Monday, September 12, 2011

An Experiment

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4.8, KJV

This article will be nice and short.

I have written several times in various places that I like a couple of analogies about the mind. My use of them is inconsistent, and even overlaps at times. Oh, well. The first one is that the mind is like a computer. It uses the information that you give it, and GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) is often a very accurate description.

The other analogy is that the mind is like a garden. I find this one to be more consistently accurate than the computer analogy, because thought seeds are planted, fed, watered, encouraged and eventually yield some kind of crop for good or ill. We need to be careful of what we receive into our thought processes because we can dwell on and nurture whatever it is.

Here is an experiment for you.
  • Establish a period of time, hopefully for more than just one day (but not too long, because then it may become a burden). I suggest a week, or three days.
  • Keep yourself from secular media influences in song lyrics, movies, television, magazines, books and so forth.
  • Fill the void with good input. Spend more time with instrumental music such as classical or jazz, listen to Christian music (I've heard some good "sermons" in Petra and other groups' lyrics), read your Bible more, get some good Christian apologetics books and that sort of thing, listen to sermons on audio (you can catch up on the resources that I keep putting on this site).
After the experiment is over, check your attitude. Has your thought life improved? Have you grown spiritually? Are you exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5.22-23)? My guess is that your answer is "yes".

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deception - A Big One

Here is a video that I feel is important to Christians to emphasize the importance of the question of origins. Originally, I was going to put it at Piltdown Superman, but realized that it is better suited for believers. Get comfy, this will take about an hour. Unless you have a downloader and grab it from YouTube, that is.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Resource: Now What?

I thought I was done with Thursday's article. Then Dr. Charles Stanley of "In Touch Ministries" caught my attention with his broadcast of "I'm Saved — Now What?" Although it does not directly apply to that article, several points in there complement it. Although it is targeted for new Christians, there is a great deal of useful information for all Christians. Even if you know the material, the occasional refresher does not hurt. And I strongly suspect that there are items in there that you had not considered.

The forty-something minute video is here, or you can listen to/download the MP3 podcasts, Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bibles for the Armed Forces

Special note for members of the US Armed forces: Thank you for your service. Second, if you would like a free Bible, you can obtain it here. A second source is to write here, and provide your name and the pertinent information.

As my regular readers know, the purpose of this Weblog is to encourage, educate, edify Christians. We are engaged in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6.12). Not only do we need to keep our own spiritual lives in order (1 Peter 5.8), but we must be presenting the gospel (Luke 24.46-47, Acts 1.8, 1 Peter 3.14-15, Jude 1.8). Our spiritual warfare is difficult enough, but at least most of us do not have people actively trying to kill us.

Soldiers are fighting for our freedom. They need spiritual comfort and support, especially since they are being attacked both physically and spiritually (including the "atheist chaplains" mockery of faith). Bibles are supposedly made available to armed forces personnel, but they decline them or lose them. When they want a Bible, it is difficult to obtain.

Do you care? Would you like to help?

The first option should be obvious to most followers of Jesus, but sometimes the obvious things need to be said: Pray. We need to pray for the members of our armed forces, and that they will be able to obtain Bibles and other spiritually-uplifting materials.

In addition to prayer, we can contribute in several ways. I spent some time going through several ministries, and believe that I found two that meet my own standards. I rejected some that did not "feel right", were too obscure, had difficult site navigation and so forth (this is July 2011, one still had not updated their 2010 material).

There are several ways to participate. Quick and easy: Donate. Biblica has a program to purchase New Testaments and get them to military chaplains so they can distribute them to personnel. Soldiers Bible Ministry has a similar program, but goes further than just a New Testament. One of their partners is the aforementioned Biblica.

If you are ambitious and want a higher level of involvement, get your church involved (through proper channels, check with your pastor or board member). Your church can express their gratitude for the service members as well as show concern for their spiritual well-being.

The next level of participation is personal: Buy one and ship it. If you know someone in the military, you can buy it yourself and then ship it directly to the service member. Biblica has several Bibles to choose from. You could also buy one or several for yourself as reminders that we are in a spiritual war.

Now we come to a part that is a dilemma for me. All of the above is good, and you can stop here. At this point, I am going to suggest some special military Bible purchases and use my affiliate links. I know it looks tacky.

The fact is, I am doing it for your convenience because it is the most effective way to do "show and tell". To leave me out of this, take a few steps: Click on the link, highlight and copy the product name, close that window, go back to the site, paste the product name in the search box and go. I am saying this because I am quite serious about not wanting to make a commission on Bibles for soldiers.

But whatever you do, I hope you will pray and contribute so that our military people can have Bibles available. You can examine the sites linked above.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Do You View Genesis?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
My regular readers know that I am a biblical creationist. Now, don't panic and run off, hear me out, OK? Some of my past articles (like this one) have dealt with the problems associated with compromising with Genesis.

I need to clarify something at this point.

Many people are overwhelmed with the pressure to compromise because they are told what to think, that evolution is true, the earth is old, the universe is ancient &c. Many do not really think about it at all, but simply go with the flow. Others see the problems that occur when they tamper with a plain reading of Scripture, so they force-fit a gap between the first two verses of Genesis, invoke the "Day-Age Theory", say that the first few chapters of Genesis is allegorical and that those of us who believe that it means what it says are fringe-group nuts.

One apologist said something that angered me quite a bit. He said that he does not believe in evolution, and will not let "science" tell him how to interpret Scripture. Great! However, (you knew there would be a "however", did you not?)  he could not believe in a recent creation because it did not fit Big Bang cosmology, which he felt was sufficiently established. That angered me. Not only did he contradict himself and promptly let science philosophy influence his view of Scripture, but he did not realize that he was doing violence with a great deal more of the Scriptures. Also, he was out of touch with the fact that the Big Bang theory is not established, but disputed among scientists. I felt that he casually compromised the Bible to fit science philosophy, and that I could not trust him any longer to give me useful apologetics information. Perhaps I should not have been surprised after reading that dreadful book on the New Age that he wrote several years ago...

Some people have not casually accommodated the whims of the current trends of science. They believe that the universe is old. I would in no wise consider them incompetent or that they are not really Christians. (That is the clarification that I wanted to make, the purpose of this article.) But I would really like for them to consider the implications of their positions and how it relates to Scriptures.

Especially if these people believe that the Bible really is the Word of God, and is their final authority.

I will not stifle myself about a few basic facts:
  • Yom יוֹם means a literal day when it is with an indicator like a number, evening, morning and so on. When this happens throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, it is accepted that yom means a literal day (with very few possible exceptions). "And there was evening and there was morning, one day", has three indicators. Why should the first part of Genesis be the exception? It means literal day.
  • Some people want to say that "day" was a long period of time. Well, yom means and indefinite period of time when the indicators (such as numbers) are not there. To justify this, people will say, "The Bible says one day is with the Lord as a thousand years". Read the rest of 2 Peter 3.8, Zeke. It also says "and a thousand years as one day". Keep going, read the context. This verse is not attempting to define "day".
  • Still not convinced? Exodus 20.11 tells us outright that God made everything in six days, and rested on the seventh day. He did this as an example for us. He did not work for six thousand years and rest for one thousand years. We would have some extremely rough work weeks with that exegesis!
  • You're calling Jesus a liar. That's right, I said it! In fact, you're in a bad place with the New Testament, because the early chapters are the most quoted passages. Adam was a real person (1 Cor. 15.45, Jude 1.14) the flood of Noah's time really happened (1 Peter 3.20). Need I go on?
Do you see how one compromise leads to another, and can affect our understanding of the entire gospel message? Where is your authority? Who are you going to trust? Isaiah 40.8

I'll be back in another יוֹם or so.
Addendum:I just found this excellent article on the
subject and hand, and strongly recommend that you click here.