Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All or Nothing

Premise 1: If I believe life begins at the conception of human baby, I am pro-life.
Premise 2: If I am pro-life, I will do my best to limit and eventually stop the legal practice of abortion
Condition 1: If the baby was conceived during rape or incest or if the mother’s life is in danger, then I will not limit or stop the legal practice of abortion.

This was the basic argument of Rep. Paul Ryan during the vice presidential not long ago. Needless to say, his argument is hopelessly incorrect.

Condition 1 does not follow or interact logically with Premises 1 and 2. A person is either pro-life or pro-abortion, a person cannot have it two ways.

If we acknowledge his argument, we would have to ask why suddenly the child is no longer living because of the way he/she was conceived, or if the woman’s life is in danger. There is no answer for this question, because it's impossible. Either the child is a human life at conception, no matter the situation, or its not. 

This is the frustration that accompanies Republicans trying to play the center. Either you believe all of something or you don’t. You’re either all for life, or you’re not.

Either you believe, or you don't.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Freedom in Slavery to Self

Recently, I had entered a 200 level French class. Also, recently I withdrew from said French class. Not because it was too difficult, but it was a source of stress in addition to my other classes. I also took on the class originally to have fun and continue learning the grammar and intricacies of French that I came to enjoy in the 101 and 102 levels. However, even though the 201 class covered the grammar, the main focus was to encourage speaking with the topics being about French culture, which my self-avowed socialist, multi-cultural, yet rather handsome instructor supported. Before I made the decision to withdraw, we had begun chapter 2 in our text which focused on male and female roles in French, and the “liberation” that women received through government intervention.

Being female, I’m in full support of the law looking on everyone equally in voting, buying, selling, and other such social interactions. However, from a Christian woman’s perspective, the “freedom” to kill an unborn child or fulfill every sexual desire that happens upon a person is not “freedom”, but an acknowledgement of slavery to self. It is also not a just as criminals are charged with murder when killing an individual no matter the age outside of the womb, yet when a woman kills her child inside of the womb it is “freedom”. If a woman has a sexual act with a child, animal, or unwilling partner it is decried as unnatural and deviant, yet if she does this same act with one of her own sex it is celebrated; she is called “free” despite the same deviant unnatural aspect of the act.

For the most part I taught myself French from books and computer programs before entering into the college programs, and learned of French culture from unbiased literature. I will continue to attempt going down that path, since I cannot abide the personal conditioning by liberal folk in my emotional state, especially when I can’t communicate back to them my views (the students are expected to respond/converse in French) as I would in English.

No great loss, the bright side is I can focus on my art, and receive A’s in my other classes that actually are required.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Atheism Should Not Mean Neutrality

Around a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a video on the front page of Youtube titled “American Muslims Stone Christians in Dearborn, MI (Original edit)”. I watched a small portion of it (since it was very long and I soon I had other business to attend to) to find a youth screaming obscenities at a man holding a sign. His sign, and all the signs held by his friends if I recall correctly, had Bible verses on them that referred to Christ’s sacrifice and salvation. When I later had a chance to watch the video in most of its in entirety I found that more occurred than yelled obscenities. Rocks, trash, and other objects were thrown at these Christians walking silently through an Arab festival. Furthermore, the police did little to nothing to stop the riot or help the Christians, and in fact, told them to leave or face a citation for disorderly conduct.

Needless to say, this upset me, confused me, and saddened me, but what made me ponder the longest was the comment I saw when I initially watched only a short clip of the video.

“This is one of the 5 billion reasons I’m an atheist.”

This was one of the top rated comments at the time, but it must have only recently been cycled in because it only had around 5 “thumbs up”. Nevertheless, the comment still stands. What about this comment caused me to ponder so deeply? Well, let alone there aren’t 5 billion reasons to be an atheist, but that’s a technicality and I’m sure the user was being hyperbolic. However, to think that being a person that has decided God does not exist exempts him from a situation in which two worldviews are clashing is a terrible misconception. Other religions get an equal thrashing from atheists if not physically, but verbally while claiming reason is the answer rather than religion—in the Christian case, relationship. So being an atheist does not exempt this person or people who are like-minded from conflicts that mirror this one, though his statement implies that it does exempt him.

What makes me even more curious is why he was not on the Christians’ side. They were the ones peaceably trying to insert a voice where there otherwise was not one in a place that celebrated a fallacy. The response to that was not inattention or curiosity, but outright rage, violence, and dissent. Even one who has no faith in Yeshua could see there is a stark contrast between the people proclaiming John 3:16 and the people through crates.

What’s most disturbing is this person, and whomever agrees, has taken a position of neutrality. Instead of examining both sides and coming to the conclusion that one is clearly in the wrong he has said, “Whomever they’re fighting over doesn’t exist—I wash my hands of their conflict.” Even the late Christopher Hitchens valued freedom of speech, and I dare say he would be on the side of those Christians not because of their beliefs, but because their fundamental right of free speech was violated by others who disagreed and authorities too frightened to uphold their rights.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Personal Fire

“In the same way, if man has been kicked up by chance out of what is only impersonal, then those things that make him man—hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication—are ultimately unfulfillable [sic] and are thus meaningless.” Francis Schaeffer

I read this recently in The God Who is There by Francis Schaeffer. I must say he is my favourite philosopher, and the Lord has used him to open my eyes to many truths about Himself. This statement I read recently was written in conjunction with the argument that an impersonal universe cannot bring forth a personal being. As he expounded on this point, I realized that nothing else in our world does this. Humans, personal beings, always apply personality to otherwise impersonal objects brought about by the universe or nature. We give animals smiles, with give robots emotions, we give machines a voice. Yet no other entity on earth—no other impersonal entity—has done such things. If evidence is found that some impersonal object or entity can do that, I will concede that God and our personality is an illusion.

However, this principal has a further application has well. When my pastor spoke this Sunday about the power of the tongue, he read James 3:6, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” With this verse I also realized that God, who is personal, put personality into man he also but the power of his words, to a lesser degree, into man. God can say, “Light, be.” And it is. Just as man can curse another and cause destruction. God can say he will cause it to rain on the earth until all evil has been destroyed, just as man can speak a blessing over his fellow that sends him into abundance.

Our God put so much more in us than “hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication”. He gave us power, and in our sinfulness we often abused it to the greatest degree. Yet we have mercy through Jesus Christ that said “It is finished”, and with his words and actions brought redemption to all mankind despite our untamable tongue.

Yes, the tongue is a fire, but through he that is Living Water it can be quenched.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Isn't This Your Natural State?

Recently, the Marvel Comics-based movie debuted called The Avengers. Being a fan of animation, cartoons, comics and anime, I’ve enjoyed many of the comics-made-movies that have emerged in recent years. This one, however, had many aspects that made me enjoy it the most out of my favourites. Also, having grown deeper in my relationship with the Lord, I find messages (or they’re revealed to me) in the strangest places.
Near the beginning of the film the villain, Loki, came into an upscale gathering in Germany disguised as a gentlemen, and extracting something he needed while killing an individual in the process. When he left, while throngs of people screamed, he transformed into his true self with his signature outfit and new scepter. He makes holograms of himself and surrounds the crowd of people present and approaches them as if he’s royalty. He commands them, gently at first, “Kneel.” Without compliance he angrily screams, “Kneel!” again. The crowd complies and he satisfactorily says, “See, isn’t this easier? Isn’t this your natural state?” And an older man stood up to object, and as Loki poses to strike, in ride the heroes.
I saw some beautiful things in this scene:
1.      Satan appears as an angel of light.

Loki walked in looking as all the other guests, unassuming, cunning, and extremely attractive. And just as the onlookers were taken, he struck and he destroyed. Just as Satan and our acts that serve him look so harmless and cunning when they’re leading us to death.

2.      Satan is revealed.

When the crowd saw him as he really appears, that is when they ran, just as when people see the evil of their sin and its destruction they run, in some cases to the Savior and in other cases to those that cannot save.

3.      Satan devalues his servants.

As Loki told the people their natural state was that of a lower one, God sent his Son show us we were meant for much higher. And even though we are still lower than God, we can be proud to be because he is worthy of all honor and subjection because, unlike Satan, he is holy. If he said “is this your natural state?” we can say, “Yes, but before a holy and good God and you, sir, are not he.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Rule, Not the Exception, Not In Addition

Like I said, there were no promises I would stay with my Tues-Thurs schedule, but I’m trying.

In the fall out of President Obama’s admission of his support of same-sex marriage, I have noticed two things.
1.      1. Conservatives are ahead of the game.

When everyone else is parading their “first gay President” around for his “evolution” of a tolerant view, conservatives already knew Obama was in the pocket of the supporters of same-sex marriage (SSM). Evidence for this was everywhere, especially with his refusal to support DOMA. Also, this admission has divided the American people further, which is something conservatives also already knew. On the heels of NC deciding 61 to 39% that they know marriage is between a man and woman, he decides to drop his Hispanic (Catholic) supporters, his black supporters, and his evangelical supporters with his support of SSM. These blocs have been known to have low numbers of support for SSM, and even if he picked up the LGBT vote, he’s sacrificed a good bit as well.

2.   2.   Conservatives are wimps.

Those that are not in the “culture war” and boldly claim the illegitimacy of SSM (ie Family Research Council, Bryan Fischer of AFR, etc.), tip-toe around the issue like it’s the glass of a broken milk jug. Not only is it annoying for myself to see individuals I admire dance around the issue, but also it’s upsetting that this is an area conservatives are still weak in when the logic and moral concepts are there to combat the support for this distortion of a public institution. I shall expound:
a.       Obama served himself up on a golden platter when he said he first said years ago that he did not support same-sex marriage (SSM) because of his “Christian faith”, now he argues that his “Christian faith” is what compels him to support it citing a verse from Luke that quotes Jesus saying, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Otherwise known as the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Mr. President, there's this thing called "context" and it’s really important. There's also this thing called "logic" and it’s equally important. When Jesus made that statement he was talking about goods and sharing, basically, not marriage or any distortion of it. Furthermore, does "I support same-sex marriage" and "Christ said to do to others as you would them to you" follow? Non sequitur anyone? He may be thinking “Homosexuals let us marry, so we should let homosexuals marry and recognize that marriage in the state.” A “some for me and some for thee” type of mentality. I will deal with this in my next point.
b.      The façade that homosexuals should have “equality” is a false one. Every consenting adult, male and female citizen of the United States of America has the equal right to marry each other and have the state recognize that marriage. What homosexuals want is the special right to not only be able to marry someone of the opposite sex, but also someone of the same sex as well and have that marriage recognized by the state. This is inequality, not the advent of equality. Since generally people do not want to promote inequality, the idea of “that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” does not apply and never has applied to this matter.
c.       Our country has traditionally supported Judeo-Christian values which have been proven time and time again when put forward justly have been the best guides for morality. We should not abandon those values just because the political winds are changing. Supporting SSM or validating it as a higher or equal relationship with marriage not only devalues marriage, but also promotes an unhealthy lifestyle and dishonors God.
I haven’t even gotten into the sheer medical risks it poses for supporting homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. However, in light of all this for some reason conservatives still want to skulk around this issue. This is even worse when it comes to libertarians because I’m starting to find they are in support of SSM. However, in the case of one of my favourite libertarians, Lee Doren that heads up How the World Works on Youtube, he not too long ago came out to support SSM and gave a case as to why Republicans should do so as well. He compared it to when Republicans fought for the equality of blacks, and they would be doing good if they fought for equality again but for homosexuals. As I wrote here and in a note to Doren (to which I did not get a reply, but I may post that letter at a later date), this is not an issue of equal rights, but special rights. This is not an issue of people being born with the need to have sexual intercourse with the same sex as black people are born with dark skin. This is their choice, nothing more nothing less. They do not choose to be attracted to someone of the same-sex, but to say making the choice to act on that attraction is moral and/or acceptable is wrong.
To the main point, you have a great thinking man like Doren that wants freedom for everyone and wants to do right by everyone in this country that he’s obviously passionate about. However, a story emerged of a grade school child who had her art censored because it featured a married heterosexual couple. This was supposedly an offensive image. Doren was rightly heated about this, yet it was written all over his face that he needed to figure out how is this wrong if SSM is right. He solved this by saying this was a future that this child wanted, that was the theme of mural: a child growing and experiencing life and finally getting married and having a family. However I think he knows deep inside, just as that child knows deep inside that heterosexual marriage is the rule not the exception and not “in addition to”.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not How and When, But Who and Why

            Hello, to those who happen to read this. I’ve thought of many things these past months, but due to school, I have not been able to write them. Now that I have a break, I should be blogging more, but no guarantees I will stick to my Tuesday and Thursday blogging plan.
            Now, on to the matter at hand, recently I’ve been delving into Christian apologetics. This has to be one of the most stimulating and exciting subjects I have ever studied. If I did not love art I would possibly pursue this study instead. However, in my survey of this realm of Christianity, I found something interesting in regards to creation. Traditionally, Christians have taken the account for the formation of the world and universe that is described in Genesis as literal, as do I. But some would argue science has disproven this method, and the timeframe attached to it. “Young-Earth Creationists” are typically very attached to the belief the earth is around 6,000 to 10,000 years old while “Old-Earth Creationist” wander into the millions and billions of years. And they end up arguing with each other and evolutionists.
            This conversation saddened me because they appear to be missing the larger point. Personally, since I believe God can do anything, I think it is perfectly acceptable to interpret Genesis literally; however this should be a non-issue when discussing God and his existence. When Christians are talking about the creation, I believe they want to assert, “God created the universe.” Those that assert the same, but have placed it on a different timeline, signal to Christians “evolutionism” which communicates to them the possible removal of God from the equation of creation.
           This is partly naiveté on their part, and ignorance on the other party’s part. This gets in the way of both of parties’ same goal of reaching the world for Christ, especially the intellectual world. Allow me to illustrate: A Christian individual had a friend who mostly leaned toward agnosticism, if I remember correctly. However, this friend was very interested in astronomy and the study surrounding that discipline. He was with his Christian friend one night as he was peering through his telescope at the vast space above him, and after gazing he backed away and looked to his friend. “You know I’m not religious, you know I’m not religious,” he asserted repeatedly, “You know I’m not religious.” 

“But that didn’t happen by accident.”

Here, is where that friend can tell him, “Yes!” “That didn’t happen by accident!” Because the God of the universe placed it in the sky, and no there’s not a question of when or how, but who and why. We know who, God, but why? Because not only is our existence for our benefit, but also after the Fall of man we would need a savior, and if God was not all powerful to create a universe, then he would not have been able to become a man, he would not have been a sacrifice, and he would not have been the salvation for all the world.
            This is why I think we should not get caught up in the “how” and “when” of creation. I’m not saying studying and learning about those questions is wrong, but that should not be one of the goals of Christians to have people believe in Genesis 1 since that will not save them.

Only repentance, confession, and belief on the Lord Jesus Christ will do that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Illusion of Sinless Remarriage

First, happy new year everyone. Second, I am no Bible scholar, this is simply my beliefs I see them. I would not be surprised if there's something in translation that I'm losing, but I have to call it as I see it.

Of late I have been privy to a situation that has occurred to one of the individuals that attends my church. In short terms he is going through a divorce with his wife who he has found to be unfaithful.

He had discussed his divorce and trials with my family and I, and he mentioned that others had suggested he should sell the house, with the assumption he would remarry would not want his new wife to feel as an intruder to his old life (I am paraphrasing). I did not say anything at the time, but in the back of my mind and later on with my mother the idea of remarrying seemed outside of good Christian doctrine.

According to the particular denomination we belong to there is a doctrine that I have never been in agreement with simply because there is lack of evidence for it in God’s word. This particular denomination believes, they claim in accordance to Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9, that a person can divorce and remarry without committing adultery if the spouse they are divorcing has been unfaithful.

I believe this view is erroneous specifically because Matthew 5:32 says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”
 In my view this verse expressly allows for divorce in the presence of marital unfaithfulness, but is silent on remarriage.

The case is almost the same for 19:9, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

In addition to that, Luke is silent on it all together as he quotes Jesus instructing in chapter 16 verse 18, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

With these passages in mind, we as Christians have more than enough reason to keep our marriages intact in order to display our faithfulness to God’s commandments. Beside these verses is the picture of Christ and his Church or his chosen people, Israel. No matter how many times the Church or Israel has been unfaithful, Christ has never left or found another chosen people; despite the physical unfaithfulness the spiritual bond is the same. Also, observe what results from divorce and remarriage, especially multiple remarriages: confusion, in some cases strife, and emotional harm to children; all things that are not of God.

Also, why would God make such an exception? How does this reflect His character? I do not believe it reflects His character because it is not in accordance with laws of the past. In addition to that, many of God’s precepts in the Old and New Testaments can be supported by historical or medical discoveries or by the witness of the Holy Spirit. In this case, if God supports divorce in the case of fornication and does not condone remarriage, He would be consistently in line with His previously laws that rule against fornication or “whoredom” in respect to the medical fact that multiple sex partners spreads disease (not to mention damage to emotional health as well). If one were having an active sexual relationship with his wife and another disease could spread, then in God’s infinite wisdom He would provide a way out of the marriage for the faithful spouse while simultaneously stopping halting the spread of disease by reducing the distributor to one. Note: This is all hypothetical as neither party could have a disease at all.

To be completely honest, I believe Christians have compromised and embraced doctrines such as these because of sex. I’m rather convinced that some Christians are terrified of prospect of not having sex again after divorce, and I quite frankly find that deplorable if that is the case. Christ is supposed to be our all in all; without the unfaithful spouse we should be able to see this as an opportunity to grow in our faith. Paul did suggest a state of singleness after all in I Corinthians. Please do not mistake my views of the sex to be negative, by the way, it is a good and helpful gift from God to married couples, but if that is what is driving a desire for remarriage, even marriage for that matter, I believe that person’s salvation should be reevaluated.

In conclusion, save for an unbelieving spouse leaving his or her believing spouse, and death of one spouse, I see no evidence supporting a doctrine of divorce and remarriage in the case of unfaithfulness. The scriptural support is not there. The example of Christ is not there. The consistency of God’s laws is not there. Quite simple I believe the idea of remarriage outside of a fleeing secular spouse or a dead spouse is an illusionary doctrine and should be done away with  out of respect for God’s precepts.