assumes they are God? If I had a nickel for every time some nitwit with a runny nose and no kleenex told me God was in error – I’d have a bunch of nickels.

So what is to be done?

God is going to win. I read the book all the way to the end. God wins. (Go figure.)

For those intellectually honest, admit to yourself God is really God and ask Him to show you the reality. Then have the intellectual honesty to understand God is telling you the reality and listen.

You will NOT have to start dressing like me, or get rid of everything you have. You won’t have to make any ‘specific’ changes prior to becoming a follower of Jesus. You won’t have to exile your girlfriend or boyfriend (regardless of participant’s sex). You won’t have to divest yourself of all your worldly possessions and become a monk or nun and live in a cave or anything.

You may have to make some changes in your life. However, you will not have to change anything until after you become a believer – and only then when God instructs you to do so. You will not have to change anything to placate me. Nor to placate the local pastor or priest. Placating your Mom is up to you and her. I would expect most everyone to change something in their life; but not everyone the same thing. Mostly what a follower of God needs to change are the things which stand between the follower and God.

If one does not believe God exists and continues in that belief; go ahead. No lightning bolt will strike – usually. In eternity – after you die – God will demand some explanations. It is up to you, obviously. I will still talk with you, share with you and even like you – depending, on how we ‘mesh’; there are some Christians with whom I don’t really get along. If you don’t shower often and never change your socks I may not ‘hang around’ as much.

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