Pocket Full of Mumbles

What's done is done, and this puppy's done. Visit me over at Pearls & Lodestones

My Photo
Name:
Location: South East, United States

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Diagnosis: Cultural Marxism


"There is something seriously wrong with America. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or has his head in the sand."

I'm choosing to get that out in the open at the outset. This is not only a reasonable argument, it is evidentially true. It also, by necessity and personal design, conveys the tone my comments in defense of what follows will ultimately take. I'm stating at the outset that if you disagree with the above statement, then my response is that you are either a liar to say otherwise or dangerously deluded. And to my mind, I can't decide which is worse. So here goes...

I don't have time to post as often as I'd like, and quite frankly I'd like less than half of what I did if I did. Point is, I could churn out tripe all day long... but not beef wellington. Like most people I derive much of what I post about from the lips and minds of others; the ultimate gestalt-meme-- everything is built upon successive layers of idea and concept. Most of the time it's something I hear someone else say that sets my mind to wandering [where it will go-o-oh], but other times it's what I find in the writings of others.

Same thing here. So last week I'm browsing the net and end up at WorldNetDaily, which I know, to some of you at least, is the equivalent of the back of a cereal box for all the "accuracy" any story posted there will have. I, of course disagree. Mostly because I feel the same way about The New York Times and the Washington Post. But there it is, and, to make a long story short, I came across several articles that attracted my attention. And upon finishing the last, I was struck by how they all pointed to one conclusion: This nations values have been the object of intense, yet clandestine assault since shortly after the turn of last century, and the main party carrying that torch today is Liberal Theology-- which is synonymous with Liberal Policy and Politics. Namely, today's Democratic Party, the halls of Academia, and News and Entertainment media.

For a brief history lesson on the last century, in terms of the root cause of the ideological and cultural 'bait and switch' the enemies of America have managed, I direct you to "Who Stole Our Culture?" It's not an overly long read but it is essential to my point. That being, Cultural Marxism is responsible for much of this nations current political climate and its new emerging theology. This nation is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity, pointing to the 1st Amendment for justification, while supplanting it with another religion devoid of most of the outwardly visible hallmarks of typical religion. Where the typical seeks to define and know God, this new religion seeks to define Politics AS god, and its only true form of worship.

America's not in any real danger, though... right? Socialism could never take root in the land of the free and home of the brave, right? Well, I've said it time and again in several posts: "The only way to kill an idea is to replace it with another." And America is the biggest idea, in terms of its political structure and the vision outlined in her Constitution, the world has ever seen. Many millions of people want to BE American, but many also want to destroy her. Not just from without, but from within as well.

From the article:

America's traditional culture, which had grown up over generations from our Western, Judeo-Christian roots, was swept aside by an ideology. We know that ideology best as "political correctness" or "multi-culturalism." It really is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms in an effort that goes back not to the 1960s, but to World War I. Incredible as it may seem, just as the old economic Marxism of the Soviet Union has faded away, a new cultural Marxism has become the ruling ideology of America's elites. The No. 1 goal of that cultural Marxism, since its creation, has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion.

So how would they go about that? One of the main components of "Cultural Terrorism" is the institution of Sex Education in the schools to break down traditional sexual morality within society. This has been achieved. And through this, the tearing down of our traditional Christian faith here in America. The faith that made this nation what it was... and is no more.

Another component is the use of Psychology:

...the key to destroying Western culture was to cross Marx with Freud. They argued that just as workers were oppressed under capitalism, so under Western culture, everyone lived in a constant state of psychological repression. "Liberating" everyone from that repression became one of cultural Marxism's main goals. Even more important, they realized that psychology offered them a far more powerful tool than philosophy for destroying Western culture: psychological conditioning.

Today, when Hollywood's cultural Marxists want to "normalize" something like homosexuality (thus "liberating" us from "repression"), they put on television show after television show where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual. That is how psychological conditioning works; people absorb the lessons the cultural Marxists want them to learn without even knowing they are being taught.

This too has been achieved, and the technique is still being used. Just look at the whole Global Warming debate! Look at Media's successful campaign against our War on Radical Islam. Look at their war on our President! Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it as truth.

Other techniques: Critical Theory; Manipulation of Predjudice; Domination & Victimization; Media and Entertainment; Political Correctness and Multi-Culturalism... All tools adopted by Liberals today.

The goal of course has been to destroy America and rebuild from the ashes of her burning a socialist state. Many still look back at the McCarthy era and see a deranged man so afraid of Communists he saw one behind every bush and in every doorknob. But McCarthy was right. His tactics may have been harsh and unfair, but Communism in America was very real. IS very real. And the biggest peddler of Communism/Socialism today is the Public School System and Liberal universities.

In "What the Army could teach our teachers", we learn that truth has been the greatest casualty in America's schools and universities. The goal has been to teach as little as possible of what needed to be taught, in favor of social engineering dogma and liberal/socialist propaganda. The biggest losers with LEGAL immigration are the Silcon Valley type industries that can't find enough qualified American professionals to fill all the available positions, while at the same time can't import enough qualified Indian or Asian (or Europeans for that matter) professionals because of our insanely restrictive immigration policies. The poor huddled hungry uneducated masses are being welcomed with open arms, but just try to get in legally with a P.H.d!

Our schools and universities do not self-correct... they perpetuate error and a deepening Cultural Rot.

Illustrating absurdity by being absurd, Ann Coulter has this to say about the ridiculous Bush/Kennedy "Amnesty" plan:

Since Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act, more than half of all legal immigrants have been unskilled, non-English-speaking Mexicans. America takes in roughly 1 million legal immigrants each year. Only about 30,000 of them have Ph.D.s. Why on earth would any rational immigration policy discriminate against immigrants with Ph.D.s in favor of unskilled, non-English-speaking immigrants?

The Democrat party fought tooth and nail against freeing the slaves, and a less than "Civil" War ensued. The Democratic Party instituted Jim Crow. The Ku Klux Klan, initially a southern Democratic construct, grew out of a desire to keep the Negro in his place after being set free and after being given the right to vote. Democrats fought against Civil Rights until it was clear it would pass no matter what they did, at which point they co-opted its success as their own. THEY were suddenly the champions of Civil Rights. Coulter adds:

We fought a civil war to force Democrats to give up on slavery 150 years ago. They've become so desperate for servants that now they're importing an underclass to wash their clothes and pick their vegetables. This vast class of unskilled immigrants is the left's new form of slavery.

What do they care if their servants are made citizens eligible to vote and collect government benefits? Aren't the fabulously rich happy in Venezuela? Oops, wrong example. Brazil? No, no, let me try again. Mexico! ... Well, no matter. What could go wrong?

But all this talk of Immigration is likely to be moot in 15 to 20 years. Europe is gaining in power and will soon exert more influence in the world than the U.S.. A very interesting conversation between Jimmy DeYoung of the Prophecy Today Radio Network and Rob Congdon can be heard hear-- Christianity is under attack in Europe as well. Before long the U.S. will likely adopt much of what the U.N. and E.U. already have. We are certainly on our way.

To compete with a European Union that has come into its own (having adopted a Constitution at last, and established a standing army), the U.S. will see joining with Canada and Mexico in a European style union as a necessary step to compete globally. Signs of this are already within the "absolute threshold" of perception. In "Continental currency all the rage" by Jerome Corsi, there is already a call for a single North American currency, dubbed the 'Amero'. For now these calls are coming only from Canada and Mexico. For now. But there is still much work ahead for the proponents of Cultural Marxism.

El Universal reported Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the separatist party Bloc Québécois commented at the October 2006 Calderon-Harper meeting in Ottawa that a unified North American currency might be necessary to compete in a global economy.

And indeed it may. But while a common currency is certainly years if not decades away, the push toward unification is already begun in this country.

A powerful think tank chaired by former Sen. Sam Nunn and guided by trustees including Richard Armitage, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Harold Brown, William Cohen and Henry Kissinger, is in the final stages of preparing a report to the White House and U.S. Congress on the benefits of integrating the U.S., Mexico and Canada into one political, economic and security bloc.

[...]

...the controversial "Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007," which would grant millions of illegal aliens the right to stay in the U.S. under certain conditions, contains provisions for the acceleration of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a plan for North American economic and defense integration with remarkable similarities to the CSIS plan [.pdf].

I know, I know! What does all this have to do with Cultural Marxism? It is the evidence of CM's success in this nation thus far. More evidentiary proof is found in the following article, "ABC News accused of treasonous report"

These days, news agencies reporting the details of government operations against our enemies in time of war is not particularly surprising. The New York Times has repeatedly leaked sensitive information to the world. And they did it knowing full well there would be no repercussions for telling the enemy our every move against them. This President's Justice Department is perhaps the weakest in a generation.

What is new, relatively speaking, is this growing public response to treason by whistleblowers and news outlets... support and applause.

  • "I for one appreciate ABC's courage in letting Americans know what the government is up to. It's the present insane U.S. government, not the Iranian, that's a threat to U.S. citizens." (Janet)
  • "Thank you, ABC News for keeping the public informed on the idiotic plans the Bush administration has in place to further escalate the conflict in the Middle East. Cheney is trying is hardest to start a war with Iran. The people of the U.S. need to WAKE UP and put an end to this madness. We need more accountability in Washington to prevent another Iraq from destroying the region." (Eric)
  • "Hurrah to ABC! Anybody with half a brain is going to know that this info was deliberately leaked by the 'Bushies.' More posturing. More cowboy diplomacy! Thanks ABC for doing the job the press is supposed to be doing and should have been doing in 2001." (Rob Meyer)

ABC's treason is regarded as "Courageous", and a service to the nation because the evil 'Bushies' have sought to pull the wool over everyone's eyes... "Those evil crooked Bushies! Rove! GRRRR!!! Cheney! [making the sign of the 'evil eye'] and that ignorant "Cowboy"!!! God help us all!!!But wait! We forgot [LOL]! We don't believe in God! [sigh...] Silly us."

But this is the end result of Cultural Marxism: An ignorant and thoroughly brainwashed populace. This is what they've been taught by Government education; that the world desires to live in peace, but because of the Evil United States (yet conveniently, these dupes see their Democratic leaders, every bit as much a part of the Evil United States Governmental Machine, as somehow untainted by the corruption that has lowered America's 'Nice-Guy' capital in the eyes and minds of the saintly world) we have drawn the attention of a group of people-- adherents of THE religion of peace --as well as other socialist governments the Marxists in this country greatly desire to emulate. Treason then becomes an acceptable practice if it 'exposes' national secrets that will lower approval ratings and bring about a great revolution of change in this nation.

We watched with great wonder the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, never thinking just one day prior that such a sight was even possible, and now we want to be like our Cold War opponents? It makes no sense.

What was the Marxist Motto?

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

--Karl Marx, 1875, Critique of the Gotha Program

How different is this motto from modern Liberal Ideology? Tuesday, Hillary Clinton in as much said, 'it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.' It doesn't take individual effort to achieve individual prosperity, no. It takes a village.

There is nothing wrong with a society that seeks to work together for the common good, but there is something seriously wrong with a society that additionally seeks to penalize those who succeed in life, to reward those who have not... especially those who haven't even tried.

This reminds me of a discussion I had with a co-worker a couple years back. According to him, it was fine to extract more taxes from the rich because they could afford it. The concept of "Fairness in Taxation" had no place in this guy's world view. The 'Evil Rich' should pay more in taxes to pay for social programs that would benefit the saintly poor. Even those poor who make a living sucking on the national Welfare Teat, with no desire whatsoever to better themselves. A modern day "Robbing Hoodlum" who sees virtue in theft... virtue in underachievement.

The poor and downtrodden of America are not the same as the poor and downtrodden of 90% of the rest of the World's poor. Much of the poor in this country have at least one television. Many have gaming systems, and stereos. Cell Phones. Many have some form of personal transportation. Most even have jobs, albeit ones that aren't particularly conducive to personal advancement.

But the poor in this country are not held back to the extent that the poor in other countries are. There are opportunities in this country that have no rival anywhere else in the world. Ask yourself why so many immigrants who arrive on these shores penniless, that in short order achieve a measure of success that propels them above the national poverty rate? Are they simply lucky? Or is there something different in the way they think; about themselves, their abilities, their sense of personal pride and self-esteem? How willing were they to sacrifice to not only GET to this nation, but succeed as well? Could it be their work-ethic played a greater than average role in their successes? And what is it about our native poor that set's them apart from the immigrant class? Bad luck alone? Or, to a large degree, poor work ethic and a lack of self-esteem; a poor sense of personal self-worth perpetuated by public education?

Democratic presidential candidates are talking about universal health care, taxing the rich, and subsidizing the slothful and indigent alike, all the while doing nothing to correct the problems that pose more immediate threats to this nation. Democratic policies have contributed greatly to the problems of health care and the growing need for more and more welfare. Democratic policies have largely turned us from being a nation of self-reliant self-starters into a nation of indignant beggars with hands out in righteous expectation.

Record breaking Tax Revenues have been reported in the last several months. Not because the Rich are being more heavily taxed-- because of higher taxes all around, but because of tax DECREASES! Those evil Bush tax cuts!

But again, this is the result of education in America, which in turn is the result of Cultural Marxism. We have raised generations of Americans to be ignorant of common sense and the ability to string more than a single fact together to arrive at complex truths.

Example:

  • "Separation of Church and State" appears NO WHERE in the Constitution, yet the ignorant, rich and poor alike, treat the concept as the inviolate will of the founders. Nothing could be further from the truth
  • Higher Taxes bring in greater revenues that Lower Taxes, when history has shown the exact opposite is true
  • Record profits by Big Oil means the Consumer is being fleeced, when in fact complete ignorance of the principles of Economics most Americans display prevents them from grasping the difference between 'profit' and 'profit-margin' or just how much of the price of a gallon of gas is actually profit!
  • Muslims radicals would leave us alone if we'd simply leave them alone, when in fact history has shown this to be simply. not. true.

To name just a few.

What then was the ultimate goal of Cultural Marxism? To destroy traditional values in America? Destroy Christianity's influence on American society? What was it the communist's of old said about religion? The opiate of the masses? And how do you kill a idea?

By replacing it with another 'Opiate of the Masses'

Well, we're there. And if we're not committed enough to the ideals that made America great; to stand up and fight what the Left is doing to this nation, we will lose this nation within another generation.

The solution? From "Who Stole Our Culture?":

...secede from the corrupt, dominant culture and create parallel institutions: the homeschooling movement. Similar movements are beginning to offer sound alternatives in other aspects of life, including movements to promote small, often organic family farms and to develop community markets for those farms' products. If Brave New World's motto is "Think globally, act locally," ours should be "Think locally, act locally."

Thus, our strategy for undoing what cultural Marxism has done to America has a certain parallel to its own strategy, as Gramsci laid it out so long ago. Gramsci called for Marxists to undertake a "long march through the institutions." Our counter-strategy would be a long march to create our own institutions. It will not happen quickly, or easily. It will be the work of generations – as was theirs. They were patient, because they knew the "inevitable forces of history" were on their side. Can we not be equally patient, and persevering, knowing that the Maker of history is on ours?


Amen. And amen.


Here's more

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Legitimate Demands"

[Now that Memorial Day is over, here then is the American Traitor Adam Gadahn's latest video. Radical Islam is still the greatest threat this nation faces, though only slightly less than Bush's ridiculous Amnesty Bill]



"No great Nation can fall from without untill it has fallen from within."

--The Fall of the Roman Empire


With the state this nation is currently in? We do not DARE lose this fight.


Here's more

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

[This post will remain up top till midnight on Monday. Until then, please scroll down for new posts]


Here's more

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hat Tip to BenT...

...for finding this online.

If you've ever bothered to read the spam-filter busting text in some of the emails you've received... well... here's a guy who chose to put the nonsense to good use.

It's very very funny... very 'Jabberwockey-ish' with an epic dramatic feel-- a sense that some undefined danger is lurking nearby.

Enjoy.


Here's more

Friday, May 25, 2007

Earth Day!? What Happened to Worship?

First off, I rarely go do Dan's place. I just can't handle the 'rhetoric' over there-- I'm being polite, and that's all I'll say about that. But as it happens I ventured over there last night and saw two posts that didn't surprise me at all, though with the first I was a tad shocked.

Apparently, Dan's Church (Jeff St.) celebrated its annual 'Earth Day' service. According to Dan, "it was a beautiful day." And that's fine. But here's where it spirals down into.... I have no word to describe it, so I'll just quote Dan's post.

"We had two storytellers do an excellent job of telling the Easter Island story. The first story was Easter Island's story as it appeared to have happened (they collapsed under their own over consumption). The second story was a more hopeful What Might Have Been vision."

(The only 'somewhat rational' commenter on this post was a gentleman who goes by the moniker of Eleutheros-- He at least got the facts right...)

Now, all this took place on a Sunday, the day set aside to worship God. As this was an annual service, I must assume that Earth Day was the focus of the message.

I guess what had me mildly shocked was that the focus (judging strictly from the tone and content of Dan's post) was not God, His Son, or the need to win the lost to Christ. On a personal note, I don't believe I would feel comfortable at Jeff St. Not because I don't believe I would be welcomed there, but because I know I would always leave service hungry, rather than filled... Thirsty rather than quenched.

Again, his other post on 'The Bible and Economics' is not surprising to me; it's even a valid topic for biblical discussion, but I have a good idea of just where Dan would have gone with this one, had commenters allowed him-- as it is, there is only one commenter at this post.

Having said all that, here's a great article-- part one of perhaps several --by Christian musician Steve Camp called Worship Wars: seven perceptions of what biblical worship is not.

So then what is biblical worship? In response to Paul's words, Worship is ascribing worth to the One-Triune God, according to how God has ascribed worth to Himself, in response to the standard and veracity of His Word, out of an obedient life. In short, the worship driven life is living daily in the presence of His glory! As my pastor said this past week, "worship is not simply going to a place of worship; but worshipping in the place where God has called us to live everyday." Contrary to what our culture mandates and what sadly has defined the emphasis of worship in many local churches:

1. The Basis of Faith is the Scriptures
- not experience;
2. The Object of Faith is the Lord Jesus Christ - not self,
and 3. The Goal of Faith is Holiness - not happiness

I don't understand what a celebration of Earth Day, in place of Sunday Worship, accomplishes in terms of proper worship. Perhaps Dan will offer a suitable defense for celebrating Earth, rather than God...


Here's more

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Unquenchable Fire

[A little something I wrote when I was more optimistic. Before 9/11....    It's a very long read.]

"He lay on his bed and the wind blew through the window over his ears and over his half-opened mouth so it whispered to him in his dream. It was like the wind of time hollowing the Delphic cave to say what must be said of yesterday, today, tomorrow. Sometimes one voice gave a shout far off away, sometimes two, a dozen, an entire race of men cried out through his mouth, but their words were always the same:

" 'Look. Look, we've done it!' "

--Ray Bradbury
Icarus Montgolfier Wright



From the stars he was born, to the stars he’ll return, whether through conscious effort, or in the collapse of a dying sun, remains to be seen. His journey is not yet complete. In fact, it has only just begun. From the moment his progenitors rose from the primordial ooze and saw their gods in the sky above, they longed to be among them. Birds flew over their heads to kiss the very hem of heaven's garment, and from that moment man has envied them their grace and power. His understanding of the world, however, was limited to the ache in his belly and his body's thirst-- the means of his survival. It would take tens of thousands of years for him to take his first tottering step toward the all-important question; "who am I, and where am I going?"

But the question of returning to the stars has always been a philosophical one. There's little doubt about the science involved in such an endeavor: escape velocities, calculus and physics, and many more questions man hasn’t begun to ask. But what of the question of environment, can man live in a vacuum? For that is what space is. How will this new environment affect his physiology? Simply put-- How will man hope to survive beyond the cradle of his birth? These are not easy questions to answer. They are the descendants of questions asked and answered throughout man's entire history—one answered question building upon another, until finally he’s endowed with understanding enough to ask again; "Who am I, and where am I going?" Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid fuel rocket, in 1932 said, "Aiming at the stars... is a problem to occupy generations, so that no matter how much progress one makes, there is always the thrill of just beginning." And that is where man is now. He is just beginning. Who am I? Where am I going? It’s taken him a long time to get to the asking of these questions. Everything he has accomplished; every discovery, and new understanding, has been fueled by his insatiable thirst for knowledge, and the achievement of his greatest desire: to walk like giants among the stars.

When man first rose above the all-consuming struggle for existence and began to question the mechanics of the world in which he lived, he constructed a pantheon of gods, imbued with power greater than himself, and ascribed to them the occurrence of natural phenomena, in an attempt to rationalize the world in which he lived. Why couldn't man fly like the birds that swam the ether, wheeling and floating upon the fickle winds? There must be a price to flying, for only two men ever managed the feat and one died for it-- the sun himself destroyed Icarus for his presumption. It wasn’t enough for Icarus to simply fly; he had to see the earth far, far below, and see the shape of his world. Science, as it is understood today, had yet to even enter the mind of man, for was it not Zeus who hurled lightning to Earth? And was it not Persephone's burden that altered the seasons?

Immanuel Velikovsky, noted scientist, and author of the infamous book Worlds in Collision, said of man,

"Is man's knowledge now nearly complete? Are only a few more steps necessary to conquer the universe: to extract the energy of the atom... to cure cancer, to control genetics, to communicate with other planets and learn if they have living creatures, too?

"Here begins Homo ignoramus..."


The world was what the gods or God made of it. Should a man raise his staff over the Red Sea, it was God who parted the waters that his chosen people might pass through unharmed. If Joshua, forty years later, should shout at the sun and the moon, commanding them to stand still in the sky until the Israelites avenged themselves on their enemies, it was God who stopped them in their course, and not natural phenomena. Man’s view of the world was once a geocentric one, in which the planets, sun, moon and stars all revolved around the earth. And with no way to prove otherwise the earth was, of a necessity, flat. Some believed the earth rested upon Atlas's shoulders, or that it was a great plate sitting on the back of a monstrous tortoise.

But man has since come to know the Earth as round. Had Joshua known this, perhaps he may have been more considerate of those on the other side of the globe, who suffered great fear when the sun did not rise at its appointed hour. But there was no such understanding in Joshua’s day. Velikovsky asked a question more than fifty years ago and went in search of its answer: If the sun and moon did indeed stand still in the sky for the space of a day, then somewhere in the world night lasted far longer than it was wont. In the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan, also known as Codex Chimalpopoca, a tale is told of a time, when in the remote past, there occurred a cosmic catastrophe, during which, "the world was deprived of light and the sun did not appear for a fourfold night". It was not God who stopped the sun, Velikovsky contends, but rather some other event, which caused the earth to shift on its axis for a relatively short period of time. But man was incapable of understanding this.

It took time, but man eventually realized that certain phenomena occurred regardless of the whims of petty gods, and that these phenomena were very predictable. He began to ask questions. Questions that would eventually lead to theory that centuries later, would lead other minds to greater discoveries. The Greeks are famous for their mythology, and have often been noted for their contributions in philosophy, but few people recognize the significance of their contributions toward man’s Ultimate Goal. Greek and Roman philosophers were the early progenitors of modern science. Their philosophies formed the first known foray into explaining the nature of the world and the universe. It was Aristarchus who first proposed the idea of a world that rotated around its sun, but the idea was too much, too soon. The whole idea seemed impossible. Eratosthenes calculated the earth’s circumference at 24,675 miles, an estimate within 200 miles of the actual figure. But still the idea of a heliocentric view of the universe was too much for man to accept. Instead, he gravitated toward the ideas of Ptolemy and Aristotle, who espoused the belief that the universe was earth-centered, or geocentric. How else could it be? Surely man was the center of all things, and the universe existed and moved for his benefit. And it was Ptolemy’s geocentric view that dominated the minds of men for centuries to come; sponsored and vigorously defended in its final day by one of the world’s great religions.

The universe, however, was far from defined-- its mysteries yet unbreached --and it was not until millennia later that man at last began to see beyond his mistake-- his conceit --and begin to ask the questions that would take him beyond the breach of earth. In the sixteenth century, one Nicolaus Copernicus, endowed with a new understanding, the roots of which lay in the Italian renaissance, and a revived interest in the works of ancient Greek texts, began at last to describe a recognizably sound universe. Copernicus believed in a sun that stood still, and an earth, along with its brothers and sisters, that revolved around it. But there were mathematical problems. Circular orbits around the sun could not account for certain problems, and it took Johannes Kepler and his theory of elliptical orbits to resolve the anomalies.

But it was more than just determining what revolved around what. It was a new way of thinking, a new age of enlightenment, where the likes of Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon could be free to change the way man thought. Out of this new age, Descartes gave to the world the premise of deductive logic; and Bacon, the scientific method of inductive logic, both of which became essential to the ultimate goal of leaving the bonds of earth in flight.

Then there was Galileo Galilei. Until the 1500’s the Roman Catholic Church held a strangle hold on the worldview and Earth’s position in the universe, under God. If the earth and all his brethren revolved around the sun, and the furthest sphere of the heavens was not the habitation of God, His angels, and all the saints, then where was the proof of their doctrine? How then could they control the minds and hearts of the people if they could not point to the habitation of God and say, "This is where He dwells?" The Church was therefore forced to suppress these new ideas with the threat of excommunication. Twice Galileo was put to the question, and twice was forced to recant his theories, under threat of expulsion from heaven. But despite Galileo’s fear of the Church, and its very real authority at the time, his views endured. An Englishman by the name of Isaac Newton would eventually bring everything together. Called the Newtonian Synthesis, his findings brought all previous theories together and made sense of them. The Law of gravity, his most important contribution, remained inviolate until Einstein gave the world his General and Special theory of relativity. Yet one law yet remains inviolate: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Though it was never written in stone that man should come to learn to fly, or eventually sail among the stars, it was written in his spirit. Throughout time, and in every generation of belief, men have been born with a desire to reach for a goal they had no name for, and their endeavors laid the groundwork for future generations of explorers. And the questions given him, by fate or providence, fueled his spirit-- that unquenchable fire --driving him to challenge the popular conventions of his day, explore and learn more of his world, and risk his own well being by stepping out on the limb. No one knows for sure what drove the Polynesian peoples out onto the Pacific, but they were the earliest ocean-faring people. They spread across the ocean with the most primitive of vessels, and the most stalwart of hearts, traveling extensively and establishing their island kingdoms throughout the Pacific. Christopher Columbus is credited with the discovery of the America’s, but the Vikings beat him by almost 500 years.

With the evidence of his discovery standing before Isabella of Castile, Queen of Spain, Columbus emboldened other explorers to set out and discover what they could. Ferdinand Magellan rounded Cape Horn and threaded a course through what is now called the Straits of Magellan. For many years this route was considered a state secret, for it established Spain as a commercial powerhouse in their exploitation of the Orient. Of the five ships and 227 men who started out from Seville in 1519, only one ship returned. Magellan died in the Philippines two years into the journey, but the last ship, the one that managed the feat of circumnavigating the globe proved, at the very least, if one traveled far enough in one direction, he would eventually end where he started.

But none of this would have been possible at the time were it not for the Nation of Islam preserving much of what the Christian Church destroyed. For nearly ten centuries the Roman Catholic Church controlled Europe. In its endeavor to save the world for Christ, it suppressed everything that ran contrary to its perception of the truth, the world, and indeed, the universe. In its zealousness the church erased, destroyed, or re-wrote much of what man had achieved through the early Greeks, and Romans. Were it not for Muslims saving the works of such thinkers as Aristotle and Archimedes, much of what is taken for granted today would be lost. It was the Muslims who gave the sextant and the astrolabe to European explorers. Without these navigational instruments, for the plotting of latitude and distance on a featureless sea, Columbus and Magellan might not have had courage enough to match earlier explorers.

Having circumnavigated the globe, discovering new lands, and advancing society as he went, man was still no closer-- the stars were still beyond his grasp-- new questions needed new answers. Enter the Montgolfier brothers, two men who saw something unique in debris and embers lifted into the air by the smoke of a fire. From this they devised a plan to experiment with the lifting power of smoke. They buttoned together pieces of linen into a sphere thirty-nine feet high, and lined it with paper to prevent hot air from seeping out. On June 5, 1783, they invited the public to witness the launching of their new invention, the hot air balloon. It was an unmanned flight--a sheep, a duck, and a rooster notwithstanding --that rose to 6,000 feet, and flew for approximately one to one and a half miles. This event spurred others on toward the realization of the unspoken dream. But man’s understanding of the force that lifted the Montgolfier balloon was couched in ignorance. For many years afterward, the lifting power of smoke was referred to as "Montgolfier’s Gas", though it is taken for granted today that hot air rises.

But man was closer than he had ever been before. Now he could rise into the air! But despite this discovery, it soon became clear that to rise in uncontrolled flight was simply not enough. Bird’s manipulated eddies and currents of air to float or turn, swoop or rise; yet always in control, and man would not be satisfied with less. Otto Lilienthal built a forty-pound glider with twenty-three foot wings made of muslin soaked in wax and stretched over a wooden frame of split willow. It was his hope to demonstrate a sustained and semi-controlled flight, and despite the looks he undoubtedly got from his contemporaries, his first glide gave proof to the possibility of sustained flight. Though he only flew sixteen feet on his first attempt, he continued on, eventually flying as far as one hundred and fourteen feet. His experiments ultimately led to his death, but his successes inspired the next generation of explorers who, on December 17, 1903, provided the final piece of the puzzle. At the dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright forever changed man’s perception of the impossible. For if man could fly, what other seemingly impossible thing might he do? Could he fly across oceans? Perhaps go into space? Could he go to the moon?

In 1961, responding to the Soviet Union’s 1959 landing of an unmanned craft on the moon, President John F. Kennedy, though motivated by politics, set in motion the events that would lead to the first man setting foot upon another world. On May 25, 1961 he announced that the United States would make every effort to "land a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth before the end of the decade", and in so doing, spoke the dream into existence. Kennedy managed to galvanize an entire nation into action and dared men everywhere to dream, asking, "Can we really do it?" Kennedy stated further, on September 12, 1962, in an address to the assembly at Rice University in Houston Texas, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..." And it was a hard thing to accomplish, but that alone made it worth doing. The race was finally on. The Russians had beat the Americans at putting a craft into space, putting a man in space, orbiting the Earth, and sending a craft to the moon, and Kennedy was determined that the man to first set foot on the moon would be an American. Though he did not live to see the dream realized, America did not lose sight of the prize, and 240,000 miles away, on Christmas eve, 1968, Apollo 8 made the first manned flight to the moon and back. Barely seven months later, in July of ’69, Apollo 11 put two men on its surface. It was perhaps the bravest feat in man’s entire history. But while it’s one thing to traverse the Pacific in an outrigger canoe, with only the wind and stars to guide him, it was quite another to leave the cradle of Earth and enter the cold vacuum of space to visit another world. Before Apollo 8, no human had ever seen the earth as a globe. Now, suddenly, the human vision of the earth had changed "and our mother planet became like all the others, a very small lonely object in space".

The dream, however, is not over. Despite his accomplishments, man has yet to realize his dream of walking among the stars. A new environment requires a new understanding, and the solution to new problems. Cost is still the greatest prohibitive. There is a paradox of sorts in achieving orbit. The heavier the payload, the greater the amount of fuel required gaining orbit. But the more fuel you carry, the heavier the payload. And so achieving space is not cheap, and won’t be for some time to come. But some progress is being made toward lightening the payload itself. Miniaturization is the key: the catch phrase being, "the smaller the better." Thirty years ago, an onboard computer would weigh as much as a ton and take up ten times the amount of space. Today’s computers weigh far less and require only a fraction of the space the old behemoths once utilized.

But there is also a human cost. Humans are not bred for space. Man cannot survive there without gravity. It is something taken for granted by everyone, but without gravity, man has no hope of surviving his long walk among the stars. Russian cosmonauts and scientists have performed the most extensive research into the area of zero gravity environments, and some interesting facts stand out. Prolonged exposure to 'zero-gee' weakens the physical body in two major ways: One, the body loses bone density. Often the amount of bone lost in only a three-week trip into space is the equivalent of a lifetime of bone loss on earth; and two, The muscles in the body atrophy through disuse, which is the primary cause of bone loss. Another interesting factor about prolonged exposure to zero-gee is a body’s propensity for elongating; disks expand and the spine lengthens over time in a zero-gee environment, making an astronaut as much as two inches taller in space than on Earth. The only thing an astronaut can do to avoid muscle atrophy and bone loss in space is to exercise constantly. Escaping the benefits of gravity is an impossibility living on Earth. Man takes for granted the exertion expended each minute of the day, both waking and sleeping, in simply walking, lifting, or rolling over in bed. But it’s not a luxury afforded to those who would live in space. It takes hours of exercise each day to simply maintain one’s physical condition. The question of gravity also raises questions for those who would colonize another world, say, Mars. A person born and raised on Mars could not visit Earth without risk of life-threatening injury. A body accustomed to one-third of Earth’s gravity would find it difficult to stand, sit, lie down or even breath on Earth. The possibility of broken bones would be a very real hazard.

Knowing this, it’s surprising that governments do not invest more in the future of exploration. Research moves far too slowly, and new discoveries are dealt with far too conservatively. Man is afraid of moving too far, too fast, despite his accomplishments. He knows where he wants to go, he dreams of it nightly, but now he has new questions to ask-- new answers to go in search of. Man might personally venture to Mars by 2030, but it will be at least a century before any colonist goes there to live and work. There is no better investment for a society than research, but governments hinder exploration. They weigh cost against potentiality, despite the fact that it’s individuals who make the great discoveries, not governments. Governments do not see what neighboring planets have to offer, nor do they care to know if they can truly visit the stars. They do not ponder the same questions that dreamers do. Governments do not ask, "how shall we live?" or "What will we take with us?" Philosophically speaking, Government’s primary concern is the perpetuation of itself.

But here is a question Governments would do well to ask themselves: "What have we to lose by not going?" The answer? Everything! From the stars he was born, to the stars he will and must return.

As George Harrison once sang, "...all things must pass away." So too will man, whether through conscious effort-- killing himself through war or simple stupidity --or in the collapse of a dying sun, remains to be seen. But in time, when his sun begins to swell, consuming Mercury, Venus, and his own Earth, before collapsing in death, man will lose much more than the cradle of his birth, he will lose the pyramids of Egypt and the Coliseum in Rome. He will lose Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. He will lose Gandhi and Mandela, Di Vinci, Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. He will lose Marilyn Monroe, and all remembrance of a being called Man, unless he leaves the cradle for the stars.

The Polynesians were perhaps the most courageous of explorers. With little more than the stars to guide them and a fickle wind to fill their sails, they moved and proliferated across the world’s greatest ocean. Similarly, the astronauts of Apollo, with little more than the hopes and prayers of an entire world, proved that man could venture beyond his own doorstep. This is the kind of courage that will take man far beyond his own sun. No one alive today will likely see it, but the possibility remains. In the meantime, modern man does have one option available, should he wish to go out into the universe. For a very reasonable fee, the Encounter 2001 Project will place a sample of each explorer’s DNA upon a deep space probe launching in 2003. For thirteen years the explorer’s DNA will see the planets stream past until, reaching the Ort Cloud at the very outer edge of the solar system, will enter into the vast unknown. Anyone brave enough-- and with a spare $49 in pocket change --can send a piece of himself into space with a short message to whomever might find it. At www.encounter2001.com, the call is being made for intrepid explorers to join the likes of Arthur C. Clarke, author of "2001: A Space Odyssey," on the long voyage into the cosmos. Clarke himself is sending a short note with his DNA that says, "Hello, my clone!"

Man has longed for this. Throughout all of history he has yearned for flight, and realizing there was something beyond his world, to sail among the stars. It used to be his Holy Grail, but now it’s become his Manifest Destiny. It’s the fire burning in his heart that will impel him headlong into space-- if he doesn’t kill himself first. But asking questions and seeking answers has gotten him this far, perhaps it will take him farther.

"...A single day will see the burial of all mankind. All that the long forbearance of fortune has produced, all that has been reared to eminence, all that is famous and that is beautiful, great thrones, great nations – all will descend into an abyss..."

--Seneca

Naturales Questiones III, xxx

"As surely as the sun has risen this morning, and as surely as it will set this evening, the human race is going to the stars"

-- Neil Armstrong

"And if no one was there or if someone was there behind him, he could not tell. And whether it was one voice or many, young or old, near or very far away, rising or falling, whispering or shouting to him all three of his brave new names, he could not tell, either. He did not turn to see.

"For the wind was slowly rising and he let it take hold and blow him all the rest of the way across the desert to the rocket which stood there waiting."

--Ray Bradbury
Icarus Mongolfier Wright



Here's more

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Conflagration of Madness

A strong wind has been blowing for much of the day carrying upon its ephemeral back the evidential smoke of wildfires more than fifty miles away; wood ash and creosote... more of the former, less of the latter. The moon, half awake and sinking fast toward the west is smeared by a sickly yellow pal; were it a full moon, you might call it baleful. But as it is, it is half-lidded and so high above it all it need not worry about breathing the slight sting of the winds poisonous soup carried out of conflagration and elemental transformation... Wildfire, we call it.

And yet that's true of everything: the moon is immune to all we do, to the ills of this world-- for now --while exerting over us an influence, beneficial and unrelenting, in a rhythmic tug of war we cannot win. We labor here, laugh here, build and destroy here, love and die here, make war [but not peace] here, and yet the moon itself is unaffected by our works, loves, wars, and deaths.

I used to view the world as something beautiful. I still do, but I should qualify this simple statement. I look at the sky, the earth, the trees, clear springs, and especially the pounding surfs of oceans and I see nothing that deserves destruction. Likewise I look at the animal kingdom and see the big red kangaroos doing what roos do. I see eagles, salmon, cicadas, lions upon the savannas of Africa, Elephants in the jungles of Thailand and I see nothing deserving of destruction.

But then I look at man. And what do I see? I see murder... from the very first. I see hatred, selfishness, apathy, and insipidness... I see ignorance and arrogance... and I see very little NOT worthy of destruction.

And I am being Generous.


Wildfires are burning close enough to my home that winds carry news of them, postcards from the front. Letters from soldiers who will never see another spring or another inch of growth, because conflagration has consumed them. And yet this could be a metaphor for America, as well as the world.

Ignorance will be the death of America. Ignorance and apathy will be the death of the world. Ignorance of God, and indifference toward learning His ways. Vasko Kohlmayer is correct in saying that those who war against God suffer madness. For it is madness to argue that partial-birth abortion [or ANY abortion for that matter] should be a constitutional right, especially while just across the street the very same are picketing prisons and decrying the death penalty. It is madness to look at a man and woman, see how they are uniquely made for each other, and conclude that homosexuality is a natural outflowing of God's perfect will in the lives of those who practice what is biologically inconvenient. It is madness to advance a law that criminalizes thought. It is madness to believe raising taxes will increase revenue especially in light of record breaking tax revenues spawned by tax decreases!

It is madness when female school teachers guilty of raping students get comparably lighter sentences than male teachers guilty of the same. It is madness that the medical profession is propagated upon the deceit and corruption of drug companies and government agencies. It is madness when doctors have to pay upwards of 150k a year just for malpractice insurance.

The Right is susceptible to madness, but the Left even more so. Just fifty years ago everyone was rightfully suspicious of Communists, and those with communist leanings and contacts. But today, actor Danny Glover thinks nothing of going to Venezuela to meet with Hugo Chavez to talk about a film deal. Jimmy Carter has cozied up to the man as well, as has Cindy Sheehan. Today, Socialism is a badge of honor among the liberal elite, despite the fact that Socialism and Communism have failed everywhere and every time it's been tried.

Hatred, Intolerance, Murder, Envy... all of it is madness, and all of it resides in the human heart, irrespective of race, nationality, creed or religion. Everyone born of woman is subject to all these and more. And yet no one wants to look at it. No one wants to look at the fires of war raging across the world.

Beheadings, kidnappings, mass murders-- even children are not immune.

We like to point our fingers at Hitler. But we, America, have the blood of 45 million babies on our hands. We like to castigate America for 400,000+ civilian deaths in Iraq, most of which were committed by Muslims, and yet the Soviet Union destroyed tens if not hundreds of millions of lives. And not just in Russia, but also China, Ukraine, Germany, Finland, Belarus, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia... to name just a few. And the American Left mysteriously finds it chic to push a socialistic agenda upon this nation?

Why should God bless America? We kill the unborn, sanction unholy unions between same-sex couples, we've stripped our schools of the Bible and prayer... What is there in America today that deserves blessing and not destruction?

It's true. America is not what she once was. She has become something altogether different. Where once she sat reverently on the pew singing hymns and thanking God for His great providence, she now sluts herself on every street corner with no sense of decency and no moral compass to speak of.

But the winds are blowing, metaphorically speaking, and they carry with them the acrid stinging scent of conflagration. Out of fire new growth will emerge; that is the honest hope of all men, and the promise of God. Yet this nation is on the fringe of a great purge. We can see the smoke and scull the eddies and winds of wood ash and creosote, but we cannot yet see the flames. Yet somehow, because the fire is still hid from our eyes, we discount and ignore the evidence of smoke, and the stink of elemental transformation. We feel the heat but do not yet see the flames, believing therefore that we are yet safe. There is no fire... We can continue to whore ourselves out to everyone and everything contrary to God.


Here's more

Of Flatulent Cows and Liberal Madness

Worth a read. Hat tip to Ms Green.

Everyone knows my views on Democrats & Liberalism, so I'll forego any personal commentary for now.


Here's more

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"I Won't Waste My Time"

I replied to Sturnumdrill in a previous post that I wouldn't bother going into why some of his objections to the Bible's inerrancy were easily explained. I've tried to do this before with others, and it has been my experience that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is hunkered down in their own ideological/spiritual bunker, and short of lobbing grenades into those individual foxholes NO one is coming out. Sturnumdrill, after lobbing grenades of his own, hunkered down with the following...

"Inerrantists are familiar with these and find rationalizations for these and other errors and contradictions, but they are unconvincing."
[emphasis mine]

"...but they are unconvincing." Proof positive that I waste my time trying to convince anyone to abandon the bunker they have dug for themselves. Unless the Holy Spirit speaks to anyone's heart when confronted with truth, they'll never see a need to leave the comfort of familiar surroundings for better digs.

I waste my time if I allow the discussion its head, to lead where IT will rather than where truth would lead. I try to remain patient and loving, but I do not always succeed. In point of fact, I rarely succeed in remaining both patient AND loving.

Here then is a series of comments at 'the other blog' I tried to get started. I say 'tried' because no matter how hard I try not to, I always end up injecting faith into the discussion. I thought to keep my political views separate from my spiritual views by keeping them on separate blogs... but it hasn't worked out that way. Proof of this lies in the fact that the other blog is languishing. And why should I keep my spiritual and political views separate? One must necessarily direct the other, or ideological anarchy would ensue.

As with bunkers, everyone has their own preferred methods of combating competing 'truths' as well. BenT likes to throw out spike strips to impede the delivery of building supplies. ER prefers to 'Piffle' his way through the arguments, criticizing the manner in which I and others use the materials that do arrive, claiming 'God is still speaking' (which to my mind means: God is still giving mankind 'revelations', which is NOT true) and therefore the material is being used incorrectly. Dan is less subtle in that he just tries to tear down every tabernacle I and other build that do not align with his own personal revelations from God, and he does it with such finesse as to make one wonder if perhaps we might have misunderstood him all along, that he really only seeks to save us from our own flawed understanding of God's word.

I'm not attempting to criticize BenT, ER or Dan, here... Only illustrate what I see coming from them... Emanating from them. And why I see trying to argue with them is pointless.

So when I say, "I won't bother", I'm really saying, "I'm tired of rehashing the same ol' ground over and over again." To my mind, all this is nothing but a tool of the enemy to wear down my resolve... my desire to keep the shield raised and the sword sharp and at-ready. It's like Jesus in the Garden asking his disciple to watch with him and pray. Twice he caught them napping, chastising them once. But the second time he saw the truth of the matter... the Truth of the Flesh... The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. I am weak. I have to constantly be lifted up, dusted off, and sent back into the fray.

And it is a fray. It is an invisible war we are engaged in. The war was decided at Calvary, but battle still rages. My side has won, but I can still be killed on the battlefield, because the enemy has no desire to see me enjoy my Lord's victory. The enemy wants me to get bogged down in religion, habitual sin, pride, wealth, worldly possessions, sex... all these and more rather than see me live a victorious life. The enemy wants me to argue pointlessly, rehashing, and retracing ground that is already covered and won. He wants me to believe I have to fight for the land upon which I stand with heels dug in. But I don't. All I have to do is stand. The ground is already mine by virtue of the fact that I am a joint heir in Christ; what is His is mine. All I have to do is stand. I have to do is plant seed. God gives the increase.

If I go to a Baptist church, it's because I hear the truth there, I feel the Holy Spirit there, and my heart is spoken-to there. But you see, I don't want to be a Baptist, I don't want to be a Methodist, or a Unitarian. I don't want to be an Episcopal, a Catholic, Jesusian, or a What-have-you... That's the Enemy's game. Dividing the Bride of Christ and getting her to lose focus by engaging in pointless struggles amongst her own number. I don't want to be identified by a religion...

Me? I just want to be a Christian.

Here then is a perfect illustration of why I see no point in engaging in endless, profitless debate about points of scripture.

Fair Warning: It's a lengthy read. The post can be found here, Answering BenT - The Unbeliever... sans comments. There is a link at the beginning that will give you lead you to the questions BenT initially raised at this blog. Following the convoluted path this post takes will be, I believe, worth the effort. I probably should have left all the comments there, but frustration got the better of me.

_____________________

BenT :


Many of your replies contain something along the lines of "well that was written for the audience of the time..." or "when people in those days observed..."

and that is exactly my point. The bible is a book written to be understood by someone in the 1st and 2nd century. Today we know mustard seeds are not small, we understand about microorganisms and astronomy. If you had tried to explain amoebic dysentery to the 12 disciples they would have had their congregations stone you for preaching about spirits and devils.

Fanatic Christians however keep trying to take the modern world and make it twist and fit itself so that it will never grow to contradict this outdated manuscript. I can't speak to the accuracy of the spiritual knowledge of the bible, but using it as a guide to physical reality will only lead one astray.

March 13, 2007 3:52:00 AM
________________


BenT:

These were in fact the verses I was thinking of when I said Jesus himself reportedly tells some of the disciples they will be alive to see the end of times.

"Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. " -- Matthew 16:28

"Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. " -- Luke 21:32-33

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 4:20:00 AM
___________________


Eric:

"I can't speak to the accuracy of the spiritual knowledge of the bible, but using it as a guide to physical reality will only lead one astray."

You are of course entitled to believe this. I naturally disagree.

The world was a very different place "in those days". They didn't have the knowledge we do, but that doesn't make their observations incorrect... only limited. Truth is uncomplicated, and many times truth is easier to find in the construction of a log cabin than in a building of glass and steel.

Matthew 16:28 can mean a couple of things: firstly, this passage is talking about the transfiguration. In all 3 of the synoptic gospels, this promise is made immediately prior to the Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-9; Luke 9:27-36). Furthermore the word "Kingdom" can be translated "royal splendor". Therefore, it seems most natural to interpret this promise as a reference to the Transfiguration, which "some of the disciples-- Peter, James, and John, would witness only 6 days later. This comes from many commentaries. Secondly, John himself, on the Isle of Patmos while in the spirit "witnessed" all the events that would come in the end time... the rapture, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven vials, world events, and the return of Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom.

Luke 21-23 is better explained by beginning at verse 7, "And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?"

Jesus spoke often enough about the end-times that prompted His disciples to ask when it would be. Jesus, in Matthew 24:36, said of that day, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

The first chapter of Hebrews does a great job of describing the relationship between the Father and Son. It is also written somewhere (I've been unable to find it) that Jesus emptied Himself of much of His glory when He came to earth; this is beautifully illustrated by the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-9 and Mark 9:2-9. Jesus doesn't say in Matthew 24:36 that HE doesn't know, but it is reasonable to say He may well have not known when He spoke those words. Since God the father and God the Son are one and the same, Location probably makes a tremendous difference as to what the Son knew, specifically, at that moment in time. But telegraphing a specific date in time when His second coming would be would likely have caused many to get lazy and not work... to not be vigilant, hence the command to watch and wait, because we do not know the hour in which the son of man will come.

What Jesus does then is give a laundry list of 'signs' and speaks of the people of that day... that generation. The generation who sees all this coming to pass at once, will not 'pass away till all be fulfilled.'

Many prophesies in the Old Testament had two applications: One firmly rooted in the day the prophesy was uttered/written, and one in the distant future... a sign to those in that faraway time of the surety of God's word. Jesus likewise spoke in this manner.

In Luke 21:20 Jesus said, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." He spoke of the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Titus. But with the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John on the Isle of Patmos, it becomes clear that this is also a reference to the time during the Great Tribulation when Jerusalem will be surrounded by her enemies once again, and overrun for a short time before Jesus Himself reappears and destroys the armies of the wicked.

March 13, 2007 11:05:00 AM
___________________


BenT:

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Jesus didn't come to his transfiguration with glory. He went with Peter James and John, who by the way were not rewarded for their works at such an event. And none of the transfiguration stories mentions angles either. They mention Moses and Elijah, but those are clearly men. I find your interpretation logically torturous.

Would it shake your faith to the roots for a document, written originally as stand alone texts, by multiple authors, over the course of centuries, to be internally inconsistent? Then I might say your faith is founded on the book and not the God that book represents.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 1:37:00 PM

___________________


Eric:

What's torturous is your objection, taken out of context and ignoring speech pattern and the natural flow of speech from one related topic to another-- though not necessarily linked.

You quote Matthew 16:27 correctly but you apply it incorrectly. How does verse 27 apply to verse 28? Sure it immediately precedes it but verse 28 is fully self-contained. Jesus finishes one pronouncement then says something new; the two statements ARE relative but not married or joined at the hip. Besides which, in my previous comment I clearly offered a second possible explanation. Here then is a third: What of His ascension into heaven? It was attended and witnessed by many, including angels. The witnesses saw him coming into 'the glory of his Father with his angels...' the fact that the next portion comes after the semi-colon, well, who's to know how long of an interval there is between Christ being received up into glory and his rewarding of the faithful?

There's nothing torturous here except this debate. You're not going to accept anything I have to say on the matter anyway. I wish that weren't so, but... I'll continue if until it runs its course.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 2:58:00 PM
___________________


Bent:

So let's go over this

Matthew 16:24-27 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

So here we have Jesus giving his stump speech "You wanna follow me, you gotta commit. It'll be hard, but you'll be rewarded in the end."

Matthew 16:28 28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Then after speaking of the far future, Jesus throws out this little line "Oh yeah some of you will see it before you die" Now he could have been speaking of next week, when he transfigured, but is that really the most logical reading of the text. I mean if it was me, I'd feel a little gypped, no angels, no rewards, just a bright light and booming voice.

Luke tells the story differently

Luke 21:5-6 5And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 6As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Jesus and the disciples are in the temple watching people tithe - rich people donating gold, a widow giving up her children. The disciples got to admiring the gold and jewels adorning the temple walls. Jesus says "you know this isn't as permanent and impressive as it looks. One day this will be an empty run down city lot."

Luke 21:7-26 7And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?...

Jesus spends verses 8-26 talking about signs of when the temple will be torn down. Considering the amount of suffering and war he describes, it is certainly understandable how some of the disciples might have thought he was talking of the far future, when in fact the temple was razed just 70 years later.

Luke 21:27-32 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 29And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

And then Jesus tells them "look for me then, I'm coming to take you home." After that there's a short story about how fig trees sprout in summer, but the key verses are 31 and 32. Jesus very definitely promised to return 1) when the fig tree sprouts 2) when the temple is torn down or 3) before all his disciples died. There is very definitely however no suggestion at all that he was talking about the transfiguration. And the words between the two promises are almost word for word exact.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 7:53:00 PM
___________________


Eric:

I readily admit I do not have all the answers. I'm no bible scholar, but I have studied the book off an on for the last 20 years. I WILL say I have a good grasp of what it says and IS SAYING.

To answer your question/argument I had to resort to books packed away in boxes (yes, I'm still living out of boxes here) and various sites on the Internet. The places I've been to agree with my second opinion on Matthew 16:28, namely, that this was fulfilled in John on the Isle of Patmos.

Here's this explanation from GodandScience.org:

"Atheists claim that there are false prophesies in the Bible, such as the one that predicts that the early saints would be there for Christ's glorious (2nd) coming, and that John would not taste death. This is the specific prophecy that they are referring to:

"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:28)

This prophecy was actually fulfilled in its entirety in the late first century. If you read the book of Revelation, you will see that John, the apostle to whom the prophecy was directed, saw Jesus coming in His glory to establish His kingdom. This is what the entire book of revelation describes - the second coming of Jesus Christ. John saw it all in a vision, as it will happen. The prophecy was fulfilled! The prophecy does not say that John would not die before Christ returned. It said that he would not die before seeing the return of Jesus Christ. What is awesome about the vision reported by John is that he did not understand what he was seeing, but reported it as he saw it. As such, he includes descriptions of a giant meteor collision with the earth, battles with mechanized machines that sound like tanks, and huge armies (200,000,000 men), which would not even be possible until at least the 20th century."

Now, I'm not calling you an atheist, I'm just quoting from the site. I've stated previously my belief that you found your arguments online somewhere, and that's fine. Neither of us are scholars for or against God. We do what we can with what we have available to us. Besides which, you never bothered to deny my assertion that you found your argument online; an assertion which, ultimately, is irrelevant. I'm told by the Bible I love so much to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..."

Now, I haven't been meek, but I've been fearful in that I greatly desire to answer your objections, whether you choose to accept the answers or not.

This Blog was not created for contentious debate, it was created to spur other believers to stand up and fight for what God has given us, and to, perhaps, persuade nonbelievers of the truth of God's word, both for fear of where these people will go if they die without Christ, and fear of their blood on my hands if I don't (Ezekiel 3:18-21) But if this means 'defending the faith with contentious debate', so be it. My bible says to go into the highways and hedges and COMPEL them to come in.

That's all I'm trying to do here. So, having said all that let me be absolutely clear on one thing: while I will seek to answer every question put forward, I will not allow this blog to become the "Eric, Ben, and Dan Show" however amusing some might find it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:08:00 AM
___________________


Bent:

I can accept your new view of Matthew 16:28. It seems a little bit pixyish but it satisfies the logical and verbal requirements of the verse.

However your argument does not address Luke 21:27-32. And when you look at those statements you have to see the similarity to Matthew 16:27-28. The words are almost exactly alike and these events are described just before the transfiguration story. Are both men relating the same episode? If so then the Revelation explanation that satisfies Matthew 16:27-28 will not also satisfy Luke 21:27-32.

I am not seeking to break your faith. I certainly do not want this to descend into acrimoniousness, but I do want to understand your belief in the infallibility of the bible.

I took these examples from The Skeptics Annotated Bible. There are hundreds more. I do not accept all their nitpicks, but if the bible is infallible, then it must be internally 100% consistent. Not only internally consistent either, it must also align with external historical and scientific data.

One day/millennium in the future a religion may be formed around the Dungeons and Dragons novels. If all those different books were bound together, would they be 100% internally consistent?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:45:00 AM
___________________


Eric:

Luke 21:27-32 does speak of His second coming, but I think it's also important to note that, as I stated previously, many such utterances have more than a single application. It's also important to consider whom He was addressing at the time.

If you go back to verse 20, the reference is clearly the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. But if the Bible is to be taken as a whole, it then becomes clear that this also refers to a time far distant and removed from 70 A.D., namely the Tribulation He often spoke of. The new Temple, which is yet to be built, will also be overrun and smashed when the enemies of Israel come a'conquering.
Jesus was not just addressing fellow Jews, but also, Jews who would soon be something completely different; though oddly and indescribably the same-- Jews who would soon be Christians.

Now, in verse 5 they were talking about the Temple and how nice it was, but He immediately says, "the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

[Flavius Josephus covers this in The Jewish War]

He is then asked what the signs will be.

Jesus, always a step ahead of His disciples gives them more than they ask. They asked about the temple-- and He DOES answer in verse 20: "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh”, but He sandwiches it in with a picture of what the world will be like much farther down the road. The reason this is obvious to those of us who believe is we DO take the Bible as a whole, and not simply a collection of 66 books written by some forty different authors over 1500(+/-) years. Especially when one considers the 'Law of First Mention' in the realm of prophetic interpretation...

"The law of first mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. When we thus see the first appearance, which is usually in the simplest form, we can then examine the doctrine in other portions of the Word that were given later. We shall see that the fundamental concept in the first occurrence remains dominant as a rule, and colors all later additions to that doctrine."

Which is where "The Fig Tree" comes in. The Fig Tree is a picture of the nation of Israel. There are several prophesies that are part and parcel with Luke 21, that describe the days in which the Messiah will come to judge the nations (the Great Tribulation as it is generally called). Israel will become a rich blooming Garden. Where once were dust and desert, fruit, flowers, and green will all but cover the land of Israel. Israel today is the largest producer of fruit and vegetable exports in the Middle East. Also, no other time in history since the Babylonian and Persian Captivities has Israel EVER been an autonomous nation... until now. The Bible also says Israel will be a 'burdensome stone' to the rest of the world, and that Jerusalem will be trodden under foot of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. And Jerusalem has been under Gentile rule from centuries before Christ was born, to 1967 when Israel captured the city. According to prophecy the 'Time of the Gentiles' is over. We are nearing the end of God's prophetic purpose.

The Bible must be consistent throughout. Each book, chapter, and verse must compliment every other book, chapter, and verse without contradiction. I have seen and read nothing to suggest the Bible is anything but complimentary in all its myriad of parts. I understand skepticism, but I also understand that languages evolve, and meaning must sometimes be diligently sought. [For a look at what I mean, check out this Interlinear Greek text of Luke 21 and decide for yourself how difficult it must have been to translate ancient Greek to modern English (pdf)] Luke 21 speaks primarily of the time when Christ will return-- all those signs will be occurring simultaneously, and they will increase as a pregnant woman's contractions; increasing in frequency and intensity until something new is born out of travail.

Secondarily, Luke 21 does speaks of Jerusalem A.D. 70, but not to the extent that it speaks of Jerusalem at the end of the age.

_____

If for no other reason, I thank you for the opportunity your questions have given me to delve into this subject and gain a little more insight into events I honestly believe are right around the corner.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 12:37:00 PM
___________________


BenT:

We can argue these two passages back and forth ad-nauseum.

I've never heard of this "Law of First Mention" it seems to me something cobbled together to link disparate passages to find truths where there may be none to be found. I could take the 2nd letter after ever begat in the bible and if I sifted and rearranged them enough I'd have a "new" biblical insight.

Let's move on to a new puzzler:

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

In fact short of Matthew 1:23 no one in the New Testament call Jesus, Emmanuel.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:59:00 PM

___________________


Eric:

The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek texts have His name as Iesous. but Jesus was a Jew, was He not? His Hebrew name is "Yahu'shuah", which is equivalent to Yehoshua, which also happened to be Joshua's name before translators got hold of it. Messianic Jews today call Him, "Yeshua"; phonetically, yeh-SHOE-uh

"Yehoshua" in Hebrew means, 'Yahweh (or "God") is Salvation', or "God Saves". It could be broken down further to simply "Salvation". My Bible's commentary has it translated as, "He shall save His people"... Which He has.

Immanuel simply means, "God with us" and this is certainly what Peter and others called Him.

Matthew 16:16
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

John 20:28
"And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."

Jesus Himself said,
"I and my father are one"
John 10:30

And also,
"...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father"
John 14:9

Martha the sister of Lazarus said,
"I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."
John 11:27

Jesus also claimed to be God in
John 8:56-58
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

Immanuel certainly fits-- as does Yehoshua.

Remember also that to a Jew the idea of another God beside Yahweh, was blasphemous at the very least. For these people to accept Him as a Son of God... as God Himself... was like asking to be put to death by the religious leaders of the day. There was a lot of debate going on over Jesus at the time, but one fact was inescapable to these people: No man could do the things Jesus did unless God were with Him and approved of Him. And to the Jew, who knew all to well that God is a jealous God and will brook no other Gods before Him, Jesus performed great miracles DESPITE claiming to BE God, and equal WITH God.

I therefore don't see a problem here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007 12:23:00 AM

___________________


BenT:

If you prophesy that a child is to be called Wilberforce, and someone later names him William, it is not the same.

Thursday, March 15, 2007 8:16:00 AM
___________________


Dan:

I think the problem lies within the claim of taking the Bible literally.

No one does. No one should.

We ALL (all of us who find any value in the teachings therein) have to evaluate any passage as to it's a literal statement, an allegory, a historical tidbit, a "historical" tidbit (written as if a history, but without necessarily sticking to exact facts - a common story-telling approach in many cultures).

We have to determine what the context is, what relevance (if any) a passage has for today, etc, etc, etc.

The problem comes when some people say "The Bible Must Be Taken Literally," when what they mean is, "You must accept the exact meaning that I have for every passage in the Bible."

So, it's not good enough for some that I try to take Jesus' teaching to "Love your enemy" literally. No. I must also agree with some that, "loving your enemy is okay, but sometimes you've really got to blast 'em to bits. And sometimes, not only your enemies, but their children and any innocent bystanders, as well."

The Bible is a great book of Truths. What many of us consider to be God's Word.

But it too often has been made into a battering ram to try to force people to agree with you on every single point.

Not it's purpose, seems to me.

March 15, 2007 8:27:00 AM
___________________


Brent:

I guess I'll weigh in here a little bit.

What is the purpose of the debate? It sounds like a democrat and republican debating various points that matter little from their own agenda. If the purpose is for truth then so be it. You both come from completely different paradigms so you will never agree or score debate points with the other. I think it is an example of what's wrong with our system.

E your do a superb job at being a scholar but your barking up the wrong tree if you think you can convince Ben of anything. And Ben you're not scoring any debate points with E. So what are you all doing? If the goal is truth you will not find it in your current state of communication. If you're out for a healthy word duel then you've hit the mark and enjoy.

Truth can only come through revelation. Study, meditation, and process are all important but these things were hidden from the "wise" and revealed to "babes." I know that sounds like an out that says I don't have to listen to Ben but so be it. I've had my fill of debates and found them unsatisfying and unproductive. I believe that debates are fine but their end result can't be vanity. We will have differences as long as we depend on our intellect first without seeking the One who wrote it. If Ben is really a seeker of truth then it will lead him to the One who has the answers if he is willing to listen. But the same goes for you and I. Maybe Ben's problem is that too many of Father's children speak for Him without having heard His voice on the matter.

b

Thursday, March 15, 2007 9:16:00 AM
___________________


Eric:

Thanks Brent. You are, of course, right. But I like Bent... work with him in fact... and I'm not willing to give up just yet. But I can limit the discussion to just this post.

Thursday, March 15, 2007 7:01:00 PM
___________________


Eric:

The bible is more than a great book of truths, Dan. For Christians it is our faith, for without that book, we HAVE no faith. Without the Bible, what faith would there be?

---

Wilberforce?

Emmanuel and Jehoshua are synonymous.

Thursday, March 15, 2007 7:04:00 PM

___________________


Dan:

"The bible is more than a great book of truths, Dan. For Christians it is our faith"

Well, as I said, for some of us, it is the Word of God. I wouldn't call it my faith, but it is the primary source where I learn about my faith (or rather, I consider God the primary source of how I learn about my faith and God has revealed God's Self through God's Word).

Friday, March 16, 2007 4:39:00 AM
___________________


Eric:

"...it is the primary source where I learn about my faith"

And as it is the only way you CAN learn about your faith, it is THE faith. For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the WORD of God. When Jude says to 'earnestly contend for the faith' he speaks of the revealed word of God. And that is exactly what the Bible is... the revealed Word of God. Without it we would have no faith.

Friday, March 16, 2007 7:44:00 AM
___________________


Dan:

It's not the only way. God reveals God's Self through the Holy Spirit in our lives. God reveals God's Self to us through God's creation. God reveals God's Self to us through our God-given reasoning and the imprint of God's nature in us.

Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, March 16, 2007 8:56:00 AM
___________________


Dan:

Without it we would have no faith?

You mean, for those who've not been exposed to the Bible, they can't believe in God? If some fascist gov't were able to destroy all the Bibles in the world, you think Christianity would be dead?

Not my faith. God is bigger than the printed Bible. The Bible is not our God, nor our faith; it is God's Word to us. But if it were gone, God would still be there reaching out, just as God was reaching out to Abraham, Noah and all those who came along pre-Bible

Friday, March 16, 2007 8:59:00 AM
___________________


Eric:


Naturally, you've missed my meaning. If there were no bible (specifically New Testament)... never written... we would have no Christian faith. It is through the Gospels and Epistles that we have our faith today.

Friday, March 16, 2007 1:02:00 PM
___________________


ER:

1. Bingo: "Then I might say your faith is founded on the book and not the God that book represents."

2. Wrong: "If there were no bible (specifically New Testament)... never written... we would have no Christian faith."

You limit God to the production of words on paper! THAT is your problem. You DO, in fact, worship the book over God himself.

Friday, March 16, 2007 9:12:00 PM
___________________


Eric:

If that is so, then Jesus too is a bibliolater. For, when confronting the Scribes and Pharisees of His day he held the word of God in very high esteem... perhaps TOO high:

"Have you not read what God said to you?... Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written... What is written in the Law? How do you read it? ...In your own Law it is written... Have you not read in the book of Moses?... It is written in the Prophets... Then what is the meaning of that which is written?... The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him... Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms... Begone, Satan! For it is written... It stands written... As it is written... On the other hand, it is written... Is it not written?"

You claim to love God and the teachings of Jesus yet you claim his Word is not to be taken seriously... not to be held in high esteem. It's most likely been corrupted over the centuries. Who can know what it really said? It can't be trusted.

I don't worship the bible. I worship God. And I hold His word in very high esteem, because all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works... Which is why it's called 'The Good Book'.

If I might make an observation at this point... you and Dan appear to have a form of Godliness, but you routinely deny the power thereof... and the efficacy of His word. How can you worship God without venerating His word? How can you be saved WITHOUT His word?

You can't. For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing BY THE WORD OF GOD...

Why do you think it's called the HOLY Bible? Because it's God? Or is it merely a repository for Godly wisdom? And if that be the case, why shouldn't we venerate it? Hold in high esteem?

Your focus is not where it should be, as were the Pharisees'. Jesus told them to "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

You and Dan are missing the forest for the trees... Just like the Scribes and Pharisees.

What does Jude 1:3 mean by "earnestly contend for the faith"? Why, even, are we to contend!? Because certain men are crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

They were "Filthy Dreamers". Seducing spirits perverting the word of God and "lead[ing] captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts".

Obeying and clinging to His word is not idolatry, clinging to ones own understanding is.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 12:23:00 AM
___________________


Dan:

"For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing BY THE WORD OF GOD."

Well, you know, in the Bible, Jesus tells us that HE is the Word of God made flesh. Jesus is the Logos.

That's what we're saying; we worship Jesus and follow Jesus' teachings. As such, I personally love the Bible and hold it to be God's written Word to us.

But we must rely upon God to reveal God's Word to us. If we just read and pick and choose what we want to believe, then we can stone gays and disrespectful children, dash babies heads against rocks, gouge out our eyes and do all manner of evil.

We must rely upon the God who gave us the Word for direction and teaching and THAT is the God we must worship.

Now, as to this accusation that ER and I "appear to have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof," you'd be doing both of us a favor if you'd let us know exactly how we're denying the power thereof.

I don't believe ER and I know that I am not intentionally denying God's power - quite the opposite. We're trying to preach the power of God's blessed grace and love. If you have reason to think otherwise, you'd be helping me out by letting me know.

If you don't have reason to think thusly, then maybe you owe us an apology for mischaracterizing us thusly.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 11:11:00 AM
___________________


Eric:

"We're trying to preach the power of God's blessed grace and love"

nuh uh, What you're trying to do, and doing a good job of it, is tear down every other believer who doesn't share your liberal view of God and Christianity. And when others tear the same down, you rarely... RARELY defend your "supposed" brothers and sisters in Christ.

Each day that passes, you and your coterie of likeminded scholars, demonstrate to me and the rest of your abused brothers and sisters in Christ, that you lack a genuine knowledge and understanding of the truth.

Our spirits do not agree.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 11:49:00 AM
___________________


Dan:

"What you're trying to do, and doing a good job of it, is tear down every other believer who doesn't share your liberal view of God and Christianity."

Again, brother Eric, I'm asking you to show me where I'm doing so. I'm not intending to do so; I'm intending to engage in a brother with whom I have a disagreement. I'm intending to discuss God's Word in our lives.

Where? Where have I or others torn down fellow believers? Disagreeing with your position is not the same as tearing you down. In fact, if I think your position is biblically wrong, aren't I doing a kindness to discuss the matter with you? Isn't this the process of divining the Word of God with the family of God?

Who has tore down others? I, who have disagreed with you, or you, who has repeatedly questioned some of our salvation (I've never done so towards you), who've called us names (most recently, "delusional redneck who worships pond scum"...Geez!) and who've misrepresented my position and then not allowed me to respond?

Where, brother, have I torn down?

Saturday, March 17, 2007 1:58:00 PM

___________________



[And that’s where I left it and deleted, out of frustration, all but what still resides within the original post. In recreating this dialog from email notifications, I took the liberty of correcting spelling and the more serious flaws in grammar (and surely missing some of both). Each original thought remains intact despite my editing.]

My intent in reposting all this is not get into an argument all over again with BenT, Dan, or ER, but only to illustrate my point that this kind of debate is largely pointless.


Here's more