Friday, April 22, 2016

I Am Offended!

Be patient, I haven't decided exactly what I am offended by yet. You can't rush these things. Being offended can be very lucrative if you do it right, but you have to pick your offense carefully.
Being a white, middle aged, Christian man, I don't have a lot to choose from. I guess I could do like Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who just decided she was black one day and started railing about “White Privilege.” I guess you can do that now; she became president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.
It's also now possible to decide when I wake up in the morning which sex I want to be that day. I've always said I was a lesbian trapped in a man's body. I could put on a dress and try following a 12 year old girl into the ladies room and then sue her father after he beats the hell out of me. But that wouldn't be a case of me being offended. That would just be me getting the daylights beaten out of me for acting like a pervert. Besides, not only do I look horrible in a dress (never mind how I know this), I also have a serious aversion to pain.
I'm afraid I can't just decide I'm younger than my driver's license says. My back won't let me. It's also hard to get offended by people treating me like I'm old when that usually manifests itself as a 15% discount at hotels and restaurants.
It doesn't do any good to be offended as a Christian. Offending Christians has been a national past time in this country for as long as I can remember. Everything from a cross in a jar of urine being called art to the South Park pilot being a Christmas episode of Baby Jesus in a knock down-drag out with Santa Claus. OK, it was really funny. But it was also very offensive. I hate it when they do that.
I understand why people would make fun of Christians. After all, we believe in a book with dragons, unicorns (yes, they're in there but they're not pretty) and fish that can swallow a man whole and then spit him out alive three days later. Not to mention God being born as a man for the expressed purpose of being tortured and killed. ...and that's the good news. What I don't quite get is: if you put all of this craziness in a movie, people would flock to see it. It's true! Just look at how well The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston did at the Box office, and that was just one little snippet. But for some reason, nobody seems to want to read the Book, knowing full well that the movie never does the book justice.
There are reasons why people don't want to read the Bible. For openers, it's long. Really long. In fact, it's not even a book. It's a collection of 66 books written by 40 different authors. It's also a pretty tough read. If you start from the beginning (Genesis), you only get four chapters in before the genealogies start. I HATE those. Adam begot Seth, then Seth begot Enosh, then Enosh begot Cainan...and begot...and begot...and begot...and every time you think you're through with them, another bunch starts. I keep hearing about all these new translations people are coming up with like the gender-neutral Bible, etc. I wonder if anybody has come up with one that just does away with the genealogies. That would be a lot shorter Bible. That's probably what the Reader's Digest Condensed Bible does, though I worry about what else they might have left out. As it turns out though, there's actually some pretty cool stuff hidden in those genealogies, but you've really got to dig for them. It's just hard to fight through it.
Then, there's all that talk about how God expects us to live. The Ten Commandments (not the movie, we're talking about real commandments) and all that. That seems to offend everybody. They threw a judge in jail for refusing to remove a copy of them from the courthouse lawn. I guess the very sight of it was forcing people into therapy. Given its rules against lying and stealing, it must have been creating a hostile work environment for lawyers.
It's amazing to me that during the 70's I kept hearing, “you can't legislate morality.” Yet that is exactly what is being done now. But it is a completely different morality than what is in the Bible. In fact it's pretty much diametrically opposed to it.
The Bible says “you shall not lie with a man as with a woman (you know what it means). It is an abomination.” That's the Bible's morality. Today's legislated morality says if a man wants to sleep with another man, you have to cater to them or you will be run out of business.
  The Bible says “you shall not kill.” Today's legislated morality says a woman has an absolute right to kill the child in her womb any time she wants and if you so much as try to talk her out of it, you could be arrested.
The Bible says, ”a woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination”. Today's legislated morality says that if a man want to dress up like a woman, you have to let him in the women's bathroom and locker room.
As I write this, I can already hear all the arguments about the Old Testament not applying today, and I have no right to judge whom someone wants to sleep with or what they want to wear.
Back up a minute! I never meant to imply that anyone should follow these Biblical principles if they don't want to. God knows I don't follow them even to the extent I feel like I should. (Forget about the dress already!) My point is that a morality IS being legislated. It's called “Political Correctness.”
You don't actually have to believe what I believe about the Bible to be a moral person. However, you would have to be politically incorrect. Political correctness was invented specifically to destroy every piece of decency and common sense in this country, and it's working.
This country has gone insane. How else can you explain all the hoopla over global warming while NASA says the global ice caps are actually larger than they were in 1979; Americans are starving all over this country while the government sends Billions of dollars to countries that hate America for “humanitarian aid”; our food is filled with chemicals I can't even pronounce; Americans who pay ZERO in federal income taxes scream and protest about others who are not paying “their fair share”; a presidential election featuring a woman being investigated by the FBI for more crimes than I can even enumerate, a professed socialist, a man everybody knows wasn't born in this country, and a Billionaire reality TV star who brags that while politicians have all been bought, he's the one that's been buying them. Then there's the homosexual community defending Islam when Islamic law says all homosexuals must be killed. I know the Old Testament says that, too (so their distaste for the Bible is understandable) but the Muslims are actually doing it.
So what can I possibly be offended by that isn't politically sanctioned? Make no mistake, I'm plenty offended. But in the current political climate, the things I'm offended by makes my being offended  offensive.  I'm beginning to think, politically speaking, the most offensive thing around is in fact, me. I'm afraid that would look pretty funny on a protest sign: STOP ME BEFORE I THINK AGAIN!
But in a country where the Federal government pays large farm subsidies to suburban families for the grass in their back yard, pays farmers 2 billion dollars NOT to farm their land, spent $350,000 last year sponsoring NASCAR driver David Gilliland and ran one of the internet's largest child pornography sites last year with 215,000 registered users and more than 23,000 explicit images and videos available so they could make 25 arrests, maybe I could get a government subsidy to picket my own front yard to try to force myself to stop thinking. If that sounds ridiculous to you, then it might just work.
Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why Would I Believe In the Bible?

     After all, it's one wild book. It's got seas splitting down the middle so people could walk through it, ax heads floating, asses talking (that would be donkeys, not...never mind), giants, fallen angels marrying women, virgins giving birth, folks walking on water, people rising from the dead, man! Has it got some stories!
I figured after the last blog, and all the talk about piles of empirical data on the side of atheist evolutionists, I might want to talk about what the Bible has that would cause me to believe in it.
There was a story on the internet about someone suing Italy for the Romans killing Jesus. I commented that nobody killed Jesus. He gave up His life voluntarily so that we might be saved from our sins. Someone posted back and asked if I knew how ridiculous that sounded. I had to write back and say that I did. I didn't want to write a two thousand word essay explaining why I believed such a ridiculous idea, so I just suggested that he read the Bible if he was interested in knowing the details. In the two years since, I've felt like I should have written the essay. I guess this is that essay.
I really don't expect to change anyone's mind with this. I've figured out that people believe what they want to believe, and unless they are looking to be convinced, you're not going to convince them it's daytime if you show them the sun. The Bible can be easily proven a hundred different ways to be the Word of God, but if you don't want to believe it, you just aren't going to.
This blog is for people that do believe, or at least want to, if someone would just show them one piece of proof.
I read a long comment by a guy who said that Christians don't think. They are not allowed to. If you think, then you will doubt. If you have a single doubt, then you can't be saved because salvation requires absolute faith.
Well, I think. I also listen. I've found out that no matter what you've experienced, there is a way to discount it. I've mentioned before, Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” Everything in my life can be seen as a miracle...or not.
I've been told that I believe because that's what I've been taught. Others don't believe because they've been taught not to. So who's right?
I will tell you that everything that is written in the Bible that can be verified one way or the other has been proven to be true. Others have told me that isn't true. That all kinds of scientific evidence has been collected contradicting the Biblical account. I say that scientific evidence is either misinterpreted or fraudulent.
I can tell you, and this is not hypothetical, that science has found a link between abortion and breast cancer. If you believe in abortion rights, you will no doubt tell me that is fraudulent.
The point is: Unless you've experienced it personally, everything you think you know is hearsay. We can trade this stuff back and forth all day, with each person claiming the other has been lied to. To Christians who think – like me, all this stuff can cause you to wonder if maybe you do believe in fairy tales. After all, everything can be explained away...almost.
For those Christians, like me who probably think too much, there is one place you can turn for proof.
With that one word, I've probably lost a whole lot of readers. (Actually, I wish I had a whole lot of readers to lose.)
You see, the Bible, among other things is a history book. Written over two thousand years ago, it presents a complete history of Israel, from the beginning of time to the end of the world. There are those that will tell you the Bible was really written in the 4th century AD by the Catholic Church. I always find this argument amusing. If the Catholic Church wrote the Bible, you would think that some of their doctrine would be found in there somewhere. The fact is, the Catholic Church turned itself inside out for centuries trying to keep the Bible out of the hands of the masses for fear they would find out that the church's teachings and the Bible have virtually nothing in common. But that's OK. What's a few hundred years between friends. You can say it was written eighteen hundred years ago and it would still be amazing what it says about Israel.
To believe the Bible, you must believe that every word of it was written by men who were led by the Holy Spirit. In other words: God.
Now God, being omniscient knows everything. He alone knows the future in its entirety. So an easy way to test whether the Bible is the Word of God is to see how it relates to what has actually been  going on. Controversy swirls over whether this thing or that thing actually happened or if it actually went down according to the Bible's telling of it. But when it comes to Israel, it's pretty easy to check the facts.
Let's take a quick look at what the Bible says about the nation of Israel. I try not to do a whole lot of “chapter and verse” because we're just having a discussion here and I've seen an incredible amount of garbage being sold using chapter and verse. What I like to do when I'm researching something is to take the chapter and verse that's given and go read the whole chapter. I get a little better context that way and a lot of times, I end up learning something I didn't even intend to.
With that in mind, you can go to the forth chapter of Deuteronomy and read where God, even as the brand new nation of Israel is preparing to cross the Jordan and take possession of the land, is already telling them that the day would come when they would anger Him to the point of throwing them from the land and making it desolate, while what's left of the children of Israel will be scattered all over the world. The first few chapters of Ezekiel make the same point and go into a little more detail, showing that they would be chased around for centuries by folks intent on killing them all off.
Several of these people are in the Bible itself. Haman comes to mind, from the book of Ester. Daniel talks about the “abomination that brings desolation.” History has shown that to be Antiochus IV Epiphanes from around 170 BC. I love bringing this guy up, mainly because I finally figured out how to pronounce his name. Daniel prophesied about him over six hundred years before he was born. He brought on the revolt of the Maccabees that gave rise to the Hanuka celebration, and Jesus uses him as a model for the anti-Christ.
Then the Romans in 70 AD sacked Jerusalem and tore down the temple, just like Jesus said they would do and in 135 AD the Romans expelled the Jews from Jerusalem, tore down the city and put up another city with a whole different name: Ælia Capitolina. Suddenly, Israel and particularly Jerusalem no longer exist.
This gave rise to all sorts of bizarre interpretations of the Bible. Early church leaders were intensely antisemitic. They began teaching that Israel had been judged by God for killing Jesus and that the church now replaced Israel in all the prophesies concerning future events. The church now receives all God's blessings as related in the Old Testament and the Jews have received all the curses. This was all very easy to sell because Israel no longer existed.
During the Middle Ages, Jerusalem got its name back as the crusaders and the Muslims fought over control of the “City of Our Lord.” While the two groups fought battles all over the area, the one thing they had in common was they both loved killing Jews. The Protestant soldiers used to hold contests to see how many Jewish babies they could fit onto a single sword.
Then there were the French, Spanish, and Portuguese Inquisitions which mainly were concerned with converted Jews who were accused of failing to quit being Jews. They would still observe the Sabbath on Saturday, or celebrate Passover or whatever. Since before the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the church was more concerned with not having anything in common with the Jews than they were with observing the teachings in the Bible.
Then we had Hitler. He was so Satanically obsessed with killing off the Jewish race that he actually succeeded in garnering sympathy for the Jews. Looking back through history, that was quite a trick.
Through all of this, it became easier and easier to discount the Bible as a collection of cool stories that couldn't possibly have actually happened, other than a few historical points here and there.
Then a funny thing happened. On May 14th 1948, Israel was suddenly reborn as a Jewish nation again. Just as the Bible said it would in Isiah chapter 66 (“Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?”), in Ezekiel, chapters 33, 36 and 37 and the 31st chapter of Jeremiah, among other places. You will note that these three books were written during the Babylonian captivity, but not all that is said can be applied to the Israel that existed between their return from that captivity and the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. For instance: the quote that I snuck in above from Isiah, and the repeated reference to them being scattered all over the world. In the eleventh chapter of Isiah it says, “The Lord shall set His hand again a second time to recover the remnant of His people.” I encourage you to read these chapters in a good study Bible. Read the footnotes and chase down the references supplied.
Now, I fully understand that nobody likes Israel. Nobody ever liked Israel. I said I wouldn't do this, but you gotta check out Psalm 83:4 – They have said, “Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” As you read the next few verses of that psalm, those tribes listed represent the five nations (look them up) that all attacked Israel on May 15th, 1948 – the very day after the United Nations voted Israel into existence. Israel didn't even have a single tank. At its narrowest point, it was only nine miles wide. If the armies assembled against it could have only managed to move through those nine miles, they would have cut the new nation in half and victory would have been assured.
But NO!...They couldn't get it done.
Over the next 25 years, Israel was attacked again and again, yet the attacks only served to increase the size of the nation. Now we hear all these reports about how the Jews are illegally occupying the land and how they are oppressing the Palestinians and on and on and on. The stories I've heard about the Zionist conspiracies defy the imagination. They are behind everything – I mean EVERYTHING that is wrong in this world.
I'm not here to make a political argument, though it does seem a little unreasonable to me to begrudge a people their own country with a land mass that would qualify as the seventh smallest state in America. It's size is somewhere between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. But God didn't grant this land to the Jews because they were such wonderful people. God promised this land to Jacob (Israel) and his descendants as an ever lasting inheritance because Abraham, Jacob's grandfather was His friend.
So to sum it all up: Israel historically, militarily, politically and logically has no business being there. Of all the stories in the Bible, the very existence of Israel today is about the most unbelievable. Yet there it is – just like the Bible said it would be and despite every attempt to make it go away.
When they succeed in destroying Israel, then you can try to convince me that the Bible isn't in fact, the Word of God.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Religion of Science

     Christians are anti-science. I hear that all the time. Scientists have learned all these things about the earth, space, the origin of life and Christians are just ignorant. They cling to their ancient stories and fairy tales and refuse to accept the facts that science has produced.
     The fact is that science, by definition, is the art of observation. What they pass off as science now is a collection of theories and speculations that require leaps of faith far more astounding than anything a Christian would have to make.
     They can tell you how the universe began: In the beginning there was nothing. Then, it exploded.
     They can tell you where life came from...kind of. Something about a primordial soup, some mysterious proteins, some sort of energy was applied and voilá! We have life. They don't know what kind of energy. They don't know where the proteins came from. They don't know the details because no one was there. Try as they might, they can't reproduce it in a laboratory. We just have to take their word for it...on faith.
     They can tell us where we (people) came from: Evolution. The holy grail of science. Make no mistake, science has become a religion. The religion that has been established by a government that is constitutionally forbidden from establishing a religion. If you don't believe it is a religion, try questioning any of their tenets of faith and see what happens. You will be ridiculed, vilified, ostracized, boycotted, and stripped of whatever scientific credentials you may have had. If they could legally burn you at the stake, they would.
     Look what happened to Kansas in 1999 when they had the audacity to make the teaching of evolution non-mandatory. They were threatened with lawsuits. Publishers of science text books boycotted the state and refused to sell the state's school districts text books. It didn't take long before the state buckled under the pressure. Then in 2005, they tried to introduce a Critical Analysis of Evolution lesson plan. This time, the threats and ridicule stopped them before it could even be implemented.
     Yet there are major flaws in Darwin's pet theory. It flies in the face of the second law of thermal dynamics which states that everything, without an outside influence, moves from a state of order to disorder. Darwin's theory states just the opposite: That we started with a single cell organism that over time grew ever more complex until that single cell became the parent, as it were, of every plant and animal on earth. It would be the same as throwing everything from a junk yard into a giant cement mixer and having a fully functional Boeing 747 airliner come out. You mention this to proponents of Darwin and they will tell you that you are discounting the time factor. That given enough time, anything can happen. Wrong! Time only makes it worse. Given enough time, what you would have is dust.
     Then there is the law of bio-genesis. I love this one. It states that life can only come from life. It cannot be produced any other way. This is the law that is killing the Darwin advocates. They are determined to prove this law false. All by itself it says Darwin may have sniffed a few too many plants during his botanical voyage on the Beagle. The problem for evolutionists is, the more they try to disprove it, the more they actually prove it.
     But if you intend to work in any field of science, you best not mention any of this. It's BLASPHEMY! There is no other way to put it. You might as well tell a Catholic that the Pope isn't infallible.
     There is a whole list of professors who have lost their job at major universities for even mentioning “Intelligent Design.”
     A school of thought is emerging that people were actually seeded on this planet by an alien race from somewhere in space. This idea isn't gaining much traction, but you can at least explore the idea without losing your job. Apparently, any thought is worth exploring as long as it doesn't mention God.
I've been trying to figure out exactly when the scientific community became so hostile to faith in God. So hostile that they are willing to manipulate evidence, lie about fossil records, and shout down anyone who would suggest that the myriad intricate systems necessary for the human body to function could not have happened by accident, or chance.
     Joseph Lister, Robert Boyle, Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Lord Kelvin (the guy that came up with absolute zero temperature), Louis Pasteur (the man that invented pasteurization), Francis Bacon (NOT the guy that turned pork bellies into delicious breakfast food. He was actually the man that developed the Scientific Method), Johann Kepler, James Simpson, Gregor Mendel (Genetics), Leonardo Da Vinci, the list goes on and on of great scientists and inventors who believed in God. Even Albert Einstein famously said “the more I study science, the more I believe in God.”
     Then in the nineteenth century, a geologist (Charles Lyell), a couple of botanists (Joseph Hooker & Asa Gray) and Charles Darwin, who's biography has him as a botanist and a geologist as well as a zoologist, all got to know each other. The botanists had a problem. They were trying to figure out how forty different species of plants seem to grow only in the Eastern part of North America and in Japan, among other apparent geographic anomalies. The geologist, for his part had come up with a revolutionary idea for how the earth formed all the different geological features it has. This idea has become known as Uniformitarianism. That really is a word, I swear! It basically says that all the processes that shaped the earth are still active today. This line of thinking would necessarily mean that the earth has been forming for a long, long time. Longer, by far than the amount of time man has been on it. This kinda conflicts with the account in Genesis, and in fact he left his position as the head of the geology department at King's College because it was a Church of England-based college and he said he wanted to “free the science from Moses.”
     The four men, all highly regarded in their fields, got to know each other and traded notes until they came up with a theory, brilliantly articulated in Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, which appeared to solve all of their puzzles concerning the different yet similar species they had observed all over the globe. All they had to do was delete God from the equation. If they considered the Biblical account of creation... Well, they'd have to keep thinking, wouldn't they? If they would have kept thinking, or maybe talked to somebody in one of the other fields of science, they might have found out that the thing doesn't work out mathematically. But hey, they were on a roll.
The debates on the theory started before the book was even published. All the debates however, centered on philosophical, religious, and methodological differences all the participants had. The Evolution proponents won all these debates because they had “empirical evidence” on their side. That means they could bury their opponents in data. ...and we all know that data, if you torture it long enough, will confess to anything. Those arguing from a religious position were arguing from a view of the Bible and God that had become so skewed over the centuries that they probably did more damage to faith in God than the evolutionists did.
     Now we have Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, Stephen Hawking (believes in extra-terrestrial life, but not God), Carl Sagan (also believes in aliens from outer space), Richard Dawkins, P.Z. Meyers and Christopher Hutchens. This list goes on for a ways, too, but I noticed that the names I recognize are mostly great science fiction writers (I can't tell you how many Isaac Asimov books I've read) and theoretical physicists. Stephen Hawking seems to be everybody's favorite. He's definitely mine. He says, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing.
Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” No leaps of faith there. Of course we just popped up out of nothing.
These are all people of vastly superior intellect. Just ask them. Stephen Hawking claims that he can think in eleven dimensions. They have all fallen so much in love with their own genius that they believe we don't need God. We have them.
     They have their little club where any scientific idea must be “peer reviewed” before it can even be published in the scientific journals. So if you write something that agrees with their thinking, your ideas are allowed to be considered scientifically valid. If you have an idea that helps to cover up one of the holes in their logic, then you're a genius. If you mention anything that might suggest the line of thinking they started down a hundred and fifty-odd years ago is going the wrong way, you are labeled a Creationist and anti-science.
     I'm sorry. There isn't a Christian anywhere trying to say that E does not equal MC2. There are however, an unfortunately influential group of so-called scientists who not only claim that God doesn't exist, but will not tolerate anyone who would dare say that He does. Has their argument proven so flimsy against real physical science that they can no longer tolerate debate on the subject?
     I'll leave you with another Einstein quote... “There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” I live according to the latter. Then again, I don't worship at the altar of Charles Darwin.