Monday, April 25, 2011

NEW MADRID "Earthquakes In Diverse Places"

Some Christians get all excited when Biblical prophecy comes to pass. Israel being newly established as a country is one of those times. Earthquakes in diverse places is another. Most of us don't think of central USA as an earthquake zone. We all felt safe in the hinterlands. Guess again.

There is an official government effort preparing people for quakes in the New Madrid area.

Who Took My Pic

Here you can get some of the local color.
Who Took My Pic

Rob Bell Disapproves of Hell

I don't relish the thought of hell either and hope to avoid it. I did some time ago however decide that the Bible does clearly declare hell's existence. It is apparently hot. Rob Bell has decided the opposite. Here is a discussion by John MacArthur titled Bell's Inferno. I guess all the "fear God" parts of the Bible do not fit into Mr. Bell's theology. But then Mr. Bell believes the Bible has been "changed" often through the years and we can't really trust the details. The true interpretation of God, according to Mr. Bell, resides in human relationships.

I can understand Bell's thinking. It is nothing new. God is love. Hell and eternal punishment is not loving, therefore hell does not exist. But I am reminded of Paul saying something like, what is it to you if God created some for glory and some for destruction. I don't read this as God actually created some people for destruction. But if God had done it, His creation would have no right to question it. This would lead to the whole free will discussion.

Even if one waters down the Scripture with metaphor, "lake of fire" must be quite undesirable and "eternal" must be a very long time.

Luke 16:28
28 for I have five brothers so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Mark 9:43
43 nAnd if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, 8 to the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:48 It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into shell, 48 where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

Matthew 25:46
46 And these will go away kinto eternal punishment, but the righteous kinto leternal life.

2 Thessalonians 1:7–8
7 and to grant jrelief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when kthe Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those nwho do not know God and on those who odo not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Luke 12:5
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him bwho, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Does Glenn Beck Trouble You?

As much as I like Glenn Beck politically, something always scratches me when Glen wanders into discussing spirituality. Brannon Howse in the video below well states the problem.

Because I can not stop the clip from auto play, I will simply provide a link here.

I have no further exposure to Mr. Howse's teachings but plan to give him a whirl. I know Christians who refuse to look critically at teachers if those teachers have a certain label. For instance if you are Charismatic then looking critically at Catholic doctrine is fine but analyzing Joel Osteen's message would be taboo. Fill in the blank with your own untouchable label and keep those proponents sacrosanct and criticism free. Is there an easier way for wolves to enter the sheep fold? This non-critical position is not Biblical. We are warned of the inevitability of destructive error and commanded to be vigilant against it. Certainly we should be able to view a Glenn Beck critically.

I know, it's all about love. Criticism appears so unloving. John, the apostle of love, views it like this:

1 John 4
1 Dear 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. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but 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.

Now we would need to have a discussion about what "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" means. I don't think Mr. Beck's version of Jesus in the flesh is the Apostle John's.

So Then, What Should I Do About Glenn Beck.

I like Glenn's politics, humor, economics and ideas? Practicality should not be dead even though it is not found in government. I don't need to agree with Mr. Beck's theology to agree with some of his common sense.

In some instances of extreme Christianity people hired Christians, bought from Christians and associated with Christians. Then as time went by and some of us were burned by our Christian employees vendors, the lazy ones and the dishonest ones and the crazy ones; we had people swearing off ever hiring or doing business with a Christian again. Of course both of these positions are ridiculous and are doomed to failure and frustration. We hire people based on their ability, personality, reliability and for all the qualities that would make them a good employee. Does it inconvenience me that we have laws against age, religion, race and sex hiring bias? Not at all. Those things are irrelevant when it comes to good hiring policy.

Likewise, considering race, religion, age or sex as a criteria for good common sense ideas is foolish. But, as Christians, our understanding of God is not about common sense. In fact Paul said:

1 Cor 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

This is not to say that all understanding of God is irrational. But the foolishness of salvation through redemption is not plain common sense. Redemption is however both clearly stated in and a dominate theme of the Bible.

Is there a bottom line? I think I will keep my church and state separate. This is how I see Jesus and his Apostles operating. In fact they seldom addressed issues of state and when they did, they discouraged conflict. Democracy and electoral responsibility arguments are losing credibility with me. The Jews were extreme nationalists but Jesus and followers were clearly not involved. This was an unusual position to take in Rome dominated Israel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Cell Phones for "Income Eligible"

Who Took My Pic

Red Meat for the Hungry

It is difficult to defeat a sitting President. It will not be done with John McCain style tip toe tactics. If all contenders attack with Sarah Palin's gun blazing approach, there could be a chance. 2010 saw our electorate unwilling to move radically right. Well, we didn't really have that choice did we? So instead we chose to move radically wrong and this is becoming increasingly clear to more and more people. Will sufficient electorate awaken to finally change the course of out history from Nanny State to Solvent State? That may all depend on our misery index at the time of the election. Comfort and complacency is the killer of reform.

Government Gone Wild

This is no big deal, right?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Sons of God and The Daughters of Men

I found a new book (it's not a book yet) with its draft online discussing the Sons of God and the Daughters of Men in significant detail. "Corrupting the Image" is one of the most complete pieces I have read on this issue. A newer discussion covering genetic manipulation is introduced and may clarify the future of "as in the days of Noah".

Augustine of Hippo around AD 400 was the first to postulate unequivocally that the Sons of God in Gen. 6 referred to the sons of Seth. All others before Augustine assumed the clear reading of Biblical text and extra Biblical writings states the Sons of God referred to angels. Why people wish to believe that Augustine knew more than hundreds of years of writing and tradition is curious. Political correctness is nothing new. Apparently believing in virgin birth, blood redemption, heaven and hell is enough strangeness to handle and angles having sex with humans is just a creepy step too far. How many truths have been and are being hidden by the Church in order to create acceptability of their product?

Throwing out, altering and otherwise torturing Biblical clarity has interesting results. Search all the bizarre interpretations of 1Cor. 11:10. "That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." I'm not sure what this actually means, but in the light of Gen. 6, I can come up with a few theories unless Gen. 6 refers to the sons of Seth. Then we are left with our own bizarre imaginations.