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Posts Tagged ‘Apologetics’

Controversy is Christian: Why Christians need to rethink the Duck Dynasty controversy.

In Controversy is Christian, My two cents and Christian Opinion on December 26, 2013 at 12:04 am
LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by Dave Nelson

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I am not a watcher of Duck Dynasty.  Let me say that right now.  I don’t profess to understand the fascination, but I do recognize that in the media the show is a hit and a cultural phenomenon at the moment.

What I am is a reader of the Bible and observer of the times.  And it’s apparent to me that the patriarch of the show is a believer and has expressed his views in the public arena.  A conservative Christian view of sexuality which runs counter culture to today’s mindset, and views which for some might seem antiquated, and even “non Christian”.

The truth is that Mr. Robertson simply paraphrased no matter how offensive to some what is arguably the biblical concept that homosexuality is a sin.  He lists homosexuality in the same category as adultery, and quotes a new testament verse on the subject.

Mr. Robertson is right in that he is affirming a fundamental belief espoused by the Bible: homosexuality is a sin.

What happened next is where conservative Christians need to be careful in my opinion.  Mr. Robertson exercised his free speech rights as a citizen of this country.  Per the First Amendment of the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

Mr. Robertson does not have a constitutional right to a job.  This amendment is directed toward the government and is designed to protect a people from its government.  It is not directed nor intended to protect us from the consequences of speaking our minds with our employer, sponsors or others who voluntarily choose to align themselves with us.

Let me reiterate this point. While an employee’s right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment, this protection does not shield a staff person from the consequences of what one says. The First Amendment protects speech from being censored by the government; it does not regulate what a private party (such as an employer) does.

To those who freely speak views contrary to the culture, the words, “count up the cost”. Come to mind.  Christians in this country can not legislate away from the very “persecution” Jesus warns us about. There is a price to pay for following Jesus. We who are Christian must always keep before us our heavenly citizenship, as we live in this world but are not of it.  I am reminded of the words of our Lord.

Jhn 15:19-22

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

Does A&E’s reaction truly shock anyone who names the name of Christ?  If so why? I’m hesitant to even call what happened to Mr. Robertson persecution.  To do so I am fearful just waters down the historical meaning of this word, and trivializes the persecution truly undergoing in countries across the world for those who have taken up the cause of Christ.  A millionaire/businessman has lost his job for publicly speaking on his Christian belief about human sexuality.  I’m sorry it’s hard for me to feel for Mr. Robertson when I can see his endorsed and or sponsored products all over Walmart.  This is business.  One of the questions this whole issue raises is why is it more profitable to offend conservative Christian viewers to A&E, then those of a different persuasion?  Has the salt lost it’s savor?  Is it that they (A&E) can no longer discern a difference?

Have we as Christian become so deceived into thinking that this culture is our own?  It is not, and it never was.  America has not suddenly become less of a “Christian nation” because of the rise of gay marriage, the election of President Obama, or the success of the Democratic party, Obamacare, etc.  Nor is the browning of America some seeping illness that is polluting America into a swift moral decline.

I would humbly submit for the Christian, that to think otherwise is simply to have conformed to “this world”.

I recognize it’s disappointing for us Christians to feel attacked for speaking our beliefs.  To this I would say welcome to the rest of Christendom.  Most of the world is persecuted in some fashion for following the person of Jesus.  We in this country have had the pleasure of living under the comfortable illusion of a culture whose underpinnings have echoed much of what we believe, and now that those moral underpinnings are being questioned suddenly we mourn over the loss, as if we were ever really were a part of the culture in the first place.  We miss the bygone days of old.  Do not be deceived.  The world hates us.  It might smile at us, but the God of this world has no desire to do anything but make us ineffective in our purpose to bring forth fruit, and fruit that would remain.

A&E is a corporation that exists to make its owners a profit.  If we really want to make an impact, let our money/consumer behavior do our talking for us.  Otherwise let us not be swift to condemn A&E over what any of our employers can do to us or any employee; which is to voluntarily disassociate itself from a person who it doesn’t want to represent its interest.  May I suggest we do the same and simply disassociate from A&E.  But let us not be hypocrites.  Mr. Robertson’s free speech was not violated.  On the contrary the fact that he could say his remarks is indicative of the level of freedom that exists.  And his recent comments I’m sure has garnered him an even larger platform to speak. His government last I checked has not created laws that infringe on his rights.

Let us keep our eye on the prize and realize that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.  Let us not loose sight that the real issue is what was recently articulated by Rick Warren, ““Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

Since Satan is the author of lies, we then must be quick to recognize and do battle in the realm of ideas that tolerance that can not give room for a belief that homosexuality is a sin.  Is NOT tolerance.  That is the lie.  The Christian community would be wise to utilize the spiritual gift of discernment of spirits as it commits its resources to impact our culture.  Or our efforts will be in vain.

Controversy is Christian: Does finding intelligent life ‘out there’ threaten Christianity?

In Controversy is Christian on April 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Ok so I want to start a weekend topic dealing with subject matters that are controversial.  Yep stuff you’re not gonna like.  Or at least will have a strong opinion about.  Actually, I want this to be a lively debate about what you think, and more importantly, why you think what you do.

So here’s my question for this week’s blog post on Christianity and things controversial.

If we found intelligent alien life on other planets; how would that impact our view of God and the Bible?  Does it threaten Christianity at all?

If the Bible is God’s word to man, then would it stand to reason that God might have a different book for another species?

Would Christ’s death on the Cross have efficacy for the Romulans.  (I’m serious)  Christ is called the last Adam.  (1 Corinthians 15:45)  Not the last Regallian.

“When Christianity spread throughout the West, the Ptolemaic system became very widely accepted, and although the Church never issued any formal pronouncement on the question of alien life,[111] at least tacitly, the idea was aberrant. In 1277, the Bishop of Paris, Étienne Tempier, did overturn Aristotle on one point: God could have created more than one world (given His omnipotence). Taking a further step, and arguing that aliens actually existed, remained rare. Notably, Cardinal Nicholas of Kues speculated about aliens on the Moon and Sun.[112]”  Wikepedia

Here’s something to mull over.

Peter Stoner, in his book, Science Speaks, states that coincidence can be completely ruled out by the science of probability. Of this science of probability, Stoner says of eight prophecies that “we find that the chance that any man might have lived and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.” Now maybe that seems possible. Not completely unlikely. But for one man to fulfill 48 prophecies, Stoner says the chances are 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.”

So here we have the chances of Jesus fulfilling all these prophecies as well…a really big number.  And we will claim that he is the fulfillment of these astronomical possibilities.  So if the odds of this being true is something we can believe is it so hard to fathom the possibility of ET?

There is an equation, called the Drake equation that gives us some idea of the odds of finding intelligent life.

When you  look into research by Professor Andrew Watson and keep Drake in mind the chances of intelligent life emerging is low – less than 0.01 per cent over four billion years.

So when it’s all said and done we might not be alone after all.

Now assuming we find it; and some say God forbid that we do: because were up poops creek without a paddle. As in all likehood they will probably be more advanced than us.  (Remember Columbus and the Indians?)  Think Independence Day people.

Will the gospel apply to them?  Forget intelligent life.  What if we find ANY life on other worlds.  Again how does this alter our view of God, and Christianity?  Should it?

I would say it doesn’t   The Bible was written for man to man.  Not from God to the Romulans.  But again hey maybe the scripture that deals with those who have not heard the gospel applies to aliens?

Romans 2:12-15 it states, “For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts ultimately accusing or defending them. In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”)

The Bible teaches we all have inherited the sin of Adam. Romans 5:12 states that “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”

But that means sin didn’t come from Regulus.  So this scripture wouldn’t apply to our alien friends.  Would our evangelism efforts be limited to humans?  Should we even evangelize Romulans?  On what grounds?  How should Christians then look at behavior where Aliens co-habitate?  What if they have more than one spouse?  What if they engage in same sex relationships?

Angels are extra-terrestrial life are they not?  So the Bible wouldn’t apply to them.  They have their own codes and laws don’t they?  After all they can leave their first estate.  There’s no indication from the scripture that angels have ceased from falling or don not have the ability of free will where they cannot fall.  Why not other species?

Yeah, yeah your thinking…not in my life time.  It will never happen.

Ya never know…the Rapture is not here yet.

 

D

Controversy is Christian: Art and the Christian

In Controversy is Christian on April 13, 2013 at 1:09 am

structured_controversy

Ok so I want to start a weekend topic dealing with subject matters that are controversial.  Yep  stuff you’re not gonna like.  Or at least will have a strong opinion about.  Actually, I want this to be a lively debate about what you think, and more importantly, why you think what you do.

So lets me lay a groundwork.  When doing a devotional reading I noticed that God in the book of Genesis made two types of tree.  Those that were good for food, and those that were pleasing to the eye.

Gen 2:9 KJV

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; (italics mine)

Now this is interesting to me.  Because why not just make trees that were functional.  In other words who cares about trees that look good?  Well based on this scripture apparently God does.  Beauty has a function all its own.  Apparently, food alone is not sufficient for man’s existence.  Beauty is also important.  It also serves a function in creation.

So this leads to my discussions.  Art serves no purpose right?  I don’t think its a stretch to say that art in all its forms is an extension of this ‘beauty’ that God deems important.

Art doesn’t feed you, it won’t keep you warm, it won’t satisfy mans need for sexual gratification.  What purpose then does art serve?  The same purpose as the trees of beauty apparently.  Somehow, beauty is important to God, and he thought it important to man.  Is art to the inner man what food is to the outer man?

So here are my questions.

Does all art have to be Christian themed?

Does all music have to Christian themed?

Does all writing have to Christian themed?

Literature, music, and visual arts can all be classified under the category of ‘art’.

Are Christians limited to listening to music, literature, and visual works of art that are not Christ centric?

Think about it?  In my community we talk about secular music, and Christian (gospel music) We really look down on people who listen to something other than gospel.  Why?

Is this standard applicable to literature?  Visual art?

Why?

So give me your comments.  I’m curious (especially from believers) what you thoughts are.  But hey non-Christians feel free to chime in as well!

Do we Christians have issues with art that is none Christ centric?  If so why?

Remember be respectful! I’m looking forward to hearing your views!