Wednesday, July 31, 2013

GOD'S LOVE AND HUMILITY - A Justification for the Deity of Jesus

The Bible makes all sorts of preposterous statements and claims.
It is filled with all sorts of verses such as the following...

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
1 John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made... The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-3,14

Those verses imply that the authors claimed that Jesus was God. To make such a statement, however, was anathema to the Jews of His day. It gave rise to justification for their wanting to put Him to death. The following verse illustrates that.

So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:16-18

Claiming to be God or making oneself to be equal with God, was, indeed blasphemy and punishable by death. Indeed Islam, which came 600 years after the compilation of the New Testament, calls this "shirk"... idolatry, also punishable by death.

Nevertheless the Apostle Paul who'd been educated by the great Rabbi Gamalael, of his day, had the audacity to make the following statement.

For in Messiah all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Messiah you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.             
Colossians 2:9-10

Such seemingly preposterous New Testament claims about a man being God, or a plurality of God's nature, or God having a "Son" did not just pop up out of nowhere. A veritable plethora of verses hinting at this sort of claim pervade the pages of the Old Testament as well. The possibility of a plurality in the nature of the one true God is hinted at in the following where God speaks to Himself in the first person plural:

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
Genesis 1:26

Even the Sh'ma of Deuteronomy 6:4, the watchword of the faith of Judaism which declares the oneness of God, in its declaration of the oneness of God, uses the adjective "echod"... which implies a unity which is potentially made of many parts much as one hand is made of a palm, a thumb, fingers, skin, muscles, bones, connective tissue, etc.

Interestingly the Rabbi, Maimonodes of the middle ages, in his contention for the "oneness"of God, in his 13 Articles of Faith, used a different adjective "Yachid" which implies an absolute ONE. In so doing, he resorted to using a term other than the one used by scripture. Hence, one might rightfully ask the question "whom did Maimonodes regard as more authoritative, Torah or Himself"?  And there is one of a number of very important principals in hermeneutics (interpretation)... let the scripture speak for itself.  Don't infuse your interpretation upon the scriptures.

Such verses as the following, imply that God has a "Son"...

“I am weary, God, but I can prevail. Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son? Surely you know! Proverbs 30:1-4

Passages such as the following add leverage to the notion that there exists an individual that can manifest Himself as both exalted and yet humanoid...

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. Daniel 7:13

This particular individual, in fact, approached into the presence of the very Ancient of Days (a synonym for God) without even so much as prostrating Himself.

Indeed, the following verse hints of a "Trinity".

16 “Come near me and listen to this: “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me, endowed with his Spirit. Isaiah 48:16

So, the notion that God could reveal Himself as a man, did not just come out of nowhere. There is Old Testament precedent for it. However such a notion seems to defy logic. It is no wonder that Muslims might question the veracity of the Bible. Judaism, itself, seeks to interpret Tanaach (Old Testament) through Rabbinic eyes and by so doing, avoid, like the plague, the possibility that God could manifest Himself as a man. I would argue that anyone, as the scripture says, "who has eyes to see and ears to hear" can read the text for himself and determine clearly what it has to say.

But even so, maybe this Book that we call the Bible is, in fact, nothing but good (or bad, depending upon one's taste) literature. Maybe it's not divinely inspired at all!
Despite the fact that the Bible has withstood all sorts of tests from scientific to archeological to historical, through well over two millenia, I would like to pursue a line of thought, which, to this day, I don't think has been adequately approached. Somewhat ironically, it is built around the question "What does it mean to be truly human?"
Let's put the Bible to the test. We've already seen the Bible verse Genesis 1:26 which begins with "Let us make man in our image..." According to this text, in some fashion, if the Bible is, in fact, veracious, man was made in such a way that he is like God. If that's the case, how is He presumed to be like God?

The three major monotheistic religions would argue that there are certain things about God upon which they can all agree...

God is omniscient - There's nothing He doesn't know.

God is omnipresent - He's everywhere at the same time.

God is omnipotent - He's all powerful... There's nothing He can't do.

God is self existing - He always was, He is and He always will be forever on into eternity.

God made and created things ex-nihilo, out of nothing.

Such assumed facts about the nature of God (to which I also subscribe) are certainly beyond human capability. No human knows everything, is everywhere at the same time, is self-existent or is all powerful ('though there are many humans who think they are).

This creates a definite conundrum for someone like me who argues that a God of that nature can actually manifest Himself as a baby and later as a man. How can the God who fills the infinite universe take up just 4 liters of space? How could an all powerful God have difficulty bearing the weight of a 30 km. execution stake? How can an all knowing God "Learn obedience" through suffering? (Hebrews 5:8).

My answer may not suffice to convince you. I can't do that anyway, only God can. I can only present my case. And as I've already intimated, it is wrapped up in the question of what it means to be human. Because according to Genesis 1:26 being fully human is, in some way, being like, or in the image of God.
So we humans can't be any of those absolute things that we know characterize God's nature but what about those absolute things that characterize human nature? I think that if we were to look at people today, or throughout history, for that matter, they are decidedly schizophrenic. "How?" you might ask. People are universally inconsistent.

Sometimes they Love. Sometimes they hate. Most of the time they're ambivalent.

Sometimes they're humble. Sometimes they're arrogant.

This "Yin-Yang" human response to what we commonly call virtue pervades all of our human nature... Sometimes we're patient. Sometimes we're impatient. Sometimes we're generous. Sometimes we're stingy. The list of virtues coupled with their associate vices is quite extensive!

I think it's safe to discern between the virtue and its associated vice as well. For instance...

Clearly Love is preferable to hate or indifference.

Likewise, we can easily discern that humility is preferable to arrogance.

Perhaps I'm mistaken but I think that an objective poll would yield almost unanimous consensus that people would instinctively discern what the virtues are as opposed to their corresponding vices. Yet, in spite of our ability to make such judgments it's, nevertheless, apparently impossible to imagine that anyone could possibly be perfectly humble or loving all the time throughout one's entire life without just a little bit of vice sneaking in somewhere along the way. Such conduct, humanly speaking, would seem impossible to do yet not impossible to conceptualize.

We've looked at omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence etc. and we've seen that these traits of God are absolute. Omnipotence, possibly might be the easiest to illustrate. The physicist defines power as the ability to do work divided by time. Work by definition, is the mass of an object times the distance it is made to travel. Put mathematically...

Power = Mass X Distance
        Time

A rule of mathematics is that as the denominator (time) approaches 0, the value of the equation (Power) approaches infinity.  Hence, if God is able to accomplish any task in no time at all, He is demonstrating absolute power, or omnipotence.

But what if humility, for instance, were measured in absolutes? We pass judgment on individuals and say "this man is humble." This man is not humble". But by what standard can we make that judgment? What is absolute humility? Could an individual's humility be graded according to that standard?

One dictionary definition of humility is "Modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc." It seems from this definition that one must have importance or rank in the first place in order to be modest about it.

So what would be an absolute definition of humility? Allow me to posit a suggestion. You're free to accept it or reject it.

Absolute Humility - God (certainly the zenith of importance or rank) willing to give up all the rights, privileges and accolades that are associate with being God in order to become a perfect servant (the utter expression of modesty) on behalf of His entire creation.

Put into mathematical terms (as was the case with our definition of Power)

Humility = One's actual rank or stature
The importance that one holds onto that rank or stature

Therefore, how would we define Absolute Humility?

Absolute Humility = God (The highest of any possible rank or stature or importance)
God's willingness to relinquish "God-ness" to become a perfect servant

Again, as the importance of one's rank (that of being God) approaches zero, Humility approaches infinity.
This is entirely consistent with what Paul said referring to Jesus...

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus the Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:6-11

In reality, God is both our God or Lord and servant anyway? "Such blasphemy" you might say! But, think about it. Is it not God who gives us life? Is it not God who gives us breath and the food we put on our table? By doing so, is He not serving us?  Without Him serving us, we could not live.

Yes, we can declare the power, might, glory majesty and sovereignty of God. But part of that glory and majesty is caught up in the reality that He is THE perfect servant of His creation. If we lose sight of His servant-hood towards us, we can't even begin to scratch the surface of what it means to worship Him!

In both science and philosophy there exists a phenomenon called an "antinomy". An antinomy is a clash between two totally opposing rules which are derived rationally or even experimentally. In essence, two irrefutable laws are mutually incompatible. Emanuel Kant, for instance was able to rationally argue that time had no beginning. On the other hand, he rationally contested that time had to have a beginning. Both assertions are true, yet they both contradict one another and are mutually incompatible.
If we can't understand Time, therefore, how can we even begin to understand God?

If there's one thing that I know for sure... it's that I am not God. How could God, who governs the infinite vast universe, who's power, wisdom and knowledge is limitless, at the same time, take the form of a baby taking up 4 liters of space? How could this eternal God endure death and still govern the universe? I do not know the answers to such questions. I'm not God.

Yet, I know, for instance that God desires for each and every person that He's created to demonstrate the virtues that make up our humanness... humility being one of them. Furthermore, when we fail at manifesting this virtue, we are without excuse because God, Himself, showed us that it can be done. If Genesis 1:26 is true, therefore, by virtue of the fact that we were made in God's image, we are required to reflect that image perfectly. Hence, in light of our failure, we are deserving of nothing but eternal condemnation.

But God, as has already been alluded to, possesses absolute virtues that we humans inadequately display as part of our humanity which are really poor reflections of God's nature. And another one of the most prominent of these virtues is love. And for us, as we shall see, it is necessary for our well-being.

Hence, I ask... "What would be the definition of perfect love? Does God manifest this virtue perfectly as well?"

Might I suggest that perfect love be defined, not just as love for one's friends or family but for all people, including complete strangers and even the bitterest of enemies. This love has total empathy for the condition of even these enemies and is so self-less and concerned about the well-being of the "other" that it's willing to absorb the punishment that is rightfully due the objects of that love for whatever wrong actions and attitudes of which they might be guilty.

Put another way (according to our mathematical method of communication)...

Absolute Love = Willing enduring of punishment deserved by the one loved (times) Everyone
(since everyone is loved)
NOTE: As the number of objects of love grows larger, love grows larger.  In light of that I would say that "everyone" is a pretty large number!
Put another way... God manifested absolute love by being willing to endure the punishment deserved by everyone. And what is this punishment? From our discussion of humility we've concluded that lack of humility deserves condemnation. Now take that virtue and multiply it by all the other virtues and I think it's safe to say that our ineptness at practicing the virtues we were created and supposed to demonstrate leaves us deserving of eternal condemnation.

But Jesus, having taken on this condemnation Himself, rescues us from its consequences.

Paul alluded to this when he said...

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Messiah's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation
Colossians 1:21-22
So what are we to conclude, having said all this? God is ONE (Echod). This remains a constant, goes without saying, and is irrefutable. However, If GOD had not manifested Himself as an entirely human individual, capable of and, in actuality, perfectly practicing the virtues that inherently are part of our humanity, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCONSISTENT WITH HIS NATURE.

It is commonly said that "to love someone is to know that someone". In Deuteronomy, we've been commanded to "love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength". But how can we love God if we don't know Him? Jesus said to one of His disciples "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father". Conversely, if you don't know Jesus there is no way that you can know God.
Furthermore, if we willfully choose not to know Jesus, we've willfully chosen not to love God and our eternal condemnation remains on us.
It is my hope that you would choose to know Jesus.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Abortion and making the right Choice

When carrying on a somewhat stinted and abrupt dialogue via twitter with one Andrea, with whom it was apparent that we disagreed on the issue concerning abortion, I posited the question, which according to twitter speak came off as the following...

@Andrea... Hmm Clinton wanted abortions “safe, legal & rare”
Since RvW, they're safeER (4 woman), legal. What's going 2
make them rare?

Concerning safety, the latest conviction of Kermit Gosnell for the untimely deaths of two patrons of his abortion clinic, as well as his intentional murder of at least two babies who were born alive at his facility surely bears witness to the fact that abortions remain unsafe. Objectively speaking, they may be safer than when they were illegal, but they are still, nevertheless, unsafe. I would also venture to guess that what was going on at the presumably legal abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell, is merely the tip of the iceberg of atrocities committed in the U.S. Abortion clinics despite their presumed legality.

But I ask rhetorically, what will make these abortion clinics safer? Tighter regulatory controls? Stricter enforcement? Perhaps. But what about less business? Boy, if women just stopped patronizing these abortion clinics, the mortality rate would surely go down. Kind of like how abstinence would lower the possibility of pregnancy to zero. Happens almost every time. There was one exception when a virgin got pregnant about 2000 years ago.

What about legality? Obviously abortion is legal and abortion clinics are legal as well, presumably as long as they operate within specific guidelines. Does that mean that not going to an abortion clinic is illegal? Of course not! But what determines whether something is legal or not? I think it's safe to say that it is the result of the decision made by human beings.

But why do we need laws? Presumably they're to maintain order, and order is necessary for the maintenance of a civilized society. But in reality, what would happen if people just innately, instinctively did the right thing? Would there be a need for laws?

The Prophet Jeremiah addressed this issue, when speaking of a future time, he wrote

This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”                                                 Jeremiah 31:33-34

Invariably people in that future time would do the right thing because they'd all have the law written on their hearts and minds.

But, I guess, in the meantime, we have laws... man made laws such as one which gives the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Actually, I prefer to call it “an opportunity to choose between doing what's right and doing what's wrong.

But what contributes toward this issue of rarity? Bill Clinton allegedly wanted abortions to be rare. So what will make them rare? Andrea sent me a Huffington Post link to an article that indicated that making abortions illegal raises their cost. The laws of economics indicate that lowering the cost of abortions would only make them more frequent. Hence, keeping them legal, it seems, only helps to make them more frequent (the antithesis of rare) because they'd be more affordable.  It seems almost as if legality and rarity are two mutually incompatible phenomena.

Another link that Andrea sent me was this link of an irate father to be whose wife was pregnant with a child who had a rare disease which was going to result in a serious deformity even in the unlikely event  that the child would survive.  I can empathize with the angst of this father, and undoubtedly, my wife could empathize with his wife as well, nevertheless, I sent her a link to a Nick Vujicic video. Nick is a well-known inspirational speaker, real estate investor, husband and father who was born without any arms or legs.

Nick Vujicic, although, he'd gone through his share of depressing moments, would never, in a million years, have chosen to be aborted. On the other hand, Aaron Gouveia, the father in the other video, wanted to abort his child, never allowing her the chance to make that choice for herself. Now, a number of scenarios could have happened from not aborting baby Gouveia. The baby could have died in the womb, a very likely event, eliminating the need for an abortion. Rather than an abortion, the baby would have been "extracted".  The baby could have been born and died soon thereafter, nevertheless, providing time with the child, giving the Gouveia's a time of sobriety concerning the issues of life, or the child could have grown to adulthood with a severe handicap, but with the potentiality of becoming the next Nick Vujicic. How amazingly wonderful that would be!

But the preemptive murder of this tiny child would eliminate all the variable possibilities that would happen with simply letting time take its course. And the notion that this preemptive murder is a viable alternative certainly would not help to contribute toward making abortions rare.  I don't want to appear sarcastic, but it is true that, given the possible scenarios, two of them could have resulted in what was the desired result... namely the death of this child.

And how many other abortions occur in this country in which the unborn child is accurately, I repeat... accurately diagnosed to be of a comparable condition as the Gouveia baby? I would bet that it's easy to say less than 1%.

So what about those other 99+ percent? Even with the extenuating circumstances such as rape or incest, the choice to murder the baby remains, nevertheless, a choice. And the remaining vast majority can very simply be relegated to being “abortions of convenience”.

So it seems that no one in the pro-abortion camp knows, or really even desires Bill Clinton’s alleged desire to make abortions rare. And let's face it Bill Clinton’s comments are decidedly disingenuous.

But let's take a look at some things that our culture is NOT doing to make abortions rare. 

It's taken the ten commandments off of classroom walls... including that pesky one that says something about not committing adultery. 

It's created a culture that scorns Christianity and scorns Jesus. It ridicules abstinence (which works every time it's tried) and encourages lasciviousness. 

Furthermore, it has abandoned virtue and those elements that build character in individuals and replaced it with the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain with disregard for the reality that this hedonism will, in the end, result in the magnification of a pain it could have otherwise avoided.

Hence, 'though the "Supreme Court of the United States" has declared abortion legal according to the Constitution, the resulting need for choice, as was determined by this decision, engages the individual to choose to make either the right choice or the wrong choice.  And the true or absolute legality of that choice has already been determined by the administrator of a divine court whose authority, in the end, trumps that of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Allow me to say, at this juncture, however.  If you've made the wrong choice, this supreme authority loves you, sent His Son to die so as to endure that pain that you and I've deserved.  However, He expects you to repent and seek to relinquish your will and values to Him.

Thanks for reading my blog and may God bless you.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jason Collins or Tim Tebow - Media Confusion


An interesting tweet crossed my tweet deck which, to my estimation, addressed well the duplicity of the mainstream media. It read...

  Tim Tebow@TheTimmyTebow
Tim Tebow: “I'm a Christian

Media: “Keep it to yourself.”

Jason Collins: “I'm gay.”

Media: “This man's a hero!”

#justsaying

Using just 140 characters, this twitterer said a lot!


But there is a lot more to say because the debate still rages... and with a fury!

Why do such a plurality of “Gays” get “bent out of shape” when the morality of their lifestyle is questioned? I think it has to do with the issue of justification. In essence, are you justified in being gay?

In answering this question, as I see it, there are two types of “gay” people. They are determined by the means by which they seek justification.

The first type of gay person finds solace in the assumption that he has found providentially determined justification for his conduct. Either he is satisfied with his hermeneutics of the Bible or some other allegedly divine source of authority that says, by virtue of its authority, homosexual conduct is permissible.

The second type of gay person, which evidence seems to purport to be the most common type, seeks justification through consensus. It is accompanied by an attitude which says “it's okay because others say it's okay”. In reality this is an unfortunate appeal to bandwagon thinking which is a fallacy in logic.

The first type of “gay” person ought to be confident in and of himself. He ought not to feel threatened if he is told he is wrong. He ought to be able to dispassionately defend the rightness of his sexuality and remain unwaveringly strong in his position and maintain a level of civility with those who would challenge the veracity of his point of view.

The second type of “gay” person would, it seems, logically get defensive when his lifestyle is challenged. His justification for being “gay” lies solely on the confirmation of others. If so much as one person were to disagree with him, that one person will likely become an object of his vitriol. The one who would contest that homosexuality is wrong will be labeled a “hater” or a “homophobe”.

If the first type of “gay” person were to attempt to find justification for his homosexuality in the Bible, I would venture to say that he'd have to resort to an extremely convoluted form of hermeneutics to do so. Romans Chapter 1 vss. 26 and 27 clearly denounce homosexuality as sinful. It can be interpreted no other way. Likewise 1 Corinthians 6 vss. 9 through 10 includes homosexuality as one of a number of sins that will bar an individual from the kingdom of God.

Interestingly, this first type of homosexual individual is unlikely to find justification through Islam either. Somewhere, he might find reinforcement from some “holy” book but then, he'd have to defend the veracity of that “holy” book.

Hence, apart from universal human acceptance of the practice of homosexuality, the homosexual is unlikely to find justification.

In attempting to silence, as it were, those voices that would denounce homosexual conduct, The homosexual community and their so called “straight” advocates do themselves a disservice. There would be no one to tell them that they're wrong.

Though the act of homosexuality is abhorrent to God (and scripture would argue as such) what's even worse is an attitude that denies the reality that it is a sin. The result is that one is seeking justification for what is essentially self-indulgent behavior.

The homosexual, however, who would acquiesce to the admission that his conduct is, indeed, sinful has begun to finally engage God in a relational way. By acknowledging his propensity to this form of sin, he is willing to engage in a struggle to overcome it. To do so, ultimately, he must avail himself of the power of God in his personal battle against it.

Hence, I am by no means condemning the homosexual. But I will not hesitate to condemn the conduct and the dogged insistence that it is not what it is... sin. Furthermore, by denying its sinfulness, it serves as a means by which recruitment can take place and the naive can be drawn into its trap. This recruitment, furthermore, is only the result of this failed effort at justification.

As I said, I do not condemn the homosexual... just the conduct and the attitude. Homosexuality is only one of many examples in the lexicon of human sins. I have my own struggles. If I could I would have sex with every good looking girl I could run into. At one time in my life I did. But after finding Jesus, confessing such behavior as sin, and struggling with my lusts, and engaging in the life-long process of learning how to lean on God's power, I've been married and faithful to the same girl for over 36 years. Furthermore, I've grown in my love for her. (I certainly hope she's grown in her love for me as well).

Furthermore, as I said, issues of sexuality are just one of many other types of sins. I also have personal struggles with pride, jealousy and anger. Those other sins also impact my sexuality because my dear wife put up with a lot as I learned to deal with these types of sins as well during our 36 years together. Of course, if I were to be unwilling to deal with those other sorts of sins, being the difficult to live with person that I was, my wife could have had the option to leave me. She chose not to knowing that it was God's will to endure.

Hence, we see another sort of sexual sin... divorce which leads to adultery. Divorce short-circuits the growth process. It undermines the virtues of fidelity and faithfulness and it becomes a disincentive for personal growth and virtues that make an individual more peaceable. Monogamous fidelity nurtures patience, humility and overall self-control.

In the words of a black preacher who's name alludes me, “God made them Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.

God did not ordain homosexual but heterosexual monogamy as the means by which we humans would not only procreate but exercise such virtues as faithfulness and grow in those other virtues that make us easier to live with.

Homosexuality is only one of many behaviors that must be recognized as such and called by the name that it deserves to be called... sin. Furthermore, there is not a human being on this planet that is not prone to some form or forms of sin. To deny that fact is to lie to oneself. Interestingly, to deny this might keep one happy with oneself but might make those around him miserable.

So the outspoken Tim Tebows of this world may be denounced. “Keep your religion to yourself”. They may receive the epithet as “haters” and “homophobes”. No... I would say that they're not “haters”. They're really lovers. “Why?” you might ask.

Allow me to close with a simple illustration... My mother was a nag. “Don't play in the street” she would say. If she caught me doing it she would yell at me and if I persisted she would spank me. Why? Because she didn't want anything bad to happen to me. And she didn't want anything bad to happen to me because she loved me.

Maybe, just maybe, those who are critical of homosexuality are God's way of saying “Don't play in the street or if you're in the street, get out of the street.” “Maybe God is saying... I love you. You are my child. But if you disobey me you may just as well, not be my child. I've given you the free-will to decide that for yourself.”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Answer To Gun Violence


Everyone wants to put an end to gun violence.

The trouble is that we don't seem to know how to do it!!!


Some say we should ban guns... Just take them out of the hands of the American public.


Others say that would be a breach of the Second Amendment. Furthermore, doing so would leave American citizens vulnerable to armed criminals AND an armed and potentially dictatorial government.

Truly this is a vexing problem!

Albert Einstein once said...

Unfortunately it looks as though a lot of people have made assumptions about exactly what the solution to gun violence actually is but have spent no time investigating or addressing the problem.

THIS IS ACTUALLY TURNING PEOPLE, ALL OF WHOM HAVE THE SAME GOAL (curbing gun violence), INTO ENEMIES!!!

Gun violence is not the problem... IT'S THE SYMPTOM!


Solutions to the problem, as well as the symptom, are discussed all over the media. But the actual cause of the problem, i.e. the problem itself, remains completely ignored.

But the symptom will not be alleviated without dealing with the cause!!! And we don't even have to spend 55 minutes trying to figure out what the cause is!

Part of the problem, however, is that people tend to refuse to accept that the problem is, in fact, the problem. It can cause emotional turmoil. 

You see... the prophet, Jeremiah, had it already figured out over 2,600 years ago when He said...

The heart (of man) is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
(Jeremiah 17:9)

In essence... WE ARE ALL DEPRAVED to the core!!! Some of us may be able to control our evil tendencies better than others but when it comes to our thoughts, actions, motives etc., as Moses put it...


HA-SHEM (God) saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(Gen. 6:5)

So now we know the root cause of the violence... the evil that's in the hearts of people. The next thing is for each of us to admit that this evil exists within us. That's a little hard, because none of us really wants to admit how bad we really are.


But once we admit that our hearts are “deceitful and desperately sick”, THERE IS A CURE.


Jesus, a victim of the very worst form of violence, died a death, the pain of which could not be adequately described by the adjective “excruciating”... a term invented for the purpose of attempting to describe the pain inflicted by this form of execution.


He died as a Kaporah (or atonement) by which our “deceitful, sick” hearts could be forgiven by God. In essence, He died a death in our place, that we, ourselves, deserved.

Furthermore, He rose from the dead to assure that we, too, can have eternal life.


Our task is to merely thank Him and offer our lives to Him.

Only HE can deal properly with the problem of violence.


For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Rom. 5:10

BTW:


It was we Jews who wrote the New Testament.

Benyomin










Tuesday, March 5, 2013

IS BARACK OBAMA THE ANTI-CHRIST - A Look into a Scenario

By means of introduction, the following may seem far-fetched.  Only time will tell.  But if time does tell you'll have known about it in advance.

Back in 2007, on one occasion, while I was visiting my mother, she asked me “So what do you think of Obama?” 

My response came... “I think he's a Trojan horse”.  This statement was accompanied by silence.  When I began to explain my position I was met with “that's enough”. “But”, I attempted to say, “Discussion's over” she interrupted.  And, in fact, the discussion was over.

That's the way it is when talking to liberals.  And 'though the political, socioeconomic and even well-being issues are painful, it's particularly painful when those whom you love won't even listen.

I forget precisely all the reasons why I had come to the conclusion I did at that time.  I do recall some fundamental reasons... very simple and basic ones.  If you've read any of the postings on my blog, you'll know that I've always felt, even before 9/11, that the so called, “War on Terror” had to be fought on the battle field of ideas.  As seemingly unlikely as it may occur, Islam needs to be communicated as the cult that it is and received as such.  Of course, Muslims who would be willing to engage in such dialogue on that level are, undoubtedly, few and far between.  However, it is counterproductive to give Islam any level of credibility.  I winced when George W. Bush announced that Islam does not teach violence.  Mr. Bush is wrong!  All that needs to be done is go to the fundamental documents of the faith of Islam... the Qur’an and the Hadith. I am not saying that there are not nice Muslims.  There are many nice Muslims.  I would argue, however, that they are not nice BECAUSE of Islam but IN SPITE of Islam.

One of the clues, however, which gave Mr. Obama away was his untoward willingness to give credibility to Islam.  He was not only giving credibility to Islam for the sake of political correctness, as was with the case of George W. Bush, he was voluntarily pursuing the acceptance of Islam.  As far as I was concerned, after he'd won the election, in '08 the so called “War on Terror” was just about lost.

Mr. Obama spent the previous 4 years setting the stage for what he's wanted to accomplish in his next 4 years.  He concealed the ramifications of his policies from the American people so that they would take effect only after he'd been reelected.  Unemployment, during his first term, went up to a real figure of 16 to 17 percent.  A definition was given to reportable unemployment, however, so that the figure was lowered to an average, during most of his term to between 9 and 10 percent.  Two issues, that come to mind, which partially averted public anger at Obama for this predicament were that he was able to deflect blame on his predecessor, George W. Bush, and that he was able to tap into the “bottomless resources” of the Federal Reserve and throw “bones” in the form of unemployment checks to the hungry masses, many of whom became happy to have a government hand-out for which they no longer had to work.  In lock-step with Obama's plan, they joined the ranks of those who were already “free-loaders”.  Now he had succeeded in increasing the already numerous ranks of those who had become dependent upon the government.  But, for the most part, it was OK with them because they were still being fed.

Obama Care, which is really an attempt to take over ¼ if the American economy and limit freedom, was not scheduled to kick in fully until 2014.  That would be well after the election.  By then Mr. Obama’s promises that “you can keep your doctor.” “Insurance premiums will go down” “health care will improve” will no longer have any meaning and will have proven themselves to be, at best, deceit.  As I propose to say at the end of this essay, I believe that Mr. Obama’s popularity is going to soar within the United States as well as internationally, and as a result, his myriads of lies will be perceived by the panting masses, as, at the very least, excusable because of 'all the so called good he will have accomplished'”.

So now, let's look at where we are today.  Barack Hussein Obama has won his second term in office and the stage is set for a devastating change in America and the world.  He promised change, but I don't think that even most of the liberal followers that support him want the change that we're in for. 

On the domestic front, he's called for the legalization of gay marriage.  That may appeal to some, and others may be indifferent on the issue, however, even in the liberal state of California, proposition 8 was turned down by the majority of that states' voters.  In the same way that Obama Care was shoved through Congress in spite of its lack of popularity, I'm quite certain that gay marriage will be shoved down the throats of the American people, in spite of the lack of popularity of that issue as well.

But even more critically (purely from a pragmatic point of view), Mr. Obama's attacking the 2nd Amendment  while two crucial and paradoxical things are happening at the same time.  On the one hand the federal government has been stockpiling offensive weaponry apparently to be used on the  domestic front while on the other hand, the Federal budget can't afford such extravagance. 

Mr. Obama proposed a cut in the growth of Federal spending, which is called a sequester.  He later denied that it was his proposal and then went on to cry wolf if it were to go through. He argued “There would be no more police and fire department.  People would starve in the streets.  There would be an end to medicare.  The military would lose its combat readiness... on and on.” Yet, while Obama cries wolf, he invests in offensive weaponry which seems to be intended for domestic use.  He's invested in over a billion rounds of hollow point bullets.  He's invested in over 1000 tanks who's impregnability dwarfs that of the tanks deployed in Iraq.  This begs such questions as... “Why couldn't these investments be curtailed in lieu of the alleged cuts threatened in Social Security and Medicare?  Why couldn't these exorbitant investments be curtailed in lieu of threats to investments in education?  Why couldn't these investments be curtailed in lieu of making an honest/good faith effort at balancing the Federal budget?”

All of this arouses suspicion that President Obama is really up to something sinister which I will address later on.

We've looked at the domestic front.  What about the world of Foreign affairs?  As I've written in earlier posts on my blog, it seems that Mr. Obama's allegiance to Israel is, at best questionable.  Throughout his previous 4 years he's been setting the stage for what I believe will prove to be an extremely significant event in World history.  But let's look at what has led up to the event which I believe is soon to be realized.

Mr. Obama, in the name of “democracy” has encouraged the “Arab Spring”.  Libya, previously ruled by the ruthless dictator, Mao-mar Gaddafi, has a new government.  As evil as Gaddafi was, however, the new government seems to be teetering on the brink of providing a haven for AlQaida if it is not already doing so.  Likewise, Obama called for the ouster of Hasni Mubarak in Egypt.  Mubarak was also a dictator, but he held back Egyptian animosity towards Israel.  Still teetering in it's control of power, however, the Muslim brotherhood, clearly not a friend of either Israel or the American people, is emerging as the entity controlling the reigns of government in Egypt and the Obama administration tries to paint the Muslim Brotherhood as moderate.  As an aside, those changes that have taken place in the governance of Arab countries have all been accompanied by loss of life... especially the lives of   helpless indigenous Christians.

There is a simple principle concerning governance in the Middle East.  Islamic nations are not capable of maintaining democracies because Islam, as a world view, requires some sort of a dictatorship in order to control the masses.  This fact is evident throughout history.  Yes, there was a golden age of Islam, but again, governance was still maintained through a dictatorship... perhaps benevolent, but nevertheless, a dictatorship.

In the meantime, while Syria's civil war rages with the murder of over 70,000 people, cries go out to help the rebels who are in the majority.  The US has started to provide them with apparently non-military aid.  The most influential elements of these rebels, however, are also radical Islamist s who,  are neither friends of the United States or Israel.  Furthermore, Iran is on the verge of obtaining “the BOMB” and the Obama administration, at least to this point, seems to have done nothing to keep that from happening.

Of course the focal point of this tinder box which is ready to explode is the age-old hostility between the so called “Palestinians” and the Israelis.  All of the Muslim nations, even as they murder each other both within and outside of their respective borders, hate Israel.  I site two reasons for this.  For one thing Islam breeds an innate hatred for Christians and Jews. For example  Qur’an says...

O you who believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.  They are [in fact] allies of one another.  And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one of them.  Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. 5:51

Again it is written...

Say, “O people of the Scripture, do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient?”  Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut (crossing the line of idolatry).  Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.”  5:59-60

Furthermore, Islam is fundamentally political.  Its goal is to conquer the world and submit every inch of it to Islamic law (Sharia) and Islam's God, Allah. In doing this, Islam has divided geography into three categories... Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Amn.  Dar al-Islam is that territory which is dominated by Islam.  Dar al-Harb is that territory which has not yet been conquered by Islam.  In essence, the translation of Dar al-Harb is “house of war”.  Finally, Dar al-Amn means “house of safety”.  Historically, the latter refers to a territory where a treaty has been made.  Also historically, these treaties are eventually broken by adherents of Islam when it is advantageous (because of some weakness in the armor of non-Muslim entities) to further the geographical expansion of Islam. 

In light of this background, Israel exists as a non-Muslim entity smack dab in the middle of Dar al-Islam.  Such a phenomenon is anathema to the Muslim mind.  Like a sliver in one's little finger, as small as it may be, whether because of pain, or just irritation, it must be removed!  This is, in a nutshell, the attitude of adherents of Islam towards the existence of Israel.  ABSOLUTELY NO NEGOTIATIONS FOR PEACE CAN ALTAR THIS MINDSET.

And so, a list of phenomena have entered onto the stage in the Middle East.  We see with the “Arab Spring” a growing actualization of Arab hostility towards Israel. We see the Muslim nation of Iran obtaining “the bomb”.  We see an increased, 'though misguided world-wide empathy for Palestinians, who, in fact, are victims and pawns of the world-view known as Islam. And we see Obama, the king pin who is tightening the screws, putting pressure, as it were, on Israel to negotiate for peace.  Contrary to public opinion, ISRAEL DOES WANT PEACE.  Most of her people want one thing and one thing only... to live in peace and be left alone.  Anecdotal to this, in the testimony of a “Palestinian” who became a Christian, he recalls an encounter with an Israeli woman on an airplane heading back to Israel from the United States. Assuming the stereotype he had of Israelis, and hiding his own identity as a Palestinian, he said to her “I bet your son, the Israeli soldier, likes killing Palestinians”.  He was moved by the fact that the woman sitting next to him burst into tears and exclaimed “He doesn't want to hurt anyone.  He only fights because he has to protect us.”

And so, what is Barack Hussein Obama going to do with this predicament.  This month, he's heading, for the first time in his Presidency, to Israel.  Israel's political situation is tenuous as far as alliances in its government is concerned.  I believe that Obama's going to exploit this, attempt to interfere in the Israeli election process and leverage it to negotiate a peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Furthermore, I BELIEVE THAT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IS GOING TO SUCCEED.  I do not know if he is a Muslim.  He certainly doesn't fit my definition of a “Christian” in the orthodox sense of the word.  This, however, is how I think his success is going to play out.  He will convince the Muslim world to acknowledge the right of the State of Israel to exist in order to make a treaty that will create an aura of peace.  This will serve as an advantage to the Arab world.  The contested state of Israel will become a Dar al-Amn.  Peace will have been established at last!  Barack Hussein Obama becomes a hero.  He is now the only man who has been able to create peace in the Middle East.  HE IS THE GREAT MESSIAH” as many of his unswerving loyalists already believe.  All those lies about health care and sequesters and movies causing riots such as the one in Benghazi Libya will all be forgiven because he has accomplished what no other man in history has accomplished... HE HAS BROUGHT PEACE TO THE MIDDLE EAST.

In the meantime, what is he doing with all that military hardware back in the United States?  He's using it to either kill or force imprisonment on those who are privy to his plot.  You see, Barack Obama has negotiated a Dar al-Amn.  The treaty is TEMPORARY.  At the time when it is advantageous, he will break the treaty!  And to those whom he intends to kill and/or imprison, he will do so because they are his political enemies.  His successes will cause the masses to even further marginalize his detractors.  And those who are his detractors do not just know him as Barack Hussein Obama.  They know him as THE ANTI-CHRIST.

Note:  Again, at this stage, this scenario or speculation may seem far fetched.  However the only factor needed to distinguish the Anti-Christ is his ratification of a significant and seemingly final peace treaty between Israel and the Muslim world.  His treachery can only manifest itself at a later time.

Benyomin

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Little History Test

A little trivia to see how much history you know (can guess at). Be honest, it's kinda fun
and revealing.

If you don't know the answer make your best guess.

Answer all the questions before looking at the answers
.

Who said it?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for
the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We) .....can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushchev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B.
Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Scroll down for answers
Answers
(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005
Be afraid, Be very afraid!!, and this was before she hit her head!!!