Thursday, April 30, 2009

another lib gets it wrong (no surprise)

In Oklahoma, the more overtly "Christian" politicians claim to be, the more likely they are to pass mean-spirited legislation, especially in regard to our treatment of the strange.
Robin R Meyers, Saving Jesus from the Church, pp.121-122

At least Meyer than goes on to explain what he means, at least in part, in the next sentence.

Anti-immigrant and English-only fever is running high, all in the name of Jesus.
p. 122

As you could imagine, even assume, the liberal 'christian' makes a misrepresentation in the above.

Conservatives like myself are not "anti-immigrant". Far from it, we are very welcoming of people from other countries and nationalities, and have much respect for them. What we are against is "illegal immigration"--people entering the US in an illegal manner.

I have been overseas several times, and every time I have done so, I have respected and abode by the rules of those countries for obtaining visas and entering the countries.

There is nothing unloving or unreasonable about expecting immigrants to abide by the rules of immigration.

English-only rules are not "mean-spirited" either. I lived in Russia for a few years, and in that time I accepted the expectation the I needed to learn to gain some measure of skill at speaking the Russian language. And I did gain it--certainly not mastery, and no doubt those skills have atrophied in the years since I left and have not needed to use them, but after a while I was able to get around. I was also fortunate enough to know several Russian people who knew English, but it would have been completely unreasonable to me to expect Russians to learn English simply because I wasn't really quick at picking up their language, and them speaking their own language was a major inconvenience for me.

Why? Because I was in their country, in their house. They had every reason and right to expect me to abide by their own rules, among them to learn their language, especially since I was there for a while. That some spoke English with me and even helped at times in translating was an act of grace and mercy on their parts, not something I should have demanded.

Perhaps English-only laws could be too invasive, though I've not heard of any being so, but there is nothing wrong with having people in an English-speaking country being told that they needed to communicate in English with a good degree of skill. If anything, it's unloving to NOT do so, because it restricts them and their abilities to make it US society.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

debunking an attempted debunking

MYTH #6: You Must Believe Jesus Is the Son of God To Follow Him.

Now, in debunking this myth I want to direct your attention again to the early disciples. When they first answered the call to follow Jesus, did they believe that Jesus was the Son of God? No!

There are things of interest here. For example, what do we know of what the disciples believed about Jesus when they first started following Him?

I'm not sure how many conclusions we can come to in that, but there are a few. For example, some of John's disciples first started following Jesus when John pointed Him out to them as "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world". We also have the account of Peter, the one when he's fishing and they make the huge catch, and Peter's response to Jesus was to ask Him to leave because "I am a sinful man". There is also the fact that John's ministry came first, and it was about one coming after him, and any influence he would have had on those who heard his message, either in person or second-hand.

On the whole, though, I'm not very inclined to take this writer's claim that the disciples had not idea of who Jesus was for a time. There seemed to be more to it than this. In fact, if I remember right, there are places in the Gospel where even the people around are asking about if Jesus would be the Messiah or Christ (though their own expectations of the Messiah were different than what Jesus did).

So, it seems there is reason to think that all around Him at the time thought of Jesus as being somewhat more than "the latest and greatest Rabbi on the religious scene" and "an amazing teacher and example" (from the blog, in another paragraph).

Perhaps more telling are these words from I John

I John 2
21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

I John 4
1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

I John 5
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

There seem to be three stages of following Jesus. FIRST—Jesus is followed because He is so flawless and attractive—unimpeachable. He is the one person who has truly walked the walk and the talk perfectly. No one argues with this. And the disciples believed in Him enough to follow Him. There is nothing wrong with this type of following Jesus at all.

SECOND—Then as you follow this attractive Jesus, you will begin to embrace His lifestyle, teachings and principles and find them to be very practical and meaningful for your life. Following this Jesus just makes sense.

THIRD—Finally, as you continue to follow this Jesus and find His teachings meaningful, you will at some point discover your Creator-God. You will experience transformation of your heart and your mind and see Jesus as the Son of God.

I'm not sure where he can say "no one argues with this". Plenty of people argue with it. They may do so in 'nice' ways--Jesus was a good teacher, a wise guy making pithy sayings, an early socialist stirring up the pot, it's not his fault the early disciples made him a religious figure, very little in the Bible is really what Jesus said and did.

Second, where is anything said in the Bible of "stages of following Jesus"? Rather, by Jesus' own words "those who are not against me are for me". We don't see stages of following Jesus (if by "following Jesus" we mean conversion, which seems to be what the author is saying) at Pentacost, at Cornelius' house, or in the conversion of Saul.

So, wherever you are in this continuum of the stages in following Jesus, ultimately you are seeking and hoping to receive this gift of transformation from God Himself. When you understand this, you then can embrace the fact of Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Agnostics, Muslims and even Christians who are followers of Jesus.

I think this is the kicker right here, the a priori end goal of the author's reasoning, the goal towards which he wanted to wend the path of his reasoning--finding some way to say that people in other religions can be "followers of Jesus", even if they don't think of Jesus as being the Messiah.

And I think he is wrong. Even in regards to a Cornelius, who was by the biblical account a good man, he needed to hear the message of Peter and believe in Christ before he was truly right with God.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

finding reality

My reading of things emergent and progressive have left me with the feeling that the people who write those things have no idea of the kinds of people they ridicule and denigrate. I've tried to think differently, no doubt many people have many different experiences than I have had in my years, and no doubt bad experiences do happen, and I know that conservative Christians can be far from perfect. But my overall impression has been that these people react more to caricatures than to real people, and to what people of their own like minds say about conservative Christians than in what those conservatives are really like.

That is what happened to this young person, one Kevin Ross, who has recently published a book called "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University". He was a liberal 'christian' who decided to get some first-hand knowledge of the 'enemy' by spending a semester as a student at Liberty University, the university founded by Jerry Falwell. His reasons may have been slightly questionable (he intended to write about the wrongs he found there, thinking it was full of hate and intolerance and all PC-sins). His experience was, however, much different than his expectations.

Liberal Student Infiltrates Liberty University to Write Exposé and Discovers Intolerance...From the Left

Roose researched the school by joining as many activites as possible. He accompanied classmates on a spring break missionary trip to Daytona Beach. He visited a campus support group for chronic masturbators, where students were taught to curb impure thoughts. And he joined the choir at Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church.

Roose scored an interview with the preacher for the school newspaper, right before Falwell died in May of that year. Roose decided against confronting him over his views on liberals, gays and other hot-button topics, and instead learned about the man himself, discovering among other things that the pastor loved diet peach Snapple and the TV show "24."

Perhaps the part that gives the best news is this here.

Once ambivalent about faith, Roose now prays to God regularly _ for his own well-being and on behalf of others. He said he owns several translations of the Bible and has recently been rereading meditations from the letters of John on using love and compassion to solve cultural conflicts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

where's the respect, man? part 2

Leave it to a leftie to...

A) want to curb our freedoms while placing the blame on people who sell guns because some who have guns misuse them (waiting for them to protest car dealerships every time an auto wreck has a fatality)

B) Use their freedoms to thumb their noses at those who work to protect them

C) Miss the point.

Why I Got Arrested on Good Friday

Claiborne may be about as much an idiot as Rollins (though Rollins does set a high standard for the low).

He and his minions could have done some pretty decent things on their Good Friday self-righteousness display, maybe. Things the Bible could be said would be good things to do.

I don't see where the Bible says anything about protesting gun sellers and military weapons developers.

But maybe this helps me answer some of the questions about how people like Chalke, a not-ver-dissimilar sort from Claiborne, react in regards to those who give them the freedoms they enjoy to abuse.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Who invented what?

‘God and humans are the invention of the story itself’

I'm becoming convinced that pomos are far less interested in truth, than in a false wit and their own feelings of cleverness.

As disgusting as this is, though, is Rollins' attempts to weasel out of it, both in the comments to this post, and in what he wrote in the next post.

The working out of the above "Hegelian synthesis" (whether really Hegelian or not) is that God is merely a part of the story, a character, someone only doing what the story tells him to do. Hardly a being worth worshiping and serving, which may be one reason Rollins' is so much into the disciple as the one who disobeys, which I pointed out in the previous entry.

But in the end, the statement Rollins puts forth is merely idiotic. And so is he.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I like thinking of clever (or clever at least to my mind) titles for these entries. The contain is often serious enough, so a bit of a clever title may be a bit of something to get people in to read it.

But I can't do that here. I can't think of anything more appropriate to call this but "evil". Evil as basic and as vile as one will ever see.

The leader is needed in order to refuse leadership

Is it not the case that among the most important teachings of a great religious leader to their most dedicated disciples will involve the words, “do not follow me”.

And is it not the case that that is one difference we have with Jesus? (I think Rollins' contention is even a bit questionable). Jesus does say "Follow me", He does say to obey what He says, He even makes it the central thing. Even if all other religious leaders were as Rollins' says (debatable), equating them with Jesus is asinine for a Christian.

So then, what if to swear that we will never betray our great teacher is to betray him already (reifying his dynamic way of love into dead letters)?

If you read Rollin's blog entry (do so), you'll see that he begins it with a 'parable' or story of whatever genre, in which a Master tells his disciple that he will never be a real master because the student has never betrayed the Master's teachings.

“But you fail to understanding my friend”, replied the Master, “The fact that you have never betrayed my teachings, and the fact that you swear never to betray them; this is to betray them already”

What is Rollins' doing, but telling people that they should disobey God? What is he saying, but that true disciples thumb their noses at the commands of God, and go their own ways? What is he saying, but that we know better than God what we should do.

This is the first evil, the one that appeared in the Garden of Eden, "Has God really said?" I have no qualms in saying that by this standard Rollins sets, the greatest heroes in the Bible are Adam (or maybe Eve for being the first to disobey) and Judas, the one whose name is synonymous with betrayal.

There is no evil more vile, no blasphemy more loathsome. Only hell would cheer at such words.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

where's the respect, man?

Despite thousands of years of individual, tribal, and international bloodshed, the last century managed to produce the most horrific wars ever seen. For instance, World War I was hailed as the war to end all wars. But within less than two decades, the "defeated" enemy had rallied and was on the offensive again, bigger and bitterer than ever, and humankind had to suffer World War I part II. And who at this early stage can tell how deep the impact and far-reaching consequences of the War on Terrorism will be for all humanity.
Chalke and Mann, the lost message of Jesus, p. 127

I sometimes wonder how such people as this must feel when they run into military veterans, especially since Chalke (and perhaps Mann) is himself British. Does he see the veteran as a hero to his nation, someone who helped keep his nation from falling to the Nazis? Or does he feel unclean when around them, and in his heart would rather have been raised speaking German and raising his right arm to whomever would now be his fuhrer over having to acknowledge one who violated his dearly held principle of pacifism?

This isn't some kind of silly question, but a real one. He enjoys great freedoms because he lives in a society where those freedoms were preserved by military people, people who fought and defended, people who killed in battle and were killed. Does he honor the people who gave those freedoms for him, or does he use those freedoms to spread sentiments against those who gave those freedoms to him?

Of course, this doesn't address the ways he tries to address the issue biblically, such as his attempts were. I think I will refer the reader to the C.S. Lewis essay "Why I am not a Pacifist" for a well-thought rebuttal to Chalke's and Mann's position.

All we know is that whenever aggression is met with aggression, the beast of violence is fed and grows stronger.

Do we know that? What proofs do we have of that?

Can we really say that if we let the aggressors have their own ways, the world would be a better place? Should the people of Britain and Russia have simply laid down their arms, and let Nazi Germany take them over? Should China and all of Southeast Asia have simply resigned themselves to Japanese rule? Should South Korea have not fought against Communism from the north? Should Israel have let the Muslims run them into the sea the day after their nation was formed?

As a not-a-pacifists, my answer to those questions would be a strong "No!!". For Chalke and Mann, I fear it would be the opposite.

another tangent...

Beware the cuteness.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Don't worry, I'll get back on track in a moment. Just can't resist the cute.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

because my coffee says so

Posting a Dilbert comic here, while not common, is certainly not new. Most have something to do with the overall theme of the blog.

I can't say that about this one. I can only that I'm posting it because...I like it.

And my coffee told me to.

looking for what is coming, and where I'm going

The vision John has is not of people leaving earth and going somewhere else. It's a vision of God coming here and taking up residence in our midst.
Rob Bell, sex god, p. 165

The context of the quote above has to do with Revelation, more specifically the end, where John tells us of the new heaven and new earth, and the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.

There is really nothing new in what he's say, at least by my experiences. Granting that because death is often of more immediacy then the second coming, or at least of more apparent immediacy, among the churches I've been to the question of a person's destination after death has usually been of more immediate concern than the coming of the new Jerusalem; still, it did get it's share of teaching about and mention.

And one need not go even to Revelation to see it. Zechariah in the OT tells us of a time when Christ will return, and for a time make things right here on earth.

My problem with Bell here, and emergents as a whole, is a small one, at least in comparison with some other things they say and teach. It's small and subtle, but I think of at least some small importance.

It has to do with his claim of God "coming here", with the inference, or so it seems to me, that it will be to this earth that the new Jerusalem will come.

This seems to miss the idea, both in Revelation and elsewhere, that things are they are now are not meant to last forever--that the earth is kept for a time of judgment, that as it is now will someday be destroyed, and perhaps the whole of the university as we know it along with it.

As the passage in Revelation says, John saw a "new heaven and a new earth", because "the old heaven and earth had passed away". In something that to me seems very similar to what happens with us in regards to the resurrected body, the material world will also "pass away" and either be replaced with the new or be itself made new.

Although perhaps a small thing, like I said before I think it is of some importance. More than one place in the Bible tells us to hold lightly onto things of this world, and to look for the next--"Do not lay up treasures here on earth...but lay them up in heaven", "Our citizenship is in Heaven", "Love not the world, nor the things of the world".

One big problem that I think emergent has is in their emphasis on this world. True, few if any of them come out and say that there is no Heaven (though Pagitt's harping on dualism comes close), but it seems to be an embarrassing topic to them. In watching at least one online video of McLaren, it seemed that he wanted to drop the subject as quickly as he could, so he could get back to the issues he thought of more importance. Given the McLaren has pretty much adopted a full-preterist outlook in regards to prophecy and Christ's return, which is that all biblical prophesy has been fulfilled including those about Christ's second coming, then his focus on this world is really all he has.

If this world is all there is, then "laying up treasure in heaven" becomes an act of futility. If this present world is the "new heaven and new earth", I have a great desire to demand a refund, because it most certainly had to have been a bait-and-switch, because the reality would be far less than what was advertised.

Saying this world is temporary does not make it unimportant, any more than saying that our present life is temporary makes it meaningless. If anything, knowing there is something more waiting and coming, something new, and that some of our actions, small as they may be, can influence our individual place or lack in the new heaven and earth, makes this life of no small importance.

And if anything, the teaching that "this world is not our home" should give us heart to do right when faced with dangers and even death. Especially since the teaching is true.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

any takers...

...on how long it will take emergent to come to the defense of people like this?

SWF Seeks Man, Woman or Famous Landmark

They seem to have all the right words and turns of phrases...

Erika Eiffel, an "objectum sexual" who changed her last name to Eiffel as a reflection of the commitment ceremony she had with the famous Parisian landmark, further explained "we feel an innate connection with objects. It comes perfectly normal to us, to connect on various levels, emotional, spiritual, and also physical for some."

Eiffel insisted to Snow, that despite "ridicule by peers, abandonment by her family and a medical discharge from the Air Force," all presumably as a result of her love for inanimate objects, that she's "happy ... not hurting anyone ... not being held back."

and they have the media on there side...

Yet Snow appeared to redefine normal by only featuring a member of the medical community who equated "objectum sexual" relationships with human-to-human relationships. She also appeared to downplay the other experts' doubt by reporting, "Erika says she doesn't have Asperger's, nor does she believe her abusive childhood, shuffling between foster homes, contributed to O.S."

Snow's report also appeared to be a plea for research funding for this topic. She made sure to include that Marsh believes "more study is needed." And in the re-cap of the report with GMA host Diane Sawyer, Snow said, "There's no way of knowing exactly how many people there are out there like this. But there is this online community now. The Internet has made it possible for groups to find each other. And they're convinced there's a lot more people like this out there. If they could only find each other."

ABC is certainly doing its part to help "objectum sexuals" find each other and to encourage society's acceptance of object-human relationships.

What more do Tony Jones and the other emergents need? Maybe some kind of 'spiritual feeling' that tells them that this is ok with whatever god they are accepting? Approval from the Dalai Lama?

So, any guesses? A year? Maybe less? Or might they already be jumping into the fray?

looking no higher than himself

This difference, between following and worshiping, is not insignificant. Worshiping is an inherently passive activity, since it involves the adoration of that to which the worshiper cannot aspire. It takes the form of praise, which can be both sentimental and self-satisfying, without any call to changed behavior or self-sacrifice. In fact, Christianity as a belief system requires nothing but acquienscence. Christianity as a way of life, as a path to follow, require a second birth, the conquest of ego, and new eyes with which to see the world. It is no wonder that we have preferred to be saved.
Robin R Meyers, Saving Jesus from the Church, p. 15

It may be safely said that anyone who considers worship to be "an inherently passive activity", has likely never truly worshipped anyone or anything (outside of the person's self).

There is nothing "inherently passive" in expressing one's love, loyalty, and devotion to someone, and most important to God. Is a mother who adores her small child a passive person? Far from it. Is a man who adores a woman passive? Likely, he will be the more active to prove his worth to her.

If anything, that is the point--true worship of God is an active thing, and in fact one will not have "changed behavior" without worship of God. Which is why those like Meyer seem more intent on changing God than in changing their fellow man.

You may have noticed that I didn't include "self-sacrifice" above. I almost did. But something jumped around a bit in my memory, something from C.S. Lewis. Lewis starts his essay "The Weight of Glory" talking about the difference between the old virtue of "love" and the modern virtue of "unselfishness". "Love" is mainly concerned with the good of the one loved, while "unselfishness" had in focus mostly the doing-without of the self.

So I thought, and so I see, when I noticed his word "self-sacrifice". His hyphenated word, like unselfishness, is concerned most with the self and it's ability to do without, and not with the good of those on the outside. It is as selfish as unselfishness.

And do not be fooled by his rhetoric of "following Jesus". Even in that, he soon tips his hand, in saying that the Gospels give us little if any true knowledge about Jesus, that the Gospel writers were intent on creating some kind of mythical god-man, that we cannot know anything for sure about the "historical Jesus". The jesus he tells us to follow is simply an empty shell in which has been poored the ideas he and his fellow liberal theologians have approved.

Friday, April 3, 2009

he believes in...what? who???

ht a little leaven

Church authorities not to discipline Dutch 'atheist' pastor

The church authorities said disciplinary proceedings against Hendrikse, who is a pastor of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, would be likely to lead to, "a protracted discussion about the meanings of words that in the end will produce little clarity". The letter also noted that people have debated the issue of "God's existence" throughout time.

Hendrikse gained attention with his book published in November 2007, in which he said that it was not necessary to believe in God's existence in order to believe in "God". The Dutch title of the book translates as, "Believing in a God who does not exist: manifesto of an atheist pastor".

In his book, Hendrikse recounts how his conviction that God does not exist has become stronger over the years.

"The non-existence of God is for me not an obstacle but a precondition to believing in God. I am an atheist believer," Hendrikse writes in the book. "God is for me not a being but a word for what can happen between people. Someone says to you, for example, 'I will not abandon you', and then makes those words come true. It would be perfectly alright to call that [relationship] God."

I can think of few things that more perfectly show what nonsense the postmodern virus is producing. I want to try something that may show how ridiculous his statement is.

"The non-existence of Santa is for me not an obstacle but a precondition to believing in Santa. I am an atheist believer,"..."Santa is for me not a being but a word for what can happen between people. Someone says to you, for example, 'I will not abandon you', and then makes those words come true. It would be perfectly alright to call that [relationship] Santa."

And that's all it is. One could insert any word in there, and it would work.

"The non-existence of is is for me not an obstacle but a precondition to believing in is I am an atheist believer,"..."Is is for me not a being but a word for what can happen between people. Someone says to you, for example, 'I will not abandon you', and then makes those words come true. It would be perfectly alright to call that [relationship] is."

I doubt even the Seinfeld comedy could have come up with a statement so clearly about nothing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

it turned my thoughts

I read this, and couldn't help thinking of Doug Pagitt.