It is refreshing and surprising when a company takes any kind of a moral stance. eHarmony has recently done that, and I am somewhat amazed by it. I have no idea of their actual motive or intent (althought they say it is based on marketing stats), but nonetheless, it is a great thing to see. You can read some of it below as well as what some bloggers think about it.
eHarmony lawsuit creates online discord
A story from earlier this week about a Northern California man suing eHarmony for not letting him join the dating service until he's legally divorced has got bloggers weighing in with a broad range of opinion.
John Claassen, a 36-year-old lawyer who is legally separated from his wife, filed a lawsuit alleging eHarmony abridged his civil rights by refusing to match him up, according to The Associated Press. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company only fixes up unmarried individuals.
Bloggers were mixed on whether the suit has any merit. Most said eHarmony is perfectly justified in limiting its clientele to singles, and Claassen could choose another dating site, like Match.com, that doesn't have such a restriction. Some, however, said Claassen has a good point, and might just win. He's seeking $12,000 in civil penalties.
Blog community response:
"To advertise himself as a 'single' man is a false claim. This means that a woman--finding out that this guy she's been matched with, isn't really free from his wife--could sue eHarmony for knowingly matching her with a guy who can't formalize a relationship. This basically turns eHarmony into a call girl service."--Technicalities
"I think eHarmony might lose, and here's why: California has no-fault divorce, abolished its heartbalm torts, and decriminalized adultery. Therefore, there's no legal reason why a service couldn't enable adulterers, either technical or actual. eHarmony's preferences, and even its market research, must bow to California law."--Akhmed Al-Fayyed
"It's the classic love story. Boy meets girl and falls in love. Boy and girl realize that they don't really know what love means and decide that the state should assist where the church can't. Boy can't wait to hit the dating scene so goes to online service to get busy. Boy sues dating scene because they just don't understand. Goofy dude across the bay (me that is) writes silly blog about it. And they all lived confusingly ever after."--My agapic life
"I say, 'Go eHarmony!' I like the fact they don't allow married men/women to join the site. It's unfair to everyone in the situation--the cheating spouse, the cheating spouse's family, and the potential date (if unaware). "--Allison's Epiphany in Progress
"Take a look at the fine print on Harmony's terms of service. They clearly fail to clarify the definition of the term married...In my mind this guy actually has a shot at winning. I would be upset if I spent two hours on a profile only to be rejected at the end because of a lack of clarity on the part of the service."--Corante
For full story go here.
Friday, March 31, 2006
It is refreshing and surprising when a company takes any kind of a moral stance. eHarmony has recently done that, and I am somewhat amazed by it. I have no idea of their actual motive or intent (althought they say it is based on marketing stats), but nonetheless, it is a great thing to see. You can read some of it below as well as what some bloggers think about it.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
The story you are about to read below is beyond the realm of sanity - it is ludicrous and crazy. I cant believe that in my entire life, I would ever need to tackle this subject. What you are about to read below is 100% true. Believe it or not. I will let the below material speak for itself. I think this story would even make Rick Warren roll over in his grave (OK, maybe not -- but you get the gist).
Prayer Power Celebrates Easter With "The 7 Great Prayers" Contest
Prayer Power Publishing challenges web site visitors to pray “The 7 Great Prayers” for 21 days and offers $2,000 in cash prizes for the best “Answered Prayers Success Story.”
Newington, CT (PRWEB via PR Web Direct) March 28, 2006 – Prayer Power Publishing, a leader in the Affirmative Prayer category, today announced that they are celebrating Easter 2006 with "The 7 Great Prayers for an Abundant & Blessed Life" Contest and will offer $2,000 in cash prizes for the best "Answered Prayers Success Story.”
Winning prayer stories will be posted on the Prayer Power web site to inspire others to use The 7 Great Prayers and prizes will be awarded in multiple prayer categories including healing, prosperity, overcoming depression, finding purpose, and developing a closer relationship with God.
Now through April 16th (Easter) people from around the world, and of all faiths, are encouraged to log on to http://www.prayerpower.com/eastercontest.htm to receive "The 7 Great Prayers" via email and to enter the "The 7 Great Prayers Easter Prayer Contest."
“Giving away cash prizes for people’s answered prayer success stories is pretty crazy,” admits Paul McManus, Author of The 7 Great Prayers and inventor of Prayer Power audio technology, “but we felt an out-of-the-box contest like this was necessary to help continue to spread the word about the amazing power of The 7 Great Prayers and Affirmative Prayer.”
Through word-of-mouth, combined with the power of the internet, over 750,000 people worldwide, 2,000 a day, from virtually every country on Earth, have signed up to receive The 7 Great Prayers via email. Each day, for seven days, one of The 7 Great Prayers is emailed to the website visitor. With each of The 7 Great Prayers the recipient also receives instructions on how to apply that particular Great Prayer to his or her unique prayer needs.
“I’ve dedicated my life to promoting the benefits of The 7 Great Prayers, Affirmative Prayer, and audio prayer technology,” says Paul McManus. “Through the power of Affirmative Prayer marriages have been saved, depression overcome, finding purpose in life, financial problems solved, healings achieved, a happier and more loving personality acquired are just some of the results we’ve seen from those that have used The 7 Great Prayers, Affirmative Prayers, and our audio prayer programs.”
Each of The 7 Great Prayers is an Affirmative Prayer. In addition to The 7 Great Prayers, Prayer Power Publishing has created hundreds of Affirmative Prayers for a wide variety of prayer needs. All Affirmative Prayers are short, personal, positive, and said in the present tense, and each is prayed as though the prayer has "already been answered."
Most popular are Prayer Power audio CDs and cassettes. Affirmative Prayers are spoken over music that enhances the prayer experience. People play audio in the car while commuting, at the office, home and before drifting off to sleep at night.
For additional information regarding "The 7 Great Prayers Easter Contest" and to receive The 7 Great Prayers via email, please visit: http://www.prayerpower.com/eastercontest.htm
Tagged by Justice at 3/28/2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Well, it's finally happened, Joel Osteen is now officially worth more than the Bionic Man and the Bionic Woman put together.
How you may ask is it possible for old heretical Joel to do so well financially.
Well, it's from what I would like to call the power of the press, some have said that "Osteen's megadeal is one more layer of religious crossover" -- I say it is one huge payoff for a book he hasn't even written an outline for yet. Oh and by the way this deal is bigger than the deal the Pope and Hillary Clinton got.
I can wrap up old heretical Joel in one quote he gave on the NBC Today Show:
"I want to help people live a better life, the principles in the bible help people to do that”
-Joel Olsteen, March 16, 2006, NBC Today Show
I hate to break it to Joel, it isn't the principles in the bible that help people -- it is Jesus Christ. That quote shows the man-centeredness and real heart and motivation of Joel Osteen, and ultimately this book he is going to write and all the books he has written are about man and what you can get out of God. BUT, as an old preacher once said "God will never be a means to anyones ends". The itching ears will buy this book and any other just like it - and that is the sad state of American "Christians".
Here is some of the article (there are so many things said by "Christians" in this article that it is emabarrasing):
Click here for full article.
March 17, 2006, 9:30PM
'Best Life' redux
Osteen's megadeal is one more layer of religious crossover
By TARA DOOLEY AND BARBARA KARKABI
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
THE pressure's on Joel Osteen. But as he tries to deliver on his potentially lucrative book deal with Simon & Schuster, he could get help from the Christian crossover into mainstream publishing.
Osteen, responding to questions in an e-mail, says he does not feel any pressure. His goal is the same as always: "Spreading the gospel to as many people as possible."
However, publishing is always a gamble, said Jeff Gerke, fiction manager for Christian publishing company NavPress in Colorado.
"You can hedge your bets and make educated guesses based on previous performance," he said. "The New York publisher is betting that Osteen will sell well based on the performance of his first book." That book — Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential — sold 4 million copies and put Osteen on best-seller lists for months.
The question now is: Will Osteen's name still deliver in the fall of 2007, when his as-yet-unnamed book hits stores? Simon & Schuster may think so. The New York publishing giant announced this week that it had signed Osteen for his next effort with its Free Press imprint. It has been reported the deal could be worth $10 million to $13 million.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that the deal would allow Osteen an advance of up to $2 million. In return, Osteen would get 50 percent of the publisher's profits on sales.
"It is an A-Rod kind of contract," said Chris Turner, of LifeWay Christian Resources, referring to Alex Rodriguez's phenomenal 10-year contract with the New York Yankees. "If you are a (sales) producer, you can write your own ticket."
Christian books have crossed over into Everyman stores such as Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble. Their increased access and visibility have increased demand, said Mark Kuyper, president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
"The retail outlets are saying that as long as there is interest in this, and the category is hot, we are interested in making (books) available," Kuyper said.
Tagged by Justice at 3/27/2006
This is just a funny diversion. Click to see what type of church your favorite Superhero would be attending if he were real.
Tagged by Justice at 3/27/2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
You may at first wonder what the heck I am talking about by this title. Well, prepare to be amazed, disappointed and saddened all at the same time. As someone that ministers to children and youth this is a subject of particular annoyance, mostly because at times it can affect me (selfish, I know). The Wall Street Journal (March 31) did an article dedicated to parents outsourcing their responsibilities and duties. Not only are they outsourcing their responsibilities and duties they are also outsourcing their children’s accomplishments and joys.
Some of the things parents are having outsourced are teaching their children to ride a bike, play sports, birthday parties, potty-training and on and on. Their goal is to create a “specialized child”, one that excels in subjects through specialized coaching and guidance, absent of the parent. I think this is the final straw in parenting, or a lack there of. Parents who aren’t willing to discipline, more than happily put their child on Ritalin, or better yet sign them up for karate so the sensei can have that responsibility. The trend is scary and far reaching. 1 Samuel 3:13 says, “I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.”
The scariest part is I am sure a lot of parents are outsourcing their children’s spiritual development to the church and only the church. The problem with that is, while we do minister to the best of our ability we are not surrogate parents. Parents have the God given responsibility to raise and shepherd the hearts of their children (Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 4:23) and most importantly to teach them God’s Word. As ministers we are limited to the time that we can spend with the children, our goal has always been to come alongside the parent because the parent has the ability and opportunity to make the real impact for the glory of God (Proverbs 1:8-9).
This begs the question, why are people having children? Is it because it is the thing to do? Or is it pressure from mom and dad to give them grandchildren? Or is it the societal thing to do? Whatever the answer or whatever the reason I pray that parents would put much more thought into their motives. If you want your children to excel, teach them the Word of God! True success can only come when you live your life to the glory of God!
Something that haunts and motivates me as a parent of five is something a pastor said years ago, it is not ground breaking, but it is absolutely correct; “You have one shot to raise your children right” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Think about that when you decide if your wife working is more important than her staying home to raise your children. For more insight from the article you can go here .
Tagged by Justice at 3/24/2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
In Part 1 we saw how forgiveness works in relationship to ourselves.
In Part 2 we saw that Christ is our living example of how we are to forgive.
Forgiveness Part 3
If Christ is our example, then how do we apply this to our lives?
Can I really apply this to my Life?
The real question is, can we forgive them if they don’t ask?
If we look at the example that Christ gave us we have to say no. If Christ requires repentance for the forgiveness; then, to be a godly process we would have to say that anyone who sins against us would need to repent. Repent means that that this person would turn from his or her sin. Remember that the Bible tells us that God grants repentance and to fight this is fighting God and His sovereign plan. Remember also that we have established that human forgiveness only establishes relationship and if someone has hurt you why would you want to reestablish that relationship with them. We should pray that God would forgive them and grant them repentance just as Jesus did on the cross when He was being crucified. Luke 23:34 says that Jesus, while He was being crucified said “forgive them for they know not what they do.” He didn’t tell them that they were forgiven, He prayed for the Father to grant them repentance and this should be the example we live by. Christ knew that it had to be the Father granting them repentance and Christ loved them and cried out to the Father on their behalf. Is that we do? Most of the time we demand an apology, but not Christ, He was being tortured and pain was being inflicted upon Him and He was the only man to walk the earth completely innocent. If anyone had the right to demand an apology it was Christ. But what did He do? He cried out to The Father to save them and grant repentance.
When people sin against us our common response is that someone owes us something!
People come in for counseling and one of the most common things that I hear is “I just can’t forgive someone.” And of course it’s usually a spouse that is the problem.
What I would like to know is what power do you think that your forgiveness has?
When someone sins against you, how much of that sin did you pay for?
When we can’t forgive what’s the real problem?
Well if we put this in Biblical terms, when we say we can’t forgive someone, what we are really saying is I’m not going to carry my cross anymore and I’m demanding something better. We said that no sin was paid for until the Father poured out the cup of wrath on the Son. When Christ was dragging His cross to Calvary he got to the point that He could no longer carry it any further and Simon had to help Him. This shows us beyond a doubt that Christ was not paying for sin at that point, otherwise we would have to say that Simon paid part of the sin debt and we know that is not true in any way. Why labor this point? Well if you think about it brings a whole new meaning to “carrying your cross and following Him”. When people sin they sin against God and God ALONE. We are owed nothing and our only response is to send those who “sin against us” to God so that He can grant them repentance. Pick up your cross and follow Christ!
So when someone says that they can’t forgive someone else because they have been sinned against what do we tell them?
We tell them the truth. That is, they are murderers because they are doing nothing but hating in their heart.
It’s always about God, not us. We must be God centered! Not man centered!
Tagged by Chris Hinton at 3/20/2006
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Leave it to the Mormon's to develop their own line of clothes. I didn't see a wedding day/night clothes link.
This is how the site is billed:
"Your Alternative for Modest Clothing, Positive Media Choices; the Latter-Day Saint Lifestyle."
Hmmm, what exactly is the Latter-Day Saint Lifestyle?? Any help is appreciated.
Oh, they also have a new teen magazine to match.
Their tag line is:
Jen* is an Online Magazine for LDS Teen & Young Adult Women."
We welcome anyone else who shares our Christian values.
The saddest part is:
A. They arent Christian
B. They are more moral (in appearance) than most Christians
C. See B
If the local Church had this much ambition and drive we might see more people come to Christ. Unfortunately, all this noise is doing is raising the visibility of this hell-spawn show and giving all their demented fan-boys something to cheer about.
NEW YORK -- "South Park" has declared war on Scientology. Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the animated satire, are digging in against the celebrity-endorsed religion after a controversial episode mocking outspoken Scientologist Tom Cruise was yanked abruptly from the schedule Wednesday _ with an Internet report saying it was covert warfare by Cruise that led to its departure.
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!" the "South Park" creators said in a statement Friday in Daily Variety. "Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies... You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail!"For
For full article click here.
Tomorrow being the Lord's day, I wanted to pass along an awesome message on Hebrews. This message is called "The Irrevocable Perserverance" and was taught by Dr. Steven Lawson in his men's seminary class (at his church). Hmmm, a church teaching their own, wow what a concept -- can I get a wuff??
If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Steven Lawson, I cant encourage you enough to download and listen to all of the teaching you can get from him. He is one of the best expositors that I have ever heard.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Forgiveness Part Two
Do you sometimes feel as if the world is out to get you and the people around you do nothing but hurt you?
Isn’t life supposed to be better than this? I’m a good Christian and a good spiritual leader!
I just wish that people would see what they are doing to me and stop it!
All I seem to do is forgive people around me who don’t seem to know any better!
Sometimes I wonder........... what is forgiveness?
If we look at Christ, we will see the best example of what and how forgiveness really works; and the way that God makes it work. Any other way of looking at it is sin and only leads to self- destruction.
The three major components to forgiveness are: forgivness extended, forgiveness accepted and repentance. Or, someone who forgives, someone who is forgiven and repents. Mankind sins, Christ dies on the cross and pays the sin debt for mankind. Man sees his own sin and he asks for Christ’s forgiveness and repents and Christ forgives. Christ’s example shows us that forgiveness is part of a process and at the end of that process we are forgiven.
What really happens with this forgiveness?
We can shed some light on this by looking at Matthew 7:21-23.
Jesus says “depart from me I never knew you.”
This shows us clearly that when we come to Christ and ask for forgiveness and repent we re-establish a broken relationship with Him. This is clear because He uses the word "know" and that refers to relationship. Another thing that we can clearly see from this passage is that all are not forgiven. Christ doesn’t just forgive everyone.
So then how do we apply this to our lives?
And what has this got to do with us and how we forgive?
It has everything to do with us. It is a perfect example of who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to act. Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be "imitators of God" and that means that we are to imitate Christ in this process. The first thing that we need to establish is the effect forgiveness has, when it comes from Christ, and when it comes from man. In both cases relationship is reestablished. When the forgiveness process is carried out, the thing that is different with God’s forgiveness is that relationship brings with it a right standing before God, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and have an inheritance with Christ.
We have to understand that Christ has paid the sin debt in full. We in no way ever pay any part of it and can never take any credit for that payment. On the cross Christ said my "God, my God why has though forsaken Me" and at that time God was pouring out the cup of wrath on Christ and that was the spiritual punishment which was the entire payment for sin. Nothing else had anything to do with the payment for sin. He was scourged and forced to carry His cross to the place that He was nailed to it. That was all just a result of living in a sin filled world it had nothing to do with the payment for sin.
So someone sins against us what do we do?
The real question is, can we forgive them if they don’t ask?......Look For
Forgiveness Part 3
Tagged by Chris Hinton at 3/16/2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I was watching Larry King last night while eating dinner and was shocked by what I saw and heard. The shock of what I saw speaks for itself to the left of this text--- but what she said and revealed about who she really is truly surprised me. I will put some quotes below with a note that she needs prayer for healing in regards to her cancer, but more than that, she needs spiritual healing that can only come by being born again.
LARRY KING: Don't you think though that he (God) dealt you a dirty blow here?
TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: Why not me? He deals them. It seems like everybody is getting dirty blows so why not me, you know? I don't feel any different than anybody else. You know this time has been particularly hard on me because right after Christmastime I felt like I couldn't breathe and I started going into the doctor and I was starting having panic attacks. Have you ever had a panic attack?
Anybody out there who has ever had a panic attack knows what that's like. You'd rather die than have another one believe me. You feel like you can't breathe. And here I am upstairs in our room walking up and down the hallway past our bedroom and I'm screaming the name of Jesus and I just keep saying "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."
You know the Bible says that his name is all powerful that his name is above every name and that his name can stop anything. And, I kept saying I need to know that Lord. I need to know that it's you. I've served you all of these years and I need to know that your name is above every name and it's above the name of cancer.
And immediately I found that terrible pain attack began to go away as I just began to say the name of Jesus. And, I've taken my pajamas, I've gotten some pajamas and I've just written Jesus and I've written scripture verses on it and that's what I cuddle up with at night. I cuddle up with scripture verses all over my body written on my pajamas.
LARRY KING: We'll take a break and be right back. In a little while, we'll go to your phone calls for a tough lady, Tammy Faye Messner. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: If I died right now, I would consider myself one of the most fortunate women in the world to have lived and been able to do the kind of things that I've been able to do in my life and I'm very grateful. I'm very grateful to the Lord for taking a little girl who had nothing to give but was willing to try and doing what he's done with me. I never dreamed that someday my name would be known everywhere. Only God could do that for somebody with no talent. Thanks, God.
Full transcript here.
Whatever happened to being committed to the word and cause of God. The bible gives so many warnings to those that give lip service to the word of God, as Paul said, they need to check themselves to see if they are of the faith. This study just shows the amazing hypocrisy of American Christians -- can we say lukewarm?? --- Look out below!!
A new study by The Center For Reason (http://www.CenterForReason.com/reports.htm) finds that Christians have just as many abortions as their non-Christian counterparts. The study concludes that in the year 2000, Christians were responsible for 570,000 abortions. Catholics were found to be the worst offenders, with abortion rates higher than the national average.San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) March 12, 2006 -- With over one million abortions being performed in the US each year, this issue has dominated the political landscape. In recent years the rhetoric has escalated, with the pro-life movement becoming a flagship for Christian morality and ethics. The prevailing Christian doctrine--that abortion is murder--has polarized the issue, firmly placing the vast majority of Christians on the pro-life side of the debate.
Incendiary comments by some of the more outspoken Christian figureheads have sought to portray abortion as an evil perpetrated by the non-Christian left. In response to this, The Center For Reason, a private research group, undertook a study to test the premise: Christians have fewer abortions than non-Christians. The results disproved the premise.
The study, available as a downloadable report, reveals that Christians have just as many abortions as non-Christians. Data analyzed for all fifty states show that the rate of abortion is the same in the most-Christian segments of the population as it is in the least-Christian. The most-Catholic segments, on the other hand, showed significantly higher abortion rates.
All data sources used in the study are publicly available, and are referenced in the report. All raw data and calculated values are tabulated in the report, to allow full verification of the results.
The report, titled The Landscape of Abortion, may be downloaded from www.CenterForReason.com/reports.htm.
In a sad statement of where America is at in regards to religion, these statements say it all.
Ok, this starts off good:
Isaac Hayes, who has voiced the highly sexed cafeteria employee on the irreverent series since 1997, issued a statement Monday indicating that he has requested to be released from his contract due to what he called the show's "inappropriate ridicule of religious communities."
Heres where it goes bad:
"This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology," Stone told the Associated Press. "He has no problem--and he's cashed plenty of checks--with our show
Saturday, March 11, 2006
This is an awesome must read article, it is an excellent history lesson and background of Arminianism. Charles Spurgeon had some very strong words for those that followed this vile doctrine, he said "Had a man been an Arminian in those days, he would have been accounted the vilest heretic breathing; but now we are looked upon as the heretics, and they the orthodox." (Gotta love Spurgeon).
The “god” of Arminianism is Not Worshippable
A simple overview of what Arminius taught verses what the Bible teaches.
By, Dr. C. Matthew McMahon
Tomorrow being the Lord's day, I thought it would be appropriate to share a link to one of the best sermons I have ever heard preached. This message entitled "What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do" is from Pastor Jason Robertson at Murrieta Valley Church, and will without a doubt energize your soul for the glory of God.
Click here to listen to the sermon.
This is almost more than I can stand -- I mean it is almost truly hilarious. Muslims have gone out of their way to prove that they are violent, and have violent tendencies. Leave it to a Los Angeles psychiatrist to get everyone up in arms.
I think the bigger issue is that these people are killing and dying without knowing the grace of God.
Full Article here.
For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
March 11, 2006 The Saturday Profile For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats By JOHN M. BRODER
LOS ANGELES, March 10 Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.
Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.
In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.
She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Excellent must read article from John Piper. Excerpts below, for full article go here.
Therefore this raises the question: If God wills disease why should we try to eradicate it? This is a crucial question for me because I have heard Christians say recently that believing in the sovereignty of God hinders Christians from working hard to eradicate diseases like malaria and tuberculosis and cancer and AIDS. They think the logic goes like this: If God sovereignly wills all things, including malaria, then we would be striving against God to invest millions of dollars to find a way to wipe it out.
That is not the logic the Bible teaches. And it is not what Calvinists have historically believed. In fact, lovers of God’s sovereignty have been among the most aggressive scientists who have helped subdue creation and bring it under the dominion of man for his good—just like Psalm 8:6 says, “You have given him [man] dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.”
The logic of the Bible says: Act according to God’s “will of command,” not according to his “will of decree.” God’s “will of decree” is whatever comes to pass. “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15). God’s “will of decree” ordained that his Son be betrayed (Luke 22:22), ridiculed (Isaiah 53:3), mocked (Luke 18:32), flogged (Matthew 20:19), forsaken (Matthew 26:31), pierced (John 19:37), and killed (Mark 9:31). But the Bible teaches us plainly that we should not betray, ridicule, mock, flog, forsake, pierce, or kill innocent people. That is God’s “will of command.” We do not look at the death of Jesus, clearly willed by God, and conclude that killing Jesus is good and that we should join the mockers.
Tagged by Justice at 3/09/2006
As the world continues to spin by God's grace, certain things continue to change. One of those things are definitions, below I have listed two definitons, one from Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary and one from Dictionary.com. There are distinct differences that will hopefully jump out at you and make you think, I bet Noah Webster is rolling over in his grave.
Can you spot the biggest difference between the two?
truth: (trth)n. pl. truths (trthz, trths)
1. Conformity to fact or actuality.
2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
3. Sincerity; integrity.
4. Fidelity to an original or standard.
A. Reality; actuality.
B. often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.
Noah Webster 1828
1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.
My mouth shall speak truth. Prov.8.
Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. John. 17.
2. True state of facts or things. The duty of a court of justice is to discover the truth. Witnesses are sworn to declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3. Conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth.
Shall truth fail to keep her word?
4. Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposition to speak truth; as when we say, a man is a man of truth.
5. Correct opinion.
6. Fidelity; constancy.
The thoughts of past pleasure and truth.
7. Honesty; virtue.
It must appear
That malice bears down truth.
8. Exactness; conformity to rule.
Plows, to go true, depend much on the truth of the iron work. [Not in use.]
9. Real fact of just principle; real state of things. There are innumerable truths with which we are not acquainted.
God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4.
11. The truth of God, is his veracity and faithfulness. Ps.71.
Or his revealed will.
I have walked in thy truth. Ps.26.
12. Jesus Christ is called the truth. John 14.
13. It is sometimes used by way of concession.
She said, truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crums-- Matt 15.
That is, it is a truth; what you have said, I admit to be true.
In truth, in reality; in fact.
Of a truth, in reality; certainly.
To do truth, is to practice what God commands. John 3
Tagged by Justice at 3/09/2006
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Well, this is a sad day indeed. I am a huge fan and admirer of the late great Jonathan Edwards, his works have been instrumental in my understanding of theology and for that alone I am grateful. If you know anything of the greatest American theologian to ever live, than you know that he died an untimely death on September 24, 1757 from a small pox inoculation. Since that time he has been at amazing peace in the presence of our Lord --- that was until today. I am willing to bet that right now he left heaven just so he could return to his grave and roll over in it – I would also bet that if anyone is willing to stand on his grave you would feel the ground convulse underneath you from the massive disappointment of his current legacy. I can only imagine the measured sharp words of rebuke he would have for this sixth-great granddaughter.
It is always amazing to me how people will rationalize truth for their own personal agenda.
Read Below or Here:
Nearly 265 years after her legendary fire-and-brimstone forebear delivered his historic sermon warning of hell's horrors, a Squirrel Hill clergywoman is under church scrutiny for joining two women in marriage.
The Rev. Janet Edwards, 55, likens performing the ceremony to her famously orthodox ancestor, Jonathan Edwards, preaching to the Mohicans in the 18th century, when racism made Native Americans the object of scorn and fear.
"I would say his acceptance of the Mohicans of the time is similar to my inclusion of gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered people now," Janet Edwards said.
Edwards is one of about a half-dozen Presbyterian ministers nationwide being investigated by local churches for marrying same-sex couples. A Santa Rosa, Calif., church judicial panel on Friday acquitted a longtime minister accused of misconduct for conducting same-sex ceremonies in 2003 and 2005.
The Pittsburgh Presbytery began investigating Edwards last year after she married Brenda Cole, 52, and Nancy McConn, 65, of Triadelphia, W.Va., in a ceremony at Cathedral Hall in McKees Rocks. The couple were married legally in Vancouver several days later.
"Spirituality is essential to both of us, which is why we wanted a religious ceremony," said Cole, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in Shadyside.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) constitution allows same-sex unions but reserves marriage for a man and a woman. Discipline for ministers found guilty of violating church conduct standards ranges from rebuke to removal from the clergy.
No church trial date for Edwards has been set. She expects to be contacted as early as this month by presbytery officials.
Determining where the boundaries lie for same-sex couples is difficult, said the Rev. Daniel Merry, Pittsburgh Presbytery acting pastor.
"There are interpretations all over the book on that one, and that's why we're doing an investigation -- to decide where that stands," Merry said.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is among several Protestant denominations embroiled in a bitter debate over what role gays should have in their churches.
Pittsburgh Episcopal Bishop Robert Duncan, leader of the conservative Anglican Community Network, is an outspoken critic of the Episcopal Church over its consecration of an openly gay man as a bishop and its tacit approval of same-sex couples.
Duncan and critics like him say their criticism is based on the Bible. That gives Janet Edwards' position a tinge of irony, considering her forefather's reputation for strict adherence to Scripture.
"If the point of (Janet Edwards') analogy is that he followed his conscience and so did she, and that they both went beyond some boundary or other, that's not enough," religious historian and retired University of Chicago professor Martin Marty said.
But Jonathan Edwards scholar Amy Plantiga Pauw, a doctrinal theology professor at Louisville (Ky.) Presbyterian Seminary, calls Janet Edwards' argument persuasive.
"There is a kind of parallel -- Jonathan Edwards was not afraid to challenge so-called respectable Christians of his time," Pauw said.
Born in 1703, Jonathan Edwards is best known for his sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," with its fiery warning to the unrepentant: "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over a fire, abhors you and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath burns towards you like fire."
Edwards' sixth-great granddaughter remembers him for an activism that still inspires her own.
"Marriage is a sacred union of two people who are committed to each other, without regard to gender," Janet Edwards said. "I do not feel I have done anything wrong. On the contrary, I felt I was holding up the vows of my ordination."
Tagged by Justice at 3/07/2006
Monday, March 6, 2006
Can somebody tell me why the world is on a mission to normalize and accept every anti-biblical and disgusting vice known to man. Beyond that, why within my own SBC (Southern Baptist) denomination, even us, who are supposed to be the conservative ones, fail so often at being conservative?
You may ask why am I ranting this way -- well, let me tell you. I have major issues with the Catholic doctrines, and do not believe that their doctrines will lead to true salvation. But, when it comes to holding the line on female preachers, they are at the head of the pack. If only they could get the rest of the bible right.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Speaking to priests, Pope Benedict XVI praised the role of women in the church but reiterated that the Catholic priesthood is reserved for men only.
In a traditional Lenten celebration with parish priests Thursday (March 2), the pope fielded a young priest's question on whether or not it was time for women to have greater institutional recognition in the church.
"It is right," Benedict said, "to ask ourselves if in the ministry, women could have more space and positions of responsibility."
The pope lauded women's special gift of charisma, or grace, and mentioned St. Hildegard, who corresponded regularly with the popes of her day in the Middle Ages; St. Catherine of Siena, who was involved in Pope Gregory XI's return to Rome from Avignon; and Mother Teresa, who started an international order of nuns in Calcutta, India, in 1950 and received the Nobel Prize in 1979 for humanitarian work.
"How could one imagine the government of the church without this contribution? It is a determining factor without which the church could not survive," said Benedict.
But the priestly ministry is "reserved for men," the pope said, explaining that priests manifest the teachings of Christ, who chose men as his disciples.
Tagged by Justice at 3/06/2006
Forgiveness and the Post Modern Paradigm Part 1
Looking over the open hood of my car the other day, it was running hot and I couldn’t figure out why, I realized that I had not kept up on the day to day maintenance like I should. It seems that the fluid in the cooling system had needed to be changed for some time. Of course that doesn’t seem too bad when you think about it; you just change it and move on. But it’s never that simple. One of the internal parts had been damaged because of the old fluid which now left me to deal with another problem. It took a while to figure it out as I had to look beyond the obvious.
As I was reading a post by Scott Hill on The Emergent Church it made me think of the underlying problems of the post-modern or Emergent train of thought. (Notice that I didn't call them a church.) The post modern movement as a whole has caused enormous problems for Christians and goes against basic biblical doctrines, and most directly against the doctrine of forgiveness.
So many people today will say that they can’t forgive themselves. The world’s response to this is one born out of the tolerance movement. It is always linked to the fact that as humans we need to work on our own self-image or self-esteem, in other words, be more tolerant of ourselves. When we go down this road I think that most of us know deep down that it is wrong and we also think that denial is better than truth. But that’s like saying that all I need to do is change the fluid in my cooling system of my car and everything will be OK. It won’t be OK. One day it leads to catastrophic breakdown.
No where in the Bible does it say that we need to have a good self-image. As a matter of fact, the Bible takes for granted that we all think of ourselves more than we ought to. The Bible tells us that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
So, what if we have a self-image problem?
If I hate myself, is the Bible telling me to hate my neighbor?
If I can’t forgive myself, then should I not forgive my neighbor?
To stay consistent to biblical teaching we would have to say that we all are born with enough self-image. We would even have to say that we have too much self-image since the Bible warns us not to think of ourselves more than we ought to.
This being true what’s the real issue with someone who can’t forgive themselves?
There are two possible answers to this question for people who are children of God.
First, they truly don’t understand or have faith that through Christ our sins are carried out of the sight of God and we are truly forgiven. This is a biblical truth that we must understand and believe. If we discount this, we are placing our own logic above God. Anytime that we place our own view above God it is sin and it is the sin of pride. What we’ve done is placed worship of ourselves over worshipping God and this always leads to destruction.
Not being able to rest in Christ’s forgiveness and to rely on ourselves is nothing but sin. How offensive to God it must be that He comes up with a perfect plan of redemption and we still only rely on ourselves. We must realize that we can’t be tolerant of this sin. The problem, like all sin, is that somewhere this person has stopped worshipping God and that’s because their time has been taken up with worshipping themselves.
Second, is that we are feeling guilty about sin in our lives and we are not confessing before God and truly repenting of it. Repenting of sin is not tolerating it in our own lives and actively removing it. In this post modern world today, the marching orders seem to be denial. When denial doesn’t work "let's try rationalizing it" usually works well. Another name for this is tolerance. Many church leaders today will not confront sin in their own churches because they fear the results. This too is worshipping self.
At its core you would then have to say that post modern thinking teaches people to worship themselves rather than God and they call it tolerance!
Laying your life out every day as a living sacrifice means that we live by faith. Biblical faith is living by the word of God, not living by what we think is best. Whenever we ignore God’s word it leads to guilt and depression. Many people today are willing to let go of their spiritual joy for worldly happiness. We must turn to God and ask Him for the strength to defeat the sin in our lives. We must make a true effort to defeat sin and keep sin from our lives. Relying on God's power doesn’t mean that we will not have to work and it doesn’t mean that it will be easy and painless. The Christian life is meaningless until it costs us something and as soon as it does many so called Christians fall into their old life showing who they truly worship. We must bring our sin to the forefront of our lives and actively deal with it. This takes our best effort and at the same time we must rely on God.
Tagged by Chris Hinton at 3/06/2006