Category Archives: Christian apologetics

European Stupidity Created America

Americans are so separate from the rest of the world and so absorbed with our own problems we cannot imagine the world of 1700 out of which our little nation grew. While Europeans were wearing powdered wigs and overindulging getting richer as the poor got poorer the  American colonists they called hicks, were educating themselves in the classics, learning Latin, Greek and common law, studying Shakespeare’s plays, and speaking French.

Here are the lessons those farmers, soldiers and merchants were learning. First, you do not want a leader from one family. There was intermarriage in European families which resulted in medical problems like King George 3rd who probably suffered from a blood disease known as porphyria, or one we know so well -Toulouse Lautrec who suffered the stunted growth of the marriage of first cousins. Many middle eastern nations today can point to 1500 years of intermarriage. Insanity is only one of the possible outcomes of this. We can be glad King George was ill as a more vigorous English King might have won the revolutionary war.

Second, the Americans learned that no group of powerful people should select the nation’s leader.  Oligarchies provided the unfortunate Italians with Nero and Diocletian who left their nation in moral and economic shambles.

Third, they knew their Shakespearean plays, which the 15th century Brits were ribald soap operas based on English history. When Will wrote the tragedies of various Kings, Richard, and a group of Henrys, British play goers saw the history of their nation through these plays and 200 years of Royals murdering each other’s children or other rivals. Richard had 2 young cousins murdered in their beds.

Other rivals found themselves in the Tower of London, last stop before a beheading. The result was years of unrest and the constant threat of war with European nations, especially France. Blood and gore makes for good theater but not for daily life. This issue is one of succession – who will take over after the current leader dies or leaves office? The US Constitution mandates a smooth transfer of power. Of all the unique factors about the Constitutions the peaceful succession is uncommon in other parts of the world

Fourth, a state-mandated religion caused conflict. Henry the 8th we’ve all heard about – he rid himself of 6 wives all because the Roman Catholic church’s Pope said he could not divorce a wife.  But Henry wanted a male heir.

After all these years and wives, God had the last laugh.  A daughter survived and Queen Elizabeth the First managed to give some stability to her nation.  But the conflict between religions continued.  The only cure would be freedom of religion for all, which the wise Americans made not the 2nd or the 3rd amendment to the Constitution, but the first!

The fifth issue involved money. Monopolies lead to unchecked power so leaders with unlimited authority take as much money as they can, (these days they just print it) impoverish the nation, and finance wars, always fought by other people, that is, the people who are not national leaders. To mitigate this the Constitution divides authority into three sections, administration, judicial and legislative.

Then the Legislature is also divided into two parts in most states. This arrangement forces officials on both sides to compromise and if everyone wants the best for the country the result is fairly good law and management. This works so well other nations have copied it.

Seventh, people as individuals must be free to speak, assemble to form clubs and organizations, and to read newspapers and other media without government inference, and be free to move from one state to another.  Only during wartime are their any constraints on the media. There are many “democracies” in the world today but most of them have a controlled press (Russia, China, North Korea), no secret ballot and no ability to move to the city to take a job.

Germany had a state financed Lutheran church until after World War 2. Great Britain still has no “bill of rights” as we do. Many nations are strictly Muslim – Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and many more. Only state-sanctioned Christian churches are permitted in China and certain doctrinal requirements demanded.  For example, Christian Pastors must teach that all people go to heaven which is absolutely not part of the Holy Bible. No Christian material can be printed in China and the rules against Christians are becoming more onerous, even to the burning down of churches.

We are right to conclude that the world wants to flee their home country for America when you consider how peaceful it is in comparison to other nations but it only works if they leave their failing systems behind and accept and adjust to a new way of viewing government.

Three is a good bit of activity these days to change the Constitution without realizing that every change brings back a problem that was originally recognized and addressed by the Congress that wrote it. Socialism, for example, does not work because it allows a reward for indolence. If our forefathers can learn from others’ mistakes, so should we.





Lawlessness Affects the Church Too

When the Rule of Law deteriorates, it affects everything else.  You’ve heard this one.  “The fish begins to rot from the head down.” For decades now crime is glossed over and punishment is lessened at the head level – in legislatures, city halls and court rooms.

Some sanctuary cities, for example, allow residents without papers to remain even when they are lawbreakers.  They say “we want to protect the ones without papers,” and because of that “we also are protecting those with a criminal record.”

Missing in this is the obvious fact that both groups, the paperless illegals and the felonious illegals are, after all, illegally here.  They are all law breakers and have no legal right to be here.

Fifty years ago we could say all illegal behavior was – you guessed it – a violation of the law.  Now we have gradations of illegality as though that mattered.

Yes, there are reasons ilehakls want to stay in America.  They bought a house; they bought a car; they have a job.  But of course they don’t pay taxes. That means their illegality is costing law abiding citizens money in taxes to pay their way.  They are actually now welfare recipients because the legal residents are paying what they should be paying their rightful share.

But my point is this; what was clearly illegal 50 years ago is now sniffed at. We have variable standards for what it means to be illegal.This double, sometimes triple standard applies to many other groups of people and illegal behaviors. At one time sodomites were jailed – that was as recently as 1940. Today it is legal for them to get married, but of course you must redefine marriage. In 196 t was illegal to kill your baby. Now your neighbor must be required to pay for it.

Everything requires redefinition. What is wrong, what is right, what is partly right, what is only a teeny, weeny wrong – everything changes

This affects the church.  We were taught from the Bible that any kind of sin, no matter how minor, was enough to keep us out of heaven.  Today it takes a really, really bad sin to do that. And there are sinless churches out there – you’all come is their message.  “We don’t expect anything from you.  Everyone here is welcome and everyone goes to heaven- probably.”

But if your church leaders went this way, they threw out the Bible in the process. The plan of salvation is gone; the “if” clauses God has in his word are no longer preached.  In fact, who bothers preaching? Enough to have a simple homily about how God loves you and then we go to lunch.

Here is what is happening. Barna and Pew Research tell us the same thing. Californians are leaving California in droves; and 8% of members are leaving churches too.  Where there is no standard of rightness there is no reason to stay, especially if you are paying for it. Californians are moving to Nevada and Texas; church members are watching TV evangelists or meeting in homes.

California will collapse if this continues. You can expect churches to collapse as well. Standards are the glue that holds people and systems together.  Without it, the groups and systems fall apart with all the nuts and bolts rolling around and the pieces scattered.

When everything can be right, everything can also be wrong. And civil society ends.


Complaints about Christianity Being Divisive

Of course Christianity is divisive, and deliberately so.  Genesis One begins with God revealing his creation, that is bringing it into physical being from the ideas he had planned previously. Then He calls for light.  The third verb in this chapter is the word “divide;” He divides light from darkness and notes later that in no case will darkness ever overtake light completely.  Darkness has its place but it is defined.  Light pushes back against Darkness.

But God is not finished with division.  There follows Day from Night, Land from Sea, the separate heavens, men from women, and nations all with their own ethnicity and borders. At the end of the Bible there is the final division of the virgins with oil and those without, then lastly heaven and hell.

God rolls up the universe like a worn out garment and ends the entire thing. He and His creation move into eternal life. Seven thousand years, like a vanishing view in one’s rear view mirror, fades away in time and eventually is forgotten entirely.

Division gives us everything of value.  Not all people are alike; if we all were the same there would be only doctors and no lawyers, housewives and no ballerinas, cooks and no one to build kitchens or farm crops. In fact one of the devil’s chief aims is to make everyone the same.  Of course it doesn’t work because people hate being like everyone else.  Their DNA demands they be different because they are.

The science channel on TV informs me that there are 17 types of beetles in one state park.  I don’t care one bit about beetles but God does; He likes variety.  In all the talk about diversity we forget that God has created a wildly diverse planet, one that even today is thinly explored.

Complainers about Christian divisiveness are those who want to be included in God’s heavenly kingdom without going through the simple process; they want the benefits of God without meeting the regs. People are like that; most high school students would be much happier getting a diploma without having to spend one single day in class. We’d rather play than work or sit and schmooze rather than make something valuable.

It is not merely laziness, although that is a factor.  We just do not want to exert ourselves.  But salvation requires from us a response.  God is not a super salesman trying to force human beings to accept Him and His blessings.  He lays out the plan of salvation and then says, choose.  Will you divide yourself from your sin nature and take on the nature of the redeemed? If God provided for you a physical utopia would you ever bother with him? Probably not.

Teens who grow up in wealthy homes often have not faced the challenges they need to succeed in society; everything has been given to them, and life is too easy. The baby bird pecks his way out of the shell; if someone comes along to open the shell for him, he dies.  The pecking made him stronger.  Resistance training is what my doctor says will make me healthier.  I know he is right, but the gym is two miles away and it is raining! Mankind always has an excuse.

Beware of those who call for unity if it means that you must drop your principles and adhere to theirs. Conflict, when it is civil, results in better decisions.  Un-civil conflict, like a war, also resolves issues but it is a high price to pay.

God’s expectation of us personally is to divide ourselves from darkness, just as it says in Genesis One.  We separate ourselves from people and situations which refuse to change, or bring light into darkness wherever it may be. That may find you ultimately unpopular with some but it protects you and your family  in the long haul.  I was working at a restaurant where someone was routinely robbing the till at the end of the day.  I found another job and gladly left.

You can always make new friends.


“Call me to holiness or don’t call me at all”

Reposted from The Stream. We all love it when another writer is singing our tune as well.

How People React in a Crisis – China’s 2008 Earthquake Remembered

It was 48 hours before we learned in Inner Mongolia of the extent of the damage due to the earthquake down south. Isolated as we are here in the small town of Daban many people never get the news – the newspaper is actually all advertising circulars – but we now know China is in pain. The government has claimed to be everything – provider, comforter, manager, healer, in fact, “god” but now none of the above.

Thousands of parents will bury a child, if they can find the body at all, and in most cases an Only Child. The 3 Gorges Dam displaced millions of people during its construction and drowned thousands of homes in its path. Now it and other dams in Central China are showing signs of stress. If the 3 Gorges Dam fails, 10 million will be wiped out in a single swoosh.

Food prices have risen 20% and pork has doubled because farmers do not want to waste the grain on the pigs. Taxes, but not wages, have increased in order to fund the glitzy Olympics and all the attendant waste and public show plus billions into the Navy. People notice when their taxes go up and they change behavior. People are angry at each other, and at me too. The country is on edge.

And there have been other aftershocks as well. This week the police demanded that I leave town within 12 hours! I thought it was a scam organized by public and private schools angry over our success. We have run out of teachers and classrooms as we added several classes and many new students. But no – they were serious – no one can pack for overseas in that period of time. After some negotiations a $1,500 fine will be paid to the brigands (i.e. bribe) and I can stay.

The 2nd local aftershock was that the police went to the perfectly legal registered church and confiscated the perfectly legal Bibles – 240 of them – and took them away. We don’t know where they are. Apparently the church members felt they were safe and had not hidden them in their homes. Again, an illegal act because the Constitution of China allows freedom of religion – in theory.

This is the time to pray for China. God wants to comfort the Chinese people.. But He has promised to destroy all idols.

In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart told Ingrid Bergman that the lives of 2 people “do not amount to a hill of beans.” Missionaries know they do not amount to a hill of beans either – what counts is the gospel and prayer reaches everywhere on the globe. As God would have it I was not forced to leave.

When God promises to destroy all idols, (Exodus 30:13) that includes governments and political leaders who claim to be god. In actual practice, God need do nothing. Over-promising by arrogant leaders will eventually expose their folly. Then men can seek the real God with greater wisdom and humility.

Counterfeit Truth & the Blood of Jesus

Of all things on earth only the blood of Jesus cannot be counterfeited, and much of what we call love, grace, prosperity, health, honesty, humility, you name it, can be fraudulent. Many millions are trapped in false teaching with not a clue that is where they are.

Some people are wildly offended by the idea that blood has some bearing on one’s sins. But consider what we have here.

1. God established early on the blood sacrifice was the acceptable way to reach Him. Originally the Jews were given a series of yearly steps for the sacrifice of animals and told specifically that one’s children were unacceptable as a blood sacrifice.

Gen 22 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.) God substituted a ram instead of the son, and demonstrated that eventually God Himself would provide a blood sacrifice which is Jesus.

2. There is plenty of blood available. Both animals and birds have blood, and in the Old Testament they are occasionally used as sacrifices.

3. Human beings have @10 pints of blood, but it is not acceptable to God because men and women are sinners. In this way, if not for dozens of others, we know that Islamites cannot die for their religion, receive forgiveness and heaven. Muslims are sinners too; the blood of their innocent children is unacceptable so when they strap bombs on their children they are committing murder.

4. And this is the important point – Satan himself cannot find a blood sacrifice as a substitute.

5. Jesus’ blood came from a Holy Father.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

6. The blood type comes from the father not the mother. The father of Jesus is God Himself, the holiest blood of all.

7. When Jesus shed His blood, he not only won back the universe from the devil he foiled all attempts of the devil to provide a substitute.

1 Corinthians 2:7-9 …..the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

When Satan promoted the death of Jesus he sealed his own permanent fate which God, it says in this passage, had devised from the beginning.

That is why Jesus had to die by shedding of blood – a gun, a noose, drowning, suffocation – none of these would do the job.

What it means to judge righteously?

This may surprise you but when God says Romans 2:1 “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”
If you judge someone wrongly the judgment comes back to you. It seems simple but it is not. Here is an example.

A young woman leaves her husband of 8 years. This couple had been leaders of young marrieds, well respected in the church, and the predictable reaction was that she sinned by leaving. Here is what the members did not know:

1. Her husband was a practicing homosexual.
2. He had brought venereal disease into the home and she was infected.
3. He had no intention of changing his lifestyle and said so!

What would you have done?

The church had no knowledge of these sins and it is not the responsibility of the wife to confess her husband’s sins, nor is she expected to discipline him. The Bible is clear on that point. If she had stayed she would become an enabler of sin. If the church did not discipline him, the church becomes an enabler of sin.

He was charming, much loved and believed when he played the victim. He also was a thither and the church fathers did not want to challenge a big donor. Churches are charged by God with the discipline of its members. How often does this happen?

Now the rest of the story. The church members judged the woman as not submitted and in error. They called her a bad wife and she became the subject for gossip. Where is their judgment?

People would be judged on this basis:
1. Were they submitted to God?
2. Were they personally obedient?
3. Were they faithful to the Word?

At every point where the wife was faithful her judges would be condemned. In addition the church and its leaders must face an additional penalty – for not examining the situation in the Holy Spirit, and in addition to the unnecessary gossip there is the greed involving the husband’s donations.

I met this woman in seminary and she has had a long-lasting career as a foreign missionary. God rewards those who follow Him, whether a wife or a church.

Explaining the Trinity

Yes, the word trinity does not appear in the Bible. No, it doesn’t matter. Theologians create concepts and words to explain what cannot be seen. For example, angels are spirit beings that we cannot see; demons are spirit beings we cannot see. So how do we know the difference?

We know them by what they do – the results of their being here on planet earth.

The same thing is true of the Trinity. We define God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit not by what they are but by how we apprehend their impact on our life. The word “apprehend” is so full of meaning, and we simply do not use it enough. It means to reach out and take hold of an idea. (Sometimes an idea takes hold of us.)

People ask, How do you know you are saved? The average person says, I don’t know, I just do. This is not a very good explanation for others but the people who say this apprehend what salvation is to them. Bottom line for Christianity is that it is an act of faith based on the personal apprehension by the individual of the intervention of God ….. and a whole lot more as we grow.

So we apprehend Jesus as the Light of the World, (John 9:5) God as Light (1 John 1:5) and Holy Spirit as our personal light within. (John 15:26)

God is Father, (1 Corinthians 8:6) Jesus is His Son and a good friend to us, (John 20:31) and Holy Spirit then is the intimate knowledge that God is with us at all times. (John 16: 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.) We can expect new revelation about the future from him says this passage. Jesus didn’t save us, ascend to heaven and leave us with no tools!

God is the Judge (Psalm 50:6) sitting on the throne, Jesus is our lawyer, (1 John 2:1) and the Holy Spirit our probation officer. He’ll warn us when we are out of line. (John 16:13)

God created us, Jesus shed His blood for us, and the Holy Spirit advises us until we leave earth.

God as Trinity is not defined from what they are but how we understand them. If God can hold the whole world in His hands, explanations outside our own meager understanding beggar description. There is simply no reason to try. But the term Trinity will do. Perhaps on the other side of the grave we will learn of other dimensions, but for now, 3 is enough.

What it means to “judge not”

You will hear it often. They are quoting Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” The word judge comes from a root meaning “to bring to light.” In my 44 years of experience I can guarantee you the people who parrot this have something in them they do not want brought to light.

The Bible has a lot more to say about judging than one verse. It also says

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

Clearly we are supposed to know those who call themselves Christians and are part of the faith. Unfortunately we see churches judging outsiders (not allowed) and giving a quick pass to fellow members.

God says He will judge those who are non-believers.

Here is what The Message says – a slangy version of verses
9-13 I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn’t make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn’t mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue or white-collar. Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You’d have to leave the world entirely to do that! But I am saying that you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can’t just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. I’m not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house. (emphasis mine)

This is why we encourage intervention. But we are cowards aren’t we. This is God’s will for church folk. And if you are guilty of telling people not to judge you, examine yourselves to see if you are walking in the light.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

It is too easy to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.

Building the Wall – In Your Mind

For a large troop of Americans, 2009 to 2016 was a stop action movie where figures are frozen in time waiting for something to happen – for someone to flip a switch so they could return to the business of life. It reminds me of the Apple advertisement of 1984 when brain-dead sycophants goose-stepped to oblivion and technology crashed through to wake them up.

And then schazam! Candidate Trump, the exact opposite of what would be chosen by Central Casting comes on the scene slaughtering sacred cows right and left, and leaving us in the valley of decision.  This is the designated time in our personal or private history where we decide which side we are on.

As a result while the President was out glad-handing international power brokers and luring dissident employers back home, 20 plus Congresspersons left office and at least that many men who could not keep their zippers up or their mouths closed were cleaning out their desks. The Media, reading in unison from a teleprompter in LaLa land focused on Russian chicanery and found it in Hillary’s own documents, along with the supposedly squeaky clean FBI – like Squeaky Fromme?

A parade of miscreants and arrogant managers paraded across our screens, the old panegyrics about Obama were either hotly but ineffectively defended by his supporters, and the truth about almost every conceivable misdeed for decades is being exposed.  And that not even by President Trump, but simply by his “being there.” Every accuser has met or will meet some kind of personal ax as investigations continue.

For two years now Americans have discussed and argued about a wall on the southern border because President Trump make this the key issue of his presidential campaign. A nation is not a nation without a secure border.  The same is true of your mind, You personally must set limits on what you see (movies, TV, and what you hear (radio, gossip, time wasting folly, music). You are not on this planet forever. Your parents should have guided you and if not – many people do not have good parents – you must build this wall yourself.

When we lost control of our borders we seemed to also lose control of our minds, and  the voting public needs to have secure borders of their minds as well as the national jurisdiction. Every theology, every philosophy, every governmental system and every opinion is not equal. Every decision is not right or conversely, is not wrong. The popular relativism leads nowhere and is a mental squirrel cage of circular reasoning.  No wonder young people are confused about their gender, or insulted when they are exposed to some new thought? Cultures are not equal; societies and governments are not morally equivalent as any even sloppy examination would demonstrate. To abdicate responsibility is still a decision.

We must know who we are and what we are supposed to do.  We have decided not to be the world’s 911 police radio.  We have decided not to let everyone immigrate here just because they want money with no regard for other people or our laws.  We have decided that we need to handle some problems ourselves, like the opioid crisis, like the problem of nearly one half our criminals in prison being illegals, or states which show contempt for Law by creating sanctuary cities, all issues which we solved, allegedly, at the Battle of Gettysburg.  States Rights we have, yes; States Wrongs, no.

There is a man on the Internet who says nasty things about me and others, some of whom I do not know. I’ve not read any of it.  Why should I?

I’d only end up resenting him  and I know his decade long history of accusations.  I’ve raised a wall in my mind against him and people like him who only attack other human beings and have no standard or judgment on the key issues of life and death.

God told us “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”  It’s not just a suggestion. Satan wants  your mind; take it back.