Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There Is No God & I Hate Him

[Warning: This blog post contains extremely vulgar, blasphemous, and highly offensive language. Please do not read this and then contact me with complaints. If you feel I should not reprint such things then please STOP reading now. Thank you.]

Recently I watched the latest Liam Neeson flick entitled The Grey. It was absolutely brutal and entirely atheistic. There was no attempt to disguise the nihilistic underpinnings of meaninglessness, hopelessness, and despair.

Midway through this numbing assault on mind and emotion, one character speaks, somewhat wistfully, of the value of faith. He is swiftly rebuffed as being a delusional fool. The other men have no use for “fiction” or “fairy tales.” For them the “only thing real” is the “cold” and the “snow” [a tip of the cap to atheistic materialism].

Near the end, the protagonist, with uplifted gaze, cries out to God: “Prove yourself!” His excruciating plea is met with nothing but silent, pale grey. And in a rage he bellows forth a torrent of obscenities and blasphemies against the Deity he denies.

What irony. To whom does the atheist scream? Against what or whom does he rail? The flying spaghetti monster? Hardly. I was immediately reminded of Vox Day’s “atheist creed”: 1) There is no God and 2) I hate him.

To be sure, it was more than a little difficult to watch! But this is the all too real condition—the contradiction--of those who suppress the knowledge of God’s existence. Thus, it seems that dead atheists are all dressed up with nowhere to go and living atheists are all obsessed with phantoms of “lesser minds.”

But make no mistake: Atheism is not merely the “absence of belief.” (I don’t believe in many things and this has never been a source of frustration.) No, the absence of belief is not responsible for the atheist’s anger. Rather, the atheist is inflamed because he suppresses the Truth.

I was reminded of the atheist’s fury, oddly enough, when I posted this status on my Facebook: The biblical truth is each of us is born in sin. Being "born gay" has absolutely no bearing on the sinfulness of homosexuality.

Obviously, the above sentiment has little or nothing to do with atheism per se, but it provoked the wrath of non-theists all the same. Consequently, a few Christian brethren and I were subjected to a withering assault from these non- believers.

Their comments are nothing but ad hominems, straw men, red herrings, and non sequiturs. Their logical fallacies contain more errors than words. (And please bear in mind, these folks pride themselves on “reason” and “rationalism” and “tolerance.”)

Here are a few selections [I have left the spelling and syntax unedited]:

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Wow...what a bunch of bigots. You clowns can go back to giving each other hand jobs while you're reading "the good book”

Quit quoting scripture, you idiots! Read something educational and better yourselves!

Are you guys affiliated with the priests that molest children.

you idiots use the words "reason" and "god" in the same posts, yet neither has anything to do with the other. FYI, you guys believe in a old man who floats around in the sky, and that imaginary friend dictates your lives. Pathetic really. Listening to you guys and your ignorant hate only solidifies my atheism and non-homophobic ideology. Good luck with that afterlife thingy…

Your imaginary friend who created the world 6,000, 7,000, maybe even 10,000 years ago? Your hate towards your fellow man is simply wrapped up neatly in a religious dogma that you use to justify your own insecurities dumbass.

Keep preachin it dopes!

You terds are a riot! are you hitting on me? You wanna make out with me, don't you?

You must have been voted "Most Likely to be a Condescending Bigot" your senior year. Again, funny, funny shit kid.

Evolution is real, creationism is simply a story. Thus, it is "reasonable" to believe in evolution and not the story of Adam and Eve, or Noah, etc. There turd, that is my "philosophical musing" for ya.

you believe in a book, which apparently you believe is "fact." Name one fact from the bible kid.

By the way, I can jump over buildings. Don't believe me?? Fool, I wrote it in a book, so you know it's true.

I guess this god hates kids he gives AIDS to; starves kids in Somalia, kills kids in car crashes, etc. etc. Believe that because people can't prove a negative, that you have the "upper hand." All you have bud is magic wrapped up in superstition engulfed in fear with a topping of brain washing. And if your god is the god that starves those kids or gives them AIDS, then fuck your god. He's an asshole.....

“You kids keep usin dem big ol words and believing what you say is somehow refuting anything. "Atheistic non reason." That makes ZERO sense putz. Keep preaching bigotry and hate, mask it with chrisianity and believing you're a good person…Too much Dungeons and Dragons for you squids......”

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I have dialogued with many, many atheists; and while some of them do not use such unpalatable terminology, all of them--without exception--are essentially the same. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, every atheist with whom I’ve interacted [read, heard, or debated] esteems himself to be intellectually and morally superior to theists. Indeed, atheists are elitist in every sense of the word.

As I contemplate the above comments coming from my detractors, the hatred is palpable: the derision and animosity for scripture, the expletives and epithets, the irrationality and madness. The American Church needs to understand that the persecution so rampant in other parts of the world is lurking barely below the surface right here at home.

After reading these invectives hurled towards Christians, can anyone reasonably conclude that these "tolerant" folks would NOT incarcerate, "re-educate," silence, take the children of, and even execute or exterminate Bible believing people of faith? There really is no "middle ground" is there?

I've little doubt that these God-hating, antichrists--if sufficiently empowered--would "feed us to the lions" without hesitation. Nothing has changed. The spirit of the world is very much alive and well and is as raging mad against God and His people as ever.

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Luke 21:17). We’ve been warned, brothers and sisters. We’ve been warned.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NO Child Left Behind: The Abortionist’s Creed

The following is an exchange I had with a Facebook friend who is a professing Christian and who is also socially and politically liberal or left-leaning. He is angry with the Komen foundation for its stance towards Planned Parenthood. [Due to the massive outcry from abortion proponents, I understand Komen has reversed its position.] I began the discussion by asking him if he was prochoice/abortion. His first comment is in answer to that question.

For clarity, his words are bold and italicized. May God add His blessing to your reading.

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I hate abortion. But I don't want to see woman die of cancer because 5 of 9 Republican judges gave America legal abortion, and now to get elected Republicans start their Election year abortion banter.
Just a quick point of clarification: I asked you if you were prochoice/abortion. You answered: "I hate abortion." This doesn't really answer my question. (I know many folks who say they "hate abortion" but support a woman's "right" to abortion.)

So...if you would be kind of enough to clarify: Do you take a prochoice/abortion position or a prolife/anti-abortion position? Do you believe a woman should have the "right" to abortion on demand?

"I said I hate abortions and so how could I hate abortions and then support a woman's right to choose abortion?
It's very simple. I've known folks who say that they are personally opposed to abortion and would NEVER have one...that they "hate" abortion and wish such things weren't "necessary." HOWEVER, they still support a woman's right to abortion (sort of like President Clinton's desire that abortion be "safe, legal, and rare").

"If it is murder from the first cell, then who is responsible if the fetus dies in the womb naturally? Nature does that many times, so is that murder?"
There is no moral equivalence between miscarriage and abortion. Similarly, there is no moral equivalence between natural death of old people and active euthanasia of old people. Would you argue, "Well...old folks die of natural causes all the time...so it's ok for us to inject the elderly with drugs to kill them?" I don't think you would.

(Just an aside...I notice you use the term "fetus"--which is ironically Latin for "baby." Have you ever heard a mother who's experienced a miscarriage say, "I lost my fetus?" They always say, "I lost my baby." And yet, abortionists and their ilk use the term "fetus." This is just semantics, isn't it?)

Looking at the word of God I see God telling me that if I go and murder someone, I am charged and that is a capital offense, calling for my death. But if a man strike a woman and causes her to abort, he is not charged with murder, but instead must pay as her husband demands, to be unforced by the judges. Why is that not murder in God's eyes?
Your understanding of Exodus 21:22 is wrong. The text reads:
If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
Also, you should consider the very next verse: "But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life" (Ex. 21:23).

A proper understanding of this passage is this: If a pregnant woman is hurt by men who are fighting and she gives birth prematurely; if the mother AND baby are okay ("no harm follows") then the woman's husband can impose punishment. HOWEVER, if the mother or baby dies: "then you shall give life for life."

So, obviously, to injure a pregnant woman--to the effect that she gives birth prematurely, if this premature birth results in the death of the woman or her baby or both--is to commit murder. (Hence, when the State charges a person who kills a pregnant woman and her baby with double murder--e.g. Scott Peterson--the State is in accordance with scripture.)

"If you asked me: 'OK will you go out in the street with a sign?' My answer would be no because then I would be fighting against the Laws of America and God's word tells me I must not do that."
Once again, this is not entirely accurate. People of God in both Testaments raise their voices against unjust government. For example, the Apostle Peter tells the ruling body called the Sanhedrin: "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge" (Acts 4:19).

Indeed, we are to obey "magistrates" because they are God's "ministers" (c.f. Romans 13). However, only God's authority is absolute. The authority of the State is limited and derivative. Thus, we are to obey the government unless or until the government commands what God forbids or forbids what God commands.

For example, the "midwives" of Egypt disobeyed the Pharaoh by NOT killing the male Hebrew babies. In so doing, they obeyed God (c.f. Ex. 1:15-17). Above all things, the Christian must obey God and His Law.

"How sinful is it to deny woman the right to birth control and then rail against her because she has to get an abortion or starve the children she already has."
This is a false dilemma. She either starves her children or gets an abortion? There are simply NO options other than "abortion" or "starvation"? There's no such thing as adoption now? There's no possible way to increase income or receive assistance? I think real world statistics show that the overwhelming majority of abortions are performed as matters of convenience--birth control, if you will; not to avoid starvation.

"I am still trying to reason out what abortion really is from God's word."
The scriptures are abundantly clear concerning the personhood of preborn babies. Samson was a "Nazarite to God from the womb" (Judges 13:1). Therefore, his mother couldn't eat anything unclean or drink wine while he was in her womb. Samson wasn't simply part of her body. No, he was his own person.

And what of the prophet Jeremiah? God knew him as a person before he was born (c.f. Jeremiah 1:5). Then we find Jacob and Esau--human persons within the womb of their mother. We see the personhood of John the Baptist in Elizabeth's womb; and of course, the Son of God in His mother's womb.

Biblically, children are a blessing from the Lord. Godless, secularistic philosophies [and certainly industrialization] have altered how the West views having children. It is inevitable: Anti-theistic worldviews result in anti-human applications. Hence, abortion is seen as a "cure" for what ails us.

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Subsequent to this irenic exchange, my Facebook friend found himself in agreement with my treatment of Exodus 21 and I believe he better understood the biblical position concerning the personhood and individuality of the preborn. That being said, I see no evidence of him discontinuing his enthusiastic support for pro-abortion politicians and their causes.

Two closing thoughts: 1) I fear my friend’s ignorance of how the Bible addresses the scourge of abortion may be all too widespread among professing Christians. 2) I see an overabundance of evidence in our culture that all too many Christians have a GLARING disconnect between their profession of faith and their politics of choice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Four Loves

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. (CS Lewis, The Four Loves)
The Four Loves is a marvelous study on the various types or kinds of love within human experience. The Greek language has four terms with which to convey these various meanings or distinctions of “love,” whereas the English language knows only one term. That is, the transliterated Greek terms storge, philia [also phileo], eros, and agape; we translate simply as “love.”

But while we differ from the Greeks in our language of love, clearly, we do not differ from them in our experience of love. And so, I would like to contemplate how we experience these “four loves” within the context of marriage.

Hollywood has it mostly wrong. It tends to know only one sort of love between the sexes: Eros. Eros, in Hollywood, is the beginning and ending [and so often the ending is so close to the beginning that one can scarcely differentiate between the two] of all things between a man a woman. In fact, Hollywood not only knows one sort of love, but even that which it knows; it knows wrongly.

Hollywood, more often than not, simplistically equates eros with “sexual desire.” (From eros comes erotic.) But eros is more than sexual desire and sexual desire is quite often less than eros. Human sexuality may operate within eros or without it. (When it operates without it, it is little more than--in fact it may properly be thought of as less than--animalistic.)

Eros, as conceived by Lewis, is the state of “being in love.” We may rightly equate eros with “romantic love.” Healthy marriages certainly enjoy eros. But eros in marriage cannot simply be enjoyed. It must be encouraged. Godly spouses will seek to stir eros in their covenant lover’s heart, as well as in their own heart.

Yet, as vitally important as eros is to marriage, it is but one aspect of it. We dare not elevate eros too highly. We must not make a god of him as Hollywood has done. As Lewis observes, “Eros, honored without reservation and obeyed unconditionally, becomes a demon…what costlier offering can be laid on love’s altar than one’s conscience?”

How many homes have been decimated, honor betrayed, and hearts vitiated--in the name of “love”? Eros must be submitted to Christ and His word. And when it is, it is glorious.
Rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love (Proverbs 5:18b-19).
Healthy marriage will also enjoy what the Greeks called storge. This, Lewis correlates to affection. Genuine, mutual affection fosters enduring, healthy marriage. In fact, Lewis points out,
As for erotic love, I can imagine nothing more disagreeable than to experience it for more than a very short time without this homespun clothing of affection. Appreciative love [affection] lies, as it were, curled up asleep, and the mere ease and ordinariness of the relationship (free as solitude, yet neither is alone) wraps us round. No need to talk. No need to make love. No needs at all except perhaps to stir the fire. (The Four Loves)
Storge is content and tender. It is a kind of fondness or endearment. I saw storge in action just recently. As I drove through my home town I passed an elderly couple leisurely strolling, arms linked, lost in each other’s company. Were they holding each other for comfort or balance or both? Well, I can’t see how it matters one way or the other to storge. Affection is like that. It is altogether unassuming. Have you ever glimpsed storge in a facial expression, brush of the hand, or tone of the voice? Every marriage needs a healthy dose of storge.

Every marriage also needs philia or phileo. This, of course, is where Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love,” gets its name. Philia best corresponds to friendship. The best marriages are those between best friends. Lewis remarks, “Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.” Friends love each other for who they truly are: no masks, no pretenses.

Who knows or understands each other better than lifelong covenant companions? Friends share almost everything. They delight in each other’s company. There is no fear between friends. Friends stick together and stand up for each other. Friends don’t always see eye to eye and sometimes they fight. But they fight fair. And they never cease loving. Friends respect each other. They respect each other’s thoughts, feelings, and individuality. Find a healthy marriage and you will discover two friends.

Finally, agape is essential to Christian marriage. Here, Lewis is speaking of that which he calls “Divine love” [as opposed to the aforementioned “natural loves”] or “charity.” You will notice that up to this paragraph I have employed the term “healthy marriage,” but now have used “Christian marriage.” This is not an inconsistency.

The love of God shared with and between spouses sets healthy Christian marriage apart from healthy non Christian marriage. We are not saying that agape is absent or entirely distinct from the natural loves. Rather, agape, godly love, inheres in the Christian and elevates the Christian’s natural loves. Thus the Christian spouse is a godly lover, companion, and friend.

Therefore, the Christian spouse does not experience or express less of the natural loves, but more. Lewis writes, “Charity does not dwindle into merely natural love but natural love is taken up into, made the tuned and obedient instrument of, Love Himself. Nothing is either too trivial or too animal to be thus transformed.”

May each of us--married, widowed, or single--determine to delight ourselves in the God who is Love and in His holy gift of marriage. (Yes, the widowed or the single can indeed rejoice in the divine institution of matrimony.) And may His love in Christ transform us each and every day to the praise of His glory alone.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Out of the Closet & Into the Genes

This is my final installment on this four week discussion of the sin of homosexuality. A friend contacted me with the following thoughts and feelings. She is primarily concerned with the matter of whether or not some folks are born gay. If someone is born gay, can they help it? Can they be blamed? A lot of people grapple with these questions and the implications which inevitably follow.

Many Christians insist that being gay is a choice. Most homosexuals beg to differ. But is this an issue Christians really need to face? Does the Bible even say whether or not people are born gay? How is this subject germane to the discussion we’ve been having?

My friend’s words are bold and italicized. May God add His blessing to your reading and thank you for taking this little journey with me as we have explored what may be the greatest defining issue, for church and culture, of our time.

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Great topic my friend! This is one of the items that really confuses me. I usually am leaning so far off to the right I could fall off the fence, but I really do think a majority of homosexuals are born that way. I also feel that there are those that choose it, especially with the way Hollywood and the media are these days. I know scripture tells us that it is a sin, but on the other hand it says to "love thy neighbor". So for me, if someone want to lead this type of lifestyle who am I to judge? HOWEVER, I feel that the media pushing the gay agenda in shows, movies, same sex marriage etc. is a disgrace. I really don't feel like sitting down with my 5 year old and have to explain why Sherry loves Mary. With society forcing an issue down everyone's throats is just going to divide the people even more than we already are. God gives us the choice to make our own decisions, and everyone chooses a path. I love my neighbor gay or not, but I do not want it thrust upon me and my children. Does that make sense? 

I understand where you're coming from. Some of the points you raise I discuss in my blog entry, "Biblical Answers for Queer Questions." If you've not read it, I would encourage you to do so. Also, I recommend my articles: "We're Not Gonna Take It--Gays & Twisted Scripture" and “Flaming Homos: The Conversation Gets Heated.” Each of these pieces may be helpful when considering these things.

As to the question of whether or not some gays are born with homosexual tendencies: I think the quandary, as it is typically presented or framed, is rather reductionistic or simplistic. But in addition to this, I think the entire controversy is a contrivance and a red herring. That is, whether or not one is “born gay” is NOT a matter of morality but of biology. But we are not discussing genetics. We are discussing ethics.

To be clear: when we [or the Bible] speak of the sin of homosexuality, we are not speaking in biological or genetic categories. Rather, we are speaking of homosexuality in terms that are categorically moral and ethical. Thus, in my estimation, the Christian apologist is missing the point entirely [and may be falling into a trap] when he leaves the biblical purview of the discussion and begins to converse of genetics rather than ethics. We must carefully and consistently distinguish, not conflate, these categories.

The biblical truth is each of us is born in sin. Being "born gay" has absolutely no bearing on the sinfulness of homosexuality. Just because one may be born with a certain bent or passion or predisposition, has no relevance to whether the inclination in question is or is not sinful. We are born with sinful propensities, a sinful nature. We are sinners therefore we sin. My sinful tendencies--no matter how innate or powerful--cannot excuse my sin or make my sin less sinful. Thus, even if a homosexual can prove he was born gay...this would not make homosexuality morally acceptable.

For example, I truly believe I was born heterosexual. That is, I have no recollection of consciously choosing to be attracted to the opposite sex. Rather, at a young age I began to experience and become very much aware of sexual attraction to females. (And then for a time “sexual attraction to females” was pretty much all I was aware of!)

That being said, fornication--sex before marriage--was no less sinful. And now, as a married man, sex outside of my marriage is no less sinful. Were I to commit adultery, I can never rightly claim: "Well, I can't help it. I was born with a strong attraction to females. God made me this way! If I weren't supposed to have sex with as many women as possible...why would God have made me with such urges? When I cheat on my wife I am only being true to the inner me. No one can judge my behavior as 'wrong' because it feels so 'right' and I am only behaving according to my nature."

Anyway...I hope these illustrations are helpful. (You can imagine any number of such things.) We do indeed have strong, sinful inclinations; but these are to be mortified so that we may glorify God. God defines what is right and what is wrong--not fallen, sinful human nature/desire/passion. What comes natural is not necessarily moral. In fact, many times it isn't. In other words, for sinful men to do what is “natural” is quite often to do what is immoral.