The Mediterranean has always been one of my favorite places in all the world. I love the water, the reefs, and particularly how the Alps come right to the coast in France and Italy. There is a Bible character, however, for whom that sea was a horrific, near death experience: Jonah.
Jonah was cast overboard and swallowed by a sea creature especially prepared by God for that task. Jonah cried out to God from an unimaginably terrifying place: “out of the belly of hell cried I.” (Jonah 2:2)
Jonah was inside that creature for around seventy-two hours. (The ancient Hebrews idiomatically counted a part of a day as a whole day, so that ‘three days and three nights’ could have been as short as 38 hours.) That whole time, Jonah was moving. He had no understanding of that movement. He just knew he was in a hellish place from which he did not expect to escape.
I have observed Gray Whales migrating off the coast of California. These giant creatures average about five miles per hour in their migratory journeys. Humpback Whales travel at three to six miles per hour, and Blue Whales cruise at three to twelve miles per hour. That gives us an average speed of a little over five miles per hour for migrating whales. If we assign that speed to Jonah’s creature and multiply that figure by the duration of the journey, we find that Jonah was thrown overboard around 400 miles from shore. A speed of three miles per hour would place Jonah’s overboard experience at just over two hundred miles. It doesn’t matter much for our purposes here. What we can establish is that Jonah was out of sight of land, and being thrown overboard there was for him a death sentence. It was, however, so much more than that.
Jonah may have had a very curious take on this amazing experience. After all, he expected to die: “I will look again toward thy holy temple.” But did Jonah see this amazing experience as something beside “the belly of hell?” He may well have. Consider something else that he says: “all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.” Whether or not Jonah saw any element of salvation in the isolation of the fish’s belly, that fish for him, whether he knew it or not, was his only hope of making it alive to terra firma.
After three days in the bowels of this great fish, “God spake to the creature and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” None of us can imagine Jonah’s condition or state of mind at this moment. His skin was no doubt bleached by the strong digestive acids of the fish. His hair may have been gone. Without question, he probably was traumatized beyond description, and absolutely looked the part. After all, he is described as “vomit.”
For me, the principal point in this account is simple and I think consistently overlooked: the great fish that swallowed Jonah was his deliverance! Without that fish, Jonah would have drowned at sea and never been heard from again. Understandably, there is no indication in the biblical narrative of Jonah’s account that this concept ever entered into his thoughts.
Many people have been “vomited out” of an abusive church. There they are on the beach after having cried out to God that, “the earth with her bars was about me for ever.” Perhaps this was Jonah’s description of the great fish’s ribs that enclosed him like a cage. Perhaps for someone today it was an abusive religious system that demanded far more from you than God ever has and then vomited you up on a barren shore when your usefulness to them had been exhausted. From God’s perspective, however, I wonder if what came from what Jonah called “the belly of hell” was perhaps the sweetness rising to a Father’s ears that his son now needed Him more than at any other time in his life and was crying out to him in a powerful, anguished and passionate way.
For me, the lesson from Jonah is simple, quite relevant to my life and easy to apply. It gives me a comfort and a level of understanding that what I have been through, though at times hellish, was in fact God’s transportation for me to the shores of His will for my life. It brings to me the perception that what often lies between His purpose for my life and my willingness to express and live that perfect, divine will may be a sojourn in the “belly of hell.” Maybe for you and I, what we saw as a death sentence in such a place was in fact a ticket to the shores of God’s will for our lives where we could one day bless others in remarkable and miraculous ways.
“And the floods compassed me about.
Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; “
“ The waters compassed me about, even to the soul:
the depth closed me round about,
the weeds were wrapped about my head.”
“I went down to the bottoms of the mountains;
the earth with her bars was about me for ever:
yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.”
“ When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord:
and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.” Jonah
If you have been alive for any length of time, surely you have noticed great changes in our world.
If you are too young to judge this for yourself, find someone old enough to intelligently tell you what kinds of changes and what degrees of changes have affected western culture in the last few decades.
We have put a man on the moon, witnessed a revolution in communication, and brought comfort and luxury to ordinary people. We have elevated standards of living to the point that those now in poverty live better than did kings centuries ago. Yet ask yourself in sincerity: has the quality of our lives really improved? Are we happier, more stable and endued with more hope for our future?
I am one who believes that measuring the quality of life by such things as the stability of family units, the common moral denominator we share, our immersion in materialism, the quality of public education, and the music and art we seek speak loudly on behalf of the decline in the quality in our culture. The big questions are “why?” and “what can be done about it?”
The “why,” I believe, is easily answered. Ever since the roles of pope and emperor were separated centuries ago, the chasm between the secular and religious has widened. The world since has taken the highest moral ideals in its history and relegated them to a reservation called the church.
Here on this reservation the church remains relatively safe from persecution by secularist, so long as she knows her place. On the reservation, churches are given the license to operate in the quiet pastures of societal irrelevance, asking only an occasional benediction of her ministers at a ballgame or luncheon. This “pat-on-the-head” approach to religion, sad to say, suits most churches just fine.
Seeking only identity, acceptance, and tax exemptions, the church expects little to change in the world as the result of her convictions or influence. God’s mandate to “compel them to come” is an imperative that had found its way into the great ecclesiastical garage sale.
The thirst in the human soul for truth that may have once existed, however, has never been quenched. It simply has been forgotten and replaced with an IV bag of secular saline solution with the occasional vitamin thrown in. Preachers who preach in sterile generalities, dispensing the waters of life in atomizers abound. The dynamic, convicting messages of the “Old Time Religion” have been relegated to stories Grandpa tells. That has earned Grandpa the pat on the head as well, but if you look closely into Grandpa’s eyes, you will see that he remembers what we have forgotten.
A little biblical perfume in the church seems to satisfy, though deep inside of us, our souls still thirst. Let’s face it, most church leaders are content to perpetuate the system which has given them acceptance, position, influence, a modicum of respect and a pension.
The great surrender I am describing comes on many levels.It is on a world level, for most churches have surrendered their redemptive mission. Their messages and convictions are echoes of secularism, and their members are indistinguishable from the world in which they live in nearly every way.
The capitulation of church power in our land has had to have two main prerequisites: centralization of authority and dispassionate congregations content to delegate away their God-given responsibilities. Centralization of power, a process that perpetuates itself, is always the mechanism of ecclesiastical control and historically the foundation of evil.
When a constituency is content to delegate the supreme responsibility they have as believer-priests and guardians of truth, the focus of power will become smaller, not larger. Given man’s nature, that is ALWAYS a bad thing.
All leaders are human beings and need a system of checks and balances to operate properly and with accountability. Sadly, Americans have either abdicated or delegated their responsibility in almost every area of their lives, and this includes in church.
Machines do our work, television and the Internet entertains and informs us and preachers spoon feed us the spiritual pablum that few people sitting a pew have ever verified for themselves.
It is no wonder that few Americans can tell us why they have rights and few church members can tell you with authority and conviction why they believe what they have been taught.
Both have delegated away the responsibility that was given to them in a sacred trust. Once relinquished, it is rarely returned.
In the medieval university, all knowledge was ultimately unified, hence the word “university.” The working assumption was that when all the diversities of leaning were presented, they found an ultimate center in God.
Now, the schools have replaced all absolutes in human behavior with a fetid bog called “moral relativism.” Every man is now a god unto himself. Like any mutation then, the organism is always degraded and genetically compromised.
The result is that college graduates can run mega-computers, but can’t manage their own lives. Taps is sounding for the Renaissance man. What is my answer? Look back in our cultural record and honestly evaluate what made people happy and stable, what made the economy prosper, what made the family strong and why Grandpa has that sad longing in his eye when he talks about the “Old Time Religion.”
In every honest analysis will be a foundation set on the bedrock of the Judaeo-Christian ethic. This was the core belief of our Founding Fathers, and we abandon it at our own peril.
God made a promise to the spiritual Renaissance man: “…whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” It is time to reclaim that promise while we still can.
Our country has undergone a seemingly indescribable degeneration of moral values in recent decades, the result of which seem to occupy the fist ten minutes of every evening’s local and national news broadcasts. The clearly distinguishable upswing in violent crime in the last thirty years (up 544%), sexually transmitted diseases (up 226%), unwed teenage others (up 553%), divorce rates (up 117%), and SAT scores (down 9%), all began their swings in the very same year. The year was 1963. Prior to 1963 violent crime was growing only at the rate of population growth. Divorce rates were actually declining. Teenage pregnancies had declined slightly between 1961 and 1963, as had sexually transmitted diseases. S.A.T., scores had taken a noticeable upturn in that same period. Then, as if on cue, everything began to change at the precise same time –1963.
What is significant about 1963? The year 1963 clearly marks the point in our nation’s history in which religious principles were officially separated from public life in America. That is the year in which the Supreme Court made the decision for all of us that God was not longer welcome in our public schools. It became a violation of federal law to pray in schools. America fired God!
Up until 1963 graphs charting the progress of all the moral indicators listed above exhibited a very gentle slope. They kept pace with population growth, and little more. Before 1963 it was safe to let your children play in public places. Child abduction was unheard of in mainstream America, as an epidemic of drug abuse, mass killings in public places, rampant alcoholism, divorce as the norm, AIDS, and the epidemic of violent crime that now grips our land. The interesting and unmistakable element in all of this is this strikingly clear line of demarcation from relative peace to moral anarchy. The climb began out of the plains of serenity that characterized life in America three decades ago to the peaks of statistical horror, chronicled nightly on out televisions at a strikingly precise moment in time: 1963!
In 1963 we outlawed the moral compass that had kept America on its charted course for over two hundred years. We denied our moral heritage and rewrote American history to fit the agenda of the Leftist types who did not in the least represent the views of grassroots America. We forgot that America had a religious underpinning, and that our nation’s founding fathers were deeply religious men. We deliberately obscured the fact that they had looked to God for guidance in the critical days of America’s birth and infancy. We forgot, for instance, that George Washington had said, “It is impossible to govern without God and the Bible.” We tore out the page of history where Abraham Lincoln had written, “But for the Bible, we could not know right from wrong.” We obliterated the statement made by John Adams, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.”
America, led by the liberal-left-dominated media in alliance with radical leftist groups like the A.C.L.U., has been sold the mistaken notion that the constitution provides for the separation of church and state. No one seems to bother actually checking the United States Constitution. If they did, they would find that nowhere in this great document is the phrase “separation of church and state” to be found. Its origin is a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a friend in Connecticut . Armed with only an anti-religious bias and a deviously skewed version of history, the Radical Left has dedicated itself to making the lowest imaginable common moral denominator America’s only moral foundation. In other words, if enough people behave a certain way, that behavior becomes socially legitimized. Sadly, no civilization in the history of the world has long survived with this moral philosophy.
We have relegated religion to a remote reservation in the hopes that there, she can live out her life peacefully in obscure, irrelevant anonymity. Then , we will be free to continue in the directions charted only by the voracious appetite of our senses without the annoying presence of a lingering national conscience packaged in the religious principles that have guided us for five hundred years. So powerful is this vestigial conscience that we cannot even stand to have anything around us that might bring it to mind. A crucifix in a public park? Get it out! Someone speaking out against the sin of homosexuality? Call him a bigoted, hatemongering homophobe! Anything to shut him up! Never mind that Moses, the dominant author of the Old Testament called homosexuality an “abomination” and his New Testament counterpart the Apostle Paul called it “vile affections.” God listed it side by side with murder and bestiality as a capital offense in the Old Testament.
Still, those who have refused to disavow God or exile Him from their lives will continue to sound warning of the Leftist-led charge against Christian traditional moral decency. Now the radical leftist alliances campaigns to make “religiophobia” the only remaining politically correct form of bigotry left in America. We must never forget statement’s like the one made by their communist founder, Roger Baldwin:”I am for Socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state…..I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class…Communism is the goal.”
Agreeing with the Far Left is nothing less than signing one’s name to God’s pink slip. Don’t be deceived; the Far Left is the contemporary, politically correct mask placed on the gargoyle of all that has ever been unamerican and antireligious.
America has finally rejected in large measure the decades long experiment of Liberalism in our culture. The failed legacy of Liberalism finally became too much to ignore, rationalize, or deny according to recent surveys. A question that must be posed, however, is whether Liberalism itself was the heart of the beast, or simply the outer layer that became known to the world. Call it an intellectual predisposition, an established academic prejudice, a culture of narcissism, or any number of other names, the fact is that there still beats within the wounded beast of Liberalism a structured humanistic orthodoxy with deep roots in the so-called science of psychology.
The simple, unvarnished truth is that contemporary psychology has become the great Western vehicle for the repudiation of religion and the establishment of the worship-cult of the self. Many books have been published in recent years laying bare the lack of scientific research common to psychology’s founding father, Sigmund Freud. Among theses books are The Myth of Psychotherapy, as well as Freudian Fraud, The Shrinking of America, Psychobable, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Psychological Seduction and other popular titles by qualified authors whose only academic crime has been to follow a trail of evidence that often leads outside the boundaries of the reservation.
In the thousands of university courses on modern psychology, rarely if ever are these critical analyses mentioned. Rather than focusing on honest, scholarly debate, the professors focus on nebulous and elastic concepts such as self-actualization, self-fulfillment, and self-realization. Every failure of human character is then given a name & classified as some sort of personality disorder. Freud even went so far as to label the concept of guilt as a mere personality disorder, relegating the reality of human conscience to the realm of myth.
The focus seems to be on the support and legitimization of the profession, a posture which inherently and aggressively mocks and decries religion as antithetical and entirely incompatible with any degree of intellect or education. Any dissent from psychological orthodoxy is immediately labelled as a flat earth theory in spite of the many thousands of pages presented by highly credentialled dissenters.
A common thread in the work of many self anointed theoreticians such as Jung, Fromm, Maslow, and others has been the concept of human potential, or as it has been distilled in today’s public schools, self esteem. The basic idea of self-esteem in our schools is the reinforcement of self-worth in the minds of children. Tell them often how wonderful they are, make them repeat it as their own persona mantra, and we are told they will come to believe it. Our modern educators theorizing in the shadows of psychology’s founding fathers began giving all students rewards and academic advancement regardless of achievement. Self-esteem was not linked to personal achievement, since this would raise the specter of failure, which of course was “destructive” to the child’s self-image. Race hustlers like Jesse Jackson were quick to jump on the bandwagon, inviting the press to follow them into schools to witness the “I am somebody” choruses. Never mind the fact that none of the many studies on self-esteem has ever shown it to be a catalyst to desirable behaviors. In a recent study, Korean children ranked first in mathematical skills, and American children ranked lowest. American children, however, ranked highest in self-perceived math skills, providing a clear example of the foolishness of a feel-good pop-psychology and the manner I which it distorts accurate self perception.
There is in fact only one thing that can change how we feel about ourselves. In order to truly convince ourselves that we are to be valued, we must produce real and valuable accomplishments! Only these will testify convincingly enough to the only one who really counts in the process of self-evaluation: you! Praise must be genuinely earned in order to be believed. It has to be the result of something worthwhile, not an artificially structured house of cards. Self-esteem is a response, not a reason for being. In this artificial mode, it becomes purely narcissistic, if not a thinly-disguised form of humanistic self-worship. In truth, we only help people by leading them to change, develop and elevate what they are. One road to this noble goal is to help them produce something worthwhile to objectively testify as to their self-worth on their behalf. The other road, the road of an incompetent, over-priced, and self-serving public educational system, is to let them stagnate academically and intellectually, changing only their perception of themselves as benefit accrues only to union supported teachers who operate without the performance standards common in the real world.
A result of this debilitating approach to psychology and public education is the pathetic and widespread attempt to justify the increasing percentage of moral, social, and educational failures in our nation by labeling every failure a victim. Ultimately, there exists in the life of the “victim” no absolute responsibilities, no restraints, and no inhibitions. All morality becomes nothing more than the whimsical finger of human appetite writing in the sand, there to await the next shifting wind of modern psychobable. God at this point has become recreated in the image of man; it is the hollow and unfulfilling religion of Determinism, based pathetically on nothing more than the perpetual, inbred selfishness of the individual.
This kind of influence on our society has been vast. The spiritual self, nurtured in absolute values born of the Judaeo-Christian Ethic, was focused on the development of moral and social values rooted in interpersonal family and community relationships. The goal is both spiritual and noble: to learn to delay gratification and harness the destructive and carnal self will and replace it at the helm with the virtue of selflessness. The example for Christians is found in the highest expression of that principle: Jesus Christ.
The modern self worshiped in schools and at the academic altars of psychology is in contrast concerned primarily with outward traits. As society became influenced by economic pressures and moral permissiveness, the individual became molded more by forces from without. Advances in communication gave rise to effective mass advertising. Now young people identify themselves more by what they wear than by what they believe. Personal identities find expression in outward tattoos and not inward beliefs. Is it any wonder young people today need others to teach them who they are and to convince them of what they are worth? This was at one time the role of family and church. Now that society has reduced the nuclear family to the subnuclear family, the stage is set to reduce it even further to the non-nuclear family where children are molded by government institutions and social criticism and judgement becomes an offense punishable by law. (Just look at Canada and Europe today.) This is the result of a modernism that has lead us away from our churches and to the psychologists’ couches and the psychiatrists prescription pads with their unrelenting emphasis on the morally autonomous and self-determining individual. Sadly, he or she is ultimately left thrashing about in the encroaching quicksand of his self-centered identity and purpose, exclaiming as he slowly sinks, his right to gratify himself at any cost, even standing on the corpses of those beneath him.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes
a revolutionary act.”
On February 25th, 1964 Sonny Liston stepped into the ring with Cassius Clay (later named Muhammad Ali) to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. Liston was the ex-con, Mike Tyson of that day and the overwhelming favorite in the fight.
However, after three rounds, Ali wasn’t just winning, he was dancing around and making Liston look like a laughing stock before the entire world. At the end of the third round, Liston allegedly told his corner to “burn the gloves.” This meant smear them with the Adrenaline Hydrochloride ointment they use to close cuts.
After the fourth round Clay goes back to the corner and tells them he’s been blinded. He survived the round and won the fight in the seventh. That ended Liston’s career and sent his life plunging into a tailspin ending in a fatal drug overdose in a Las Vegas hotel.
History will judge whether that championship fight was a fair fight or not. Today, cultural battles rage across our country and the world, and it is clear to anyone looking at the gloves of the secularists and humanists that they went back to their corners just like Sonny Liston and told their corners: “Burn the Gloves.”
Solomon, known three millennia after his death for his legendary wisdom, understood well that the fight against decency and righteousness in this world would never be a fair fight. The cause of those challenging the underlying morality of the Judaeo-Christian ethic can never be presented honestly and win the day. Solomon expressed that principle in these passages from his writings:
The folly of fools is deceit. Proverbs 14: 8
Do they not err that devise evil? Proverbs 14: 22
Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil.
I would like to demonstrate in what I believe will be convincing fashion, four battlegrounds in America’s cultural war in which we will see clearly the underlying deception and dishonesty of those who would argue against the Judaeo-Christian principles involved. The first of these that I would like to expose is the homosexual agenda in America and the world.
The first principle in changing the course of a social river is to find another name for the act or lifestyle in question. The most accurate and correct term was the one used for thousands of years: homosexuality. Homosexual advocates realized that they needed to be known by some other less descriptive and more pleasing term. The term of choice for them became “gay.” Sadly, there is nothing “gay” about the homosexual lifestyle. No Christian should ever use the word “gay” when speaking of homosexuals. Homosexuals is the most descriptive and accurate term to use regardless of what anyone may perceive as politically correct.
A survey by The Advocate, a homosexual magazine, revealed that a pathological promiscuity is a reality among homosexuals. The poll found that 20 percent of homosexuals said they had had 51-300 different sex partners in their lifetime, with an additional 8 percent having had more than 300. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated the following regarding syphilis in the United States: “While surveillance data are not available by risk behavior, a separate CDC analysis suggests that approximately 64 percent of all adult P&S syphilis cases in 2004 were among men who have sex with men, up from an estimated 5 percent in 1999.” Recent studies show homosexuals have a substantially greater risk of suffering from a psychiatric problems than do heterosexuals. We see higher rates of suicide, depression, bulimia, antisocial personality disorder, and substance abuse. So here is the logical question to ask: Does this lifestyle really sound “gay” to you?
When I have a conversation with a homosexual individual, I always have one principal point in mind, and one point only. I am well aware that it is highly unlikely that my one encounter will have a serious impact on their lives. What I will do my absolute best to accomplish, however, is to disabuse them of the false notion that one can be a homosexual and make any pretext to faithfulness in pleasing God. I will always leave the homosexual with this core, foundational thought, and pray that the Spirit of God never lets them forget it:
The principal writer of the Old Testament, Moses,
called homosexuality an “abomination.”
The principal writer of the New Testament, the Apostle
Paul called it “vile affections.”
This is what God feels each and every time he looks
upon a homosexual. God’s laws are not subject to your
efforts to reject those not conformable to your lifestyle. All religion is
defined by its Scriptures , and the Judaeo-Christian
Scriptures plainly define Homosexuality as a fundamentally immoral act.
Most homosexuals will tell you that they were born that way. Unfortunately for them, there is not one study or shred of scientific evidence to support that notion. They have adopted their deviant identity to such an extent that they cannot visualize a life before it or beyond it. Like any lie, if it is repeated enough, it becomes accepted and woven into the fabric of a culture. That is precisely my overarching point here: the principal cultural battles of our time cannot be won on a level playing field with free and open ideas being accepted. That is why homosexuals, for one, must absolutely wage a war to marginalize any detractors or neutralize or stifle any criticism before it is expressed. They do it by the classic cult tactic of labeling, calling any moral reproach sent in their direction “hate speech.” They loathe being judged, not realizing that what they perceive as personal judgment from Christians is nothing more that the application of God’s clearly expressed sanction from a far more authoritative source than they have ever realized: the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures. Their assault on that source belies the mountains of archaeological & scientific evidence that has vindicated these Scriptures tens of thousands of times and never once cast a shadow of doubt upon their historical accuracy. To claim otherwise is to be factually misinformed, and nothing short of being purely and wholly an agenda-driven campaign based on anecdotal evidence alone that never has and never will withstand the light of objective scrutiny.
The truth of the matter concerning homosexuality has to be suppressed to portray this lifestyle as anything but deviant, aberrant, and repugnant on the visceral level to any heterosexual (normally oriented) individual. The Apostle Paul said that nature itself teaches as much to us. The definition of perversion, strictly speaking, is “using something for other than its intended purpose.” Could there possibly be a better definition of a homosexual sex act?
Homosexuals, unable to fend off these empirical observations and immediately prone to call them an “attack,” only betray in convincing fashion their inability to refute their accuracy and logic. When one cannot defeat an argument in an intellectually honest fashion, one engages in a campaign of dissembling with the clear intention to marginalize the criticism rather than honestly engaging critics. Homosexuals will call these observations extreme, hateful, hurtful, and even racist (as if homosexuals constitute a distinct race.) In the end, they will prove that George Orwell was right:
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes
a revolutionary act.”
THE GREAT DECEPTION OF EVOLUTION
Many people have been so brainwashed by the deception surrounding the Theory of Evolution that I will state the principal lies that support it at the onset, since even despite having an earned Ph.D., being the author of ten books, having traveled the world over, speaking fluent Parisian French, and coming from a family of European educators and intellectuals with i.q. ‘s in the 150+ range, they will label me an ignorant Fundamentalist. So here are the lies:
● The lie: All scientists believe evolution
● The truth: Thousands of credentialed scientists from the top universities and science institutes the world over are unable to support evolution beyond the realm of what it is: IT IS A THEORY, NOT A SCIENCE. Hundreds of books have been written casting an enormous shadow of doubt on the Theory of Evolution. Evolutionists continue to pretend that these books do not exist.
● The lie: Evolution is Science. Creation is a not.
● The truth: Science is defined as that which is either OBSERVABLE, or REPRODUCIBLE IN A LABORATORY. Evolution is neither.
● The lie: The fossil record proves Evolution
● The truth: THE FOSSIL RECORD IS 100% DEVOID OF ANY TRANSITIONAL LIFE FORMS! (The “Missing Link” is still missing.)
● The lie: Many “Ape Men” that are the creatures who evolved from the great apes on the way to becoming human beings have been found.
● The truth: NONE have been ever found anywhere! What has been found are very small bone fragments from which entire “hopeful monsters” have been arbitrarily created. (One was a tooth that turned out to be from a pig!)
● The lie: Charles Darwin was a great scientist.
● The truth: Charles Darwin had NO scientific training. He was a minister.
● The lie: The greatest scientists of the past have all believed in Evolution.
● The truth: The founding of ALL the great branches of science have believed the Genesis account of Creation. These include the founding fathers of many of the branches of the physical sciences. Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543), Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Rene Descartes (1596-1650), Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Robert Boyle (1791-1867), Michael Faraday (1791-1867), Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543), William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907), Max Planck (1858-1947), and Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
This is just a partial list of over 100 men.
● The lie: Complex living organisms evolved gradually.
● The truth: The amazingly complicated structure of the bacterial flagellum powered by a an amazing electric motor is sufficient all by itself to demolish the theory of evolution. The flagellum has an irreducibly complex structure. If one single element of this complex structure were to disappear, the flagellum would neither work nor be of any use to the bacterium. The flagellum must have been working perfectly from the first moment of its existence. This fact again reveals the scientific implausibility in the theory of evolution’s assertion of gradual development. In fact, not one evolutionary biologist has so far successfully explained the origin of the bacterial flagellum in light of the concept of Irreducible Complexity put forth by Prof. Michael Behe of Lehigh University.
● The lie: Mutations are the fortuitous and consistent engine of evolutionary progress. The modern evolutionist believes that new traits come about primarily by chance, by random changes in genes called “mutations.”
● The truth: Evolution by mutation would require a series of many related mutations. The chances of getting just TWO of these is one hundred trillion to one, and it would take WAY more than two to fuel a constructive evolution in any organism. Mutations are always regressive and harmful, because they contain LESS data, not more. Bottom line: warts don’t turn into eyes.
In a court of law, lawyers often ask the church to grant what is called “summary judgment.” Summary judgment is a procedural device used during civil litigation to promptly dispose of a case at the onset without a trial. It’s use is essentially saying to the court, “There is no dispute here as to the material facts of the case and the examination of evidence is unnecessary.” This is EXACTLY the attitude of Evolutionists with respect to Creationists. They are saying, “You are not a credible or qualified party to this argument, and in fact there should be no argument at all. You should admit defeat because your argument is one that only pits religion against science.” In fact, this preposterous and patently dishonest premise belies the facts of the issue that I have presented above. Evolution and Creation are both THEORIES and there is a prescribed path within the scientific method to adjudicate conflicting theories: examine them both to see which one best fits the data. Sadly, this purely scientific approach scares the daylights out of the Neo-Darwnists. They understand, among other things, that to the rational mind the presence of anything evidencing a complex design implies a creator. They would like us to believe that this applies to a watch, but not to something a thousand times more complex such as the human eye. They would also decry the Bible as authoritative in any way, and this despite and epic and gargantuan mountain of evidence as to it’s reliability and historical accuracy that has come to us tens of thousands of times over from the field of archaeology. In short, they are scared to death of a fair academic or scientific fight, so their primary tactic is to pettifog the issue every time it comes up. This is intellectual dishonesty and academic chicanery. Few things illustrate this any better than their continued practice of dating fossils by the geological strata in which they are found, and dating the strata by the fossils they contain. Does this kind of education seem worth the $30,000 a year price tag the Evolutionists charge? Should a Christian send their children to the sit at the feet of the faithless Philistine professors? Your call.
Sometimes I like to play a word association game with a group or class. I tell them that I will say a word & they are to give me the word that best represents the opposite meaning. Associations like hot/cold, up/down, in/out, left/right and others establish a simple and predictable pattern. Then I say the word “life.” Immediately everyone will say “death.” I then say, “No, no, no! Gosh, you were all doing so well up to now. You people really looked much smarter than that. I don’t now how you could miss such an easy one. You see, the opposite of life is not death. No, no, no! The opposite of life, you see, is CHOICE!”
This silly little game makes a very powerful point. Those supporting unfettered abortion upon demand had to find a term for this practice other than the obvious term: abortion. Nobody wants to be “pro abortion,” even though no term could better describe this position. So the term of choice has become “choice.”
Sometimes I like to play another game with the abortion crowd. When they ask me if I am pro life or pro choice, I surprise them by saying something like this: “Oh, I am pro choice. But I do have one small caveat with regard to this position. You see, I also want the unborn baby to have the choice as to whether he will be naturally born and live or have his arms and legs cut off by a scalpel, his head crushed by a pair of forceps, and then be sucked out of his mother’s womb in pieces by a vacuum cleaner. As long as the baby gets a choice too, then go ahead and put me down in the pro-choice column.”
The truth is that the pro-abortion position has to be presented in a carefully and highly manipulated fashion to even begin to be palatable to any culture. The term “reproductive rights” is often presented as the tip of the feminists spear in this controversial issue. Some women also like to claim “control over our bodies.” The truth is that when any woman makes the decision to engage in sex without contraception, there should be a distinct awareness that a pregnancy could follow. To then refuse to accept the responsibility for that pregnancy is to many the height of irresponsibility. To claim that a tiny human baby with fingers, toes, and a beating heart is an “nonviable tissue mass” is the height of a callous and self-serving deception.
One of the great deceptions of the baby killers is to use the dishonest euphemism, “women’s health,” to frame the abortion issue. In fact, if there is a ray of honesty capable of penetrating the mind of anyone contemplating the reality of abortion, one conclusion must inevitably rise to the surface: to use the term “women’s health” to establish a cultural framework here is to make the tacit and probably direct implication that pregnancy is a disease! In fact, pregnancy is NOT a disease! The natural “treatment” for pregnancy is childbirth. A pregnant woman is not diseased. She carries within her a human life, and no human being is entitled to sacrifice another human being on the altar of their own personal convenience. Abortionists cannot win support on the basis of these plainly evident facts that are at the heart of pregnancy and abortion, so they must construct a false edifice of lies and deception to make acceptable what would otherwise be an entirely unpalatable proposition: terminating human life for personal convenience.
One morning I read in a local paper that man driving a car down an alley in my town ran over a large cardboard box on purpose. He assumed it was just an empty box. Tragically, a small child was playing in that box and was killed. The assumption of such a careless driver is for many the identical assumption of the abortion advocates: there is no human life in that container. The unvarnished truth that cannot be denied by the rational mind, however, is that A PERSON CANNOT KNOW THAT WITH ANY DEGREE OF CERTAINTY! To be absolved of any moral responsibility in either case, any reasonable jury would need to know that every reasonable precaution would have to have been undertaken by the decision maker to determine conclusively that no human life was at risk. Sadly, the laws against animal cruelty in America rise to a higher moral standard that the laws protecting the life of the unborn. Until a pregnant woman can step forward and say, “Here is irrefutable proof that the contents of my womb is not a human life,” then that person is morally indistinguishable from the driver running over the “empty” box. In fact, the level of guilt for such a woman and those enabling her decision to abort is considerably greater in my view, given the vast number of people telling her clearly that she is carrying a human life and presenting incredibly graphic images available to prove that point. I think that a jury would be disposed far differently toward the motorist running over the box if the street had been lined with people shouting, “STOP! There is a child in that box!”`
Here is a link to a video featuring a doctor who does not appear to be a Christian, but who has a refreshingly honest medical perspective on the subject of life in the womb. This kind of intellectual and scientific honesty is rare in the world of today.
The first think that strikes me about atheism is its bold presumption. That to me is positively irrational and untenable. Please allow me to explain.
If I bring you before a heavy and large curtain suspended from a tall ceiling in a vast room and ask you to tell me what you think is behind that curtain, you are certainly free to offer any number or type of guesses or suppositions based on whatever evidence you see. You can also answer on the basis of conjecture. One is not, however, entitled to say with even the most minuscule degree of certainty what is NOT behind that curtain without lifting it and having a look. This is just as intellectually dishonest and ridiculous a proposition as for someone to say, “I have never been to Monte Carlo, and therefore I deny its existence.”
In order for a person to claim the belief that God does not exist, they would have to have in their possession the totality of knowledge of the entire Universe. It would be like saying, “There are no orange frogs anywhere in the world.” Nobody can make that statement who has not been everywhere in the world and looked everywhere that a frog could possibly be. What one is entitled to say is, “I have never seen an orange frog and therefore I do not believe that they exist anywhere in the world.” That is certainly what some people would consider to be an unwarranted and presumptuous conclusion, but identifying such a postulation as strictly a personal belief or opinion is vastly more intellectually honest and intelligent than to elevate one’s personal opinion to the level of empirical and universal knowledge. That is in fact nothing short of making oneself god.
The second major intellectual fallacy of atheism is that it presumes that the most highly specialized and complex designs before us occurred as a result of series of random and chance events, much like putting forth the possibility that a room full of monkeys seated before keyboards, given enough time, could eventually type the Declaration of Independence. The amount of faith required to believe a proposition such as this (that has a zero statistical probability of occurrence) is astronomical compared to the faith required to believe genesis 1:1 (In the beginning, God…)
If we could elicit for a brief moment the tiniest expression of candor and honesty from a professing atheist (which will never happen), we would see that atheism exists in the life of its proponents for one principal reason: they need a viable mechanism to keep God at arm’s length. Jesus put it this way: “Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”
Here is one of my videos on atheism — number 3 in a series:
(or go to Youtube.com & type in Jerry Kaifetz atheism)
“Bread of deceit is sweet to a man;
but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.”
I recently watched a television documentary on the legalization of prostitution in the United States. Several things were shocking to me about the program including especially the interviews with legal prostitutes in Nevada, but one thing stood out: the moderator and his former prosecutor-anti-prostitution advocate were unable or unwilling to address the principal fault of legalized prostitution: prostitution is morally reprehensible to a civilized people.
I know of few people who understand this issue in depth for two principal reasons: few have lived in a country where prostitution is legalized and regulated by the government as I have and few have an accurate and in-depth understanding of the moral context of prostitution throughout human history. The country to which I refer is France, and the moral context is the 5,000 year old Judaeo-Christian ethic represented to us in the Bible.
I was struck by the social and moral legitimacy with which the prostitutes from the Nevada brothel portrayed themselves. One of my many questions for them would have been the following:
● Visualize in later years a conversation with a daughter in which she asks you about your life as a young woman and you have to look her in the eye and say, “Sweetheart, your mommy was a prostitute. I had sex with strange men for money, sometimes ten times a day.” Would you honestly feel no shame? Would you not see that you had morally compromised a little girl whose decency, character and virtue had been entrusted to you? Are you going to look me in the eye and say to me, “I would love for my daughter to follow in my footsteps?” One can be a bad mother years before having a child.
● Visualize that same confession with a young man who one days proposes marriage to you. Do you honestly believe that any decent, self-respecting man would want a whore for a wife? How would the introduction to his family play out? You can try to fool yourself all you want, but neither one of these encounters with people you love will have anything but a tragic and shameful outcome.
● Now comes a relationship that is even more weighty, relevant and important: the prostitute’s relationship with God. Prostitution is a trade plied through adultery and fornication. Is there anyone today who has really lost sight of Christian moral codes to the point where the concept of sexual sin has to be established? Sadly, the answer is, “yes;” there are many Americans who are as poorly educated religiously as they are academically. Few that I have ever met or heard interviewed qualify for this level of moral illiteracy any more than Nevada’s brothel prostitutes. They are like the adulterous woman described by Solomon:
“Such is the way of an adulterous woman;
she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith,
I have done no wickedness.”
We in America and most of the Western world have an understanding of the relationship of personal rights to the good of society that is backward from the one represented in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. In that system of beliefs and practice, the rights of the individual are always subordinated to what is in the common good. Our culture, however, has moved dynamically in the opposite direction.
It could certainly be seen as patently unfair in the Jewish wilderness wanderings 1500 years before Christ to exile someone from the camp because of a small blemish that could prove to be evidence of a contagious disease. Yet, this was a common practice under the leadership of Moses. This principle is well illustrated in the decision made to exclude a floundering survivor from a lifeboat already beyond its capacity because one more person would swamp it and all would die. Certainly every floundering passenger has personal and civil rights and we hear much about them every day, but these “rights” can never be allowed to be met if the safety or lives of the group would be at great risk as a result. In the hegemony of Scripture, group rights trump individual freedom every time. This is an important part of the framing of the sin of adultery in the Bible. Adultery has always had a highly corrosive and damaging effect on the basic component of the fabric of any successful society: the family. God is always a champion of the innocent, and the innocent victims of adultery are always the children.
Whenever anyone advocates for more permissiveness in a society, one has put self on the altar. This is always the first step toward the eventual goal of many Humanists: moral anarchy. The truth of the matter is that this penchant always clearly reflects more of a heart problem than a head problem. It is not because the anarchist or the moral truant cannot wrap his intellect around a moral code, but simply because religion is authority-based they just do not like being told what to do! Jesus Himself said it best: “Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” You may have heard the saying, “What is right to have you pay for first and have later. What is wrong to have you get now and pay for later.”
To my critics:
Whenever moral principles are expounded upon, the critics howl, and this will be no exception. What I normally do is keep the comments open for a time, selecting who best represents an opposing view. The vast majority of responses I do not even read in their entirety, and they certainly never are posted. That is because a personal, insult-laden response is intellectually vacuous, and I will not be lowered to this intellectually inferior method of “debate.” Ad-hominem attacks are intellectually bankrupt and the last gasp of a small mind incapable defending an opposing view. Honestly, those who engage in this method (95% of respondents) may as well hang a sign around your necks that reads: “I have no sound, empirical argument against your truths, so I will spit on you in my anger and rage.” In fact, what these unfortunate and angry souls cannot stomach is simply the mirror that is held in front of their faces.
My position is in fact anything but “extreme,” or “fringe,” or “radical.” My position IS mainstream in the America I have known, as it derives from the heart and soul of the Judaeo-Christian ethic that has been the moral compass of the human race for over 5,000 years. You are free to rant against this moral code, but it would be so refreshing if those of you who do could come up with something other than the standard talking points of the Humanist fringe Left: “racist, bigoted, homophobic, repressive . . . . “ blah, blah, blah, blah. . . .
Lastly, I would like to add a word of personal testimony from my own life. I understand Western culture. I was born in the culture capitol of the world: Paris, France. I know its architecture, culinary excellence, museums, monuments, people, language, and lifestyles. I have had an up-close look at the very best that all of European culture has to offer and was long immersed in the center of it. I attended school there for several years, spent many vacations there, and returned to Europe as a professional skier in my adult years. I was also one of the “original Hippies” in Haight-Ashbury in the 1960’s. I knew Timothy Leary and followed his mantra: “turn on, tune in, drop out.” I studied eastern mysticism ardently and most seriously for three years under some of its most highly trained “masters.” Simply put, I know the values, minds and hearts of my critics far better than they do in many cases. My decision to see the Christian faith as the pinnacle of spiritual expression, inspiration and direction is then anything but the simplistic expression of an inexperienced soul. I have been around the block, flown over it, sifted through it, invested 21 years in its halls of learning, examined it, tasted it, digested it, and regurgitated it. I guess you could say that it just makes me sad when I see others scrape up that vomit, bake it in a dish topped with an appealing topping of appealing delicacies and serve it up with a sprig of parsley under another name. That dish represents to me the great lie of Secular Humanism: man needs no redemption and he can build his own heaven. Eating it will make you sick and condemn your soul.
I turned my back on all of that in 1983 in Southern California when I became a Christian. The testimony that I offer having known both of those worlds is this: I have an indescribable peace, an inner contentment, and spiritual confidence that is rock-solid and that has brought to my life more blessings than I am able to count, much less explain, fully understand or describe. On April 25th, 1983, “He set my feet upon a rock,” and that rock was Jesus Christ. I know what the world offers, and I can honestly say that the world at one time gave me the very best that it could: a Caribbean bungalow, sailing yachts, power boats, fast cars, two villas on the French Riviera, financial freedom, Alpine luxury resorts for months on end, world travel, adulation, being paid to do what I loved best in all the world, and more. (You can hear my life story as a radio drama that has gone all over the world on my website: http://jerrykbooks.com )
On that day in 1983, I faced one fact honestly for the first time in my life: one day I would stand before God. Could I expect Him to look at me in my sin and say, “Don’t worry about it.” Hardly! I needed an atonement with God (at-one-ment). I finally understood the only viable path to that place of inner cleansing: God’s own sacrifice for my sins in the person of His Son on a cross. I realized that I could not go one more day doing the dumbest thing that a human being could do: betting my eternal soul that the Bible is not true. That is what everyone does who derives their moral standards from the crowd and thereby rejects God’s appointed path to atonement. I leave you with one simple thought:
The dark raven of feminism has come home to roost.
Recently I heard a well known feminist expressing great bitterness and frustration as she came to what I can only describe as a feminist midlife crisis. She was fast closing on fifty, single and had found herself repeatedly passed up by men for an entirely different variety of woman: those who worked in support roles for accomplished, professional executives. This feminist referred to these women as “secretaries, personal assistants, and flight attendants.” She could not seem to make any sense of why men would repeatedly choose these types of women (whom she interestingly viewed as intellectually inferior to herself) and pass by women who were in her view closer to being their corporate and intellectual equals.
It struck me that it would not be difficult to shed some light on this interesting paradigm of our time. In order to do so, however, it is necessary to lay a deep foundations, going back to man’s genetic predisposition in the shrouded mist of time.
Fish and birds are streamlined to facilitate motion in their respective worlds. Fish are white on the underside and dark on top so that they will blend in with the surface when seen from below and with the ocean floor when seen from above.
In the natural world, men and women have different roles. Men are protectors and providers and women are nurturers. Thus, man’s form conforms to their physical function, as is the case with women. Men have greater upper body strength. Women have breasts and a different hip structure. It also follows that both are equipped emotionally in a different way and for the same kinds of reasons: women need a different emotional makeup than do men in order to fulfill the physical job description for which they were created. Women are thus generally more sensitive and men are generally more rational. Is one “better” than the other? Of course not. The ideal blend may be when these traits all harmonize and complement each other within a committed relationship, hence the great value of marriage in society.
About forty years ago, Feminists decided that they would change that great master plan. At the core of their belief was the tragically misguided notion that women who expressed their nurturing and supportive component were somehow inferior to men. Never mind this old fable about the hand that rocked the cradle; they wanted to grow the trees, harvest the timber, run the sawmill, build the cradle, and make the marketing decisions in the cradle company board room. As a result, others had to provide them with nurturing services, for which they were happy to pay. We will leave it to history to judge whether the generations that followed were better off in day care centers and video parlors than in a balanced, traditional home.
Now that these feminist have risen to the heights of the corporate and intellectual world, teaching their “Feminist Studies” in nearly every university, they can’t seem to understand why it is the more traditional women who are scooping up all of the eligible men. Along with that stark realization, it has become fairly obvious that there exists a strong undercurrent of bitterness and resentment. Fortunately, the mystery is easily solved. We just have to take the closest man and woman and put them under the magnifying glass of unbiased, reasoned analysis, something that comes with great difficulty when you are angry.
Men are attracted to women for genetic reason that are programmed into them so deeply that they couldn’t change them if they tired. Physical beauty, much to the dismay of the poets and romanticists, comes down to symmetry: symmetrical facial features denote health. Health denoted survival, and with survival came a better chance of a humans passing along their genes. Hardly the thing of which moonlights walks and candlelight dinners are made, but these are nevertheless the realities of why men are attracted to women, and vice versa. Women shun effeminate men, as men do assertive, masculine women.
And now for the keystone that will support my theoretical arch: Feminists take on the emotional qualities and characteristics of men, and men do not find this attractive! Oh yes, it may be politically correct to be in touch with one’s “feminine side,” and to “not be threatened” by assertive women. But the forces that bring a man to one knee with a diamond ring in his hand and a commitment on his mind will never be the desire to appear politically correct or driven by his “feminine side.” He is not at that point looking for a hunting buddy, he is looking for a woman to complement (and compliment) his masculine side, not shame him into apologizing for it.
The title of this article is a very common belief among Christians. Like all religious beliefs, however, to have validity, accuracy and benefit, it must be biblically based. With that in mind, let us understand first of all that all assumptions are problematic by nature, and so undertake to look at what the Bible says about The Law. This vital today for the Christian given the church’s modern tendency to portray God a love often in the complete absence of judgment. This is not the God of the Bible.
The first thing we must do is to understand the origin and purpose of the Law, which are interwoven together. The Law was NOT given as the pathway to redemption. “If there had been a law given which could make alive, verily righteousness would have been of the law.” (Gal. 3:21) The Law could not save man because “It was weak through the flesh.” (Rom. 8:3) I can walk the length of 2 X 4. I can probably walk the length of a few of them end to end. Line them up from Chicago to San Francisco, however and it is a sure bet that no human alive could cover that distance without falling off. This is what Paul meant when he said the Law was “weak through the flesh.”
We must understand that the Law was given to accentuate man’s knowledge of sin. If you cross a state line in your car and are driving 60 m.p.h., you won’t know you are speeding until you see the sign that says “Speed Limit 40.” That sign is the Old Testament Law. The sign cannot slow you down. Its only purpose is to show you that you are speeding in violation of the Law. While conscience does play a role in understanding our guilt, the standard that establishes transgression is the Law, otherwise we are justified in saying, “transgressing what?” Heathen societies have for centuries understood the concept that man needs to appease God for transgressions inherent to human nature. This is why nearly all false religions have involved sacrifice.
The accouterments of the Old Testament priesthood such as the tabernacle, the holy place, the holy of holies, the laver, the altar of incense and the role of the priesthood itself were designed to help us understand the weight of the law by bringing us to a better place of understanding regarding the holiness of God. The ceremonial laws were a visible manifestation of the holiness of God. And then, as Paul says, the Law was given to man as the vehicle or “schoolmaster” to lead men to Christ. (Romans 10:4) Paul called the Law the paidagogos, a reference to a trusted and educated slave in a Roman household who was often charged with the academic and moral upbringing of the children.
In the Old Testament, the atonement was made by the priest in the Holy of Holies. Before Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did not indwell the believer. Hence, the atonement had to be made where the Holy Spirit dwelt: the Temple. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwelt believers and the “priesthood of the believer” had been established. Logically, each believer then has a Holy of Holies within them and THAT is where the sacrifice had to be brought. That sacrifice was Christ and no priest was needed any longer. HALLELUJAH!
To sum up the purpose of the Old Testament Law, its task was to reveal to man his sinfulness in contrast to the holiness of God. By pointing via the priesthood, sacrifices and the tabernacle to God’s coming sacrifice, Christ, the origin and scope of the Law’s purpose can be clearly understood.
Today the believer understands that he or she is delivered from the Law. But is this in fact completely true? Can we claim that our relationship with the Law ended when the Old Testament ended? In fact, many Christians, seriously misinterpret the statement that the ordinances were nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14) . This means that the believer is dead to the law’s power of CONDEMNATION, as the cross was an instrument of execution. But the Law itself is anything but completely invalidated. God established the seriousness of the capital offenses of the Old Testament, and God has surely not changed His mind about them. God never changes: Mal. 3:6. God therefore surely believes that transgressors of Old testament capital offenses such as murder, adultery, kidnapping, and rape deserve the death penalty! That can never change for God, or He would not be God. What does change is that God as a righteous but merciful judge steps out from behind the divine bench of judgment, takes off his judicial robe, looks at the sinner and sees His Son Jesus Christ when the sinner claims Christ’s death as his own substitutionary payment for sin. God never says to the sinner, “Your sin doesn’t matter.” He says, “My Son has made the payment for you. You are forgiven because the price has been paid. “ PRAISE GOD!
That being said, are we to believe that the Old Testament Law does not matter today? Many well-meaning Christians today would tell you just that, that it does not matter: “That’s Old Testament,” as a friend of my wife’s often expresses. We clearly see, however, that the Bible does not ever dismiss the Law. The Scriptures do tell us that in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the believer is delivered from the curse of the Law (Gal. 3:13) We could say delivered from the penalty of the Law, (Rom. 7:4). This refers both to the moral and ceremonial Law (II Co. 3:7 -11). This is the “yoke of bondage” whose penalty the believer avoids.
So the believer is made free from the law, but never do we find the notion that the Law is incapable of condemning the unbeliever. This is a tremendously important concept and a vital one to grasp. The great line of demarcation between unbeliever and believer is seen in Romans 8:1. All of Romans chapter seven describes the UNBELIEVER (a commonly misunderstood fact), and in the first verse of Romans 8:1, the transition is made to the believer: “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION” to the believer, NOT the unbeliever! He is still guilty before God, and it remains the province and purpose of the Law to make the indictment!
Now let us have a look at the concept of sin, for sin and the Law are closely linked. Like so many doctrines of the Bible, the overwhelming majority of Christians have understood sin only in the very broadest, if not simplistic terms. Despite the phenomenal nuances of the Koine Greek language that express these truths so beautifully, God has thankfully not made this doctrine a complicated one to understand, and so the popular definitions serve their purpose. Children know what sin is.
That being said, here are eight Greek words used in the New Testament that will help us to build for ourselves a more comprehensive definition of sin and to see it more clearly from God’s perspective:
Hamartia: Missing the mark. Hamartema: Crossing a boundary Parabasis: Disobedience to a voice Parakoe: Falling where one should have stood. Paraptoma: Ignorance of what one should have known. Agnoema: Diminishing what should have been rendered more fully. Hettema: Failure to observe a law. Paranomia: Discord in the harmonies of the universe.
Here are a few other pertinent facts regarding the biblical doctrine of sin:
– There is also the sin of omission related in James 4:17.
– Sin is not just in the act, but in the inner condition from which it derives (Lev. 4:14, 20, 31, 5:5,6) That is why Jesus condemned the thought as harshly as the act. The sincere yet sinful Christian understands that corrupt fruit can only come from a corrupt tree (Matt. 7:17,18) and seeks to fix what was wrong on the inside first and foremost.
– Sin is present in every Christian. Continual vigilance is a key component of the victorious Christian life: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves .” I John 1:8
One of the major elements missing almost completely today from the church dynamic in its treatment of sin is the principle of deterrence. This is strange to me, as deterrence is plainly illustrated and commanded in Scripture throughout. We find that under the Law of Moses, the punishment for the false accuser was commanded to be on the same level of severity as the charged crime required. The Bible plainly tells us of one very important purpose with respect to our societal responsibility in carrying out the full measure of the punishment: “And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.” (Deuteronomy 19:20) Solomon said, “Smite a scorner and the simple shall beware.” (Prov. 19:20). Should our mercy then exceed God’s? Should our political interest in not embarrassing a man or the church allow us to diminish Moses & Solomon’s principles of deterrence? “Thine eye shall not pity him,” God said. In the words of Matthew Henry, “The benefit will accrue to the public.”
That is not the way of the church today, however. Today sexual sin is rampant in the church. I once considered my home church the best church I had ever known. Today, my home church, Prospect Avenue Baptist Church of Santee, California has experienced several dozen sexual scandals. One completely and permanently closed the church’s Christian school. Although they have not been totally ignored, they have essentially been swept under the rug in the interest of “sparing the families.” This lack of deterrence has done nothing but to generate momentum until these sins became chronic in the church, and in the families of church leaders. One man did the right thing before God and exposed an adulterer in the church, a former minister. He was excommunicated for that and barred from the church he founded and sacrificed for for nearly four decades. That man is Pastor Dorman Owens, to whom I am greatly indebted for many things, including my improved understanding of the Law.
Let us Conclude
If God thought adultery deserved the death penalty in the Old Testament, then he cannot have changed his mind today. That doesn’t mean we will be drawing straws for the firing squad in church this Sunday, but it absolutely means that it is imperative today for every Christian to determine to work, study and pray to see all sin as God sees it. Sadly, there is no greater failure in the church today. Today the church only “manages” sins like adultery and fornication. Billy Sunday said, “You can’t love the flowers unless you hate the weeds.” It is time for Christians to do a better job of combining mercy and truth. There is too often way too much of one and way too little of each other. These two have made peace in Christ; in fact, that is where they “have kissed each other.” Imbalance on one side of the scale is as bad as on the other. We need to always remind each that Paul’s understanding of the Law that it can help us immeasurable to understand the relevance of God’s Law today:
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7: 22
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31
The more I talk to Christians about concepts and principles of the Christian faith, the less I am inclined to want to ever do it again. It is a lot like a fast-food meal. I probably indulge in one of those at the rate of one every few years, and every time I do, without fail, I always tell myself precisely the same thing: “Don’t ever do that again!”
I have come to the conclusion after many years of engaging Christians about their faith, that this is rarely a worthwhile endeavor. I think the place that has been established by the divine providence, wisdom and grace of God to do that is the pulpit or the Sunday School classroom. Outside of that, you will almost always be displaying God’s pearls to those who do not have the ability to distinguish them from costume jewelry. With the advent of blogging, the number of people with opinions built on foundations of sand seems to have increased exponentially.
What my experience has taught me (although I never seem to learn my lesson) is that most Christians’ personal library of doctrine consists of a stack of bumper stickers. They either reflect or consist themselves of one solitary “proof text.” The problem with establishing our theology on the basis of individual verses is there are 31,173 of them in the Bible! To establish any doctrine on the basis of only one of these verses would be like a sailor trying to sail to his destination on the basis of one number of one his destination’s coordinates of latitude and longitude. These efforts would be pathetic and just plain dumb, yet in my experience, this is how most Christians navigate the seas of biblical truth in their quest to establish their beliefs.
I like to ask tough and thought-provoking questions. I like to make people think. More than that, I like to think that I am doing Christian people a favor when I ask them to back up a belief with some Bible. We take so many things for granted when it comes to our belief system. It is as if we have suffered from arrested spiritual development and our theology is stuck on a 6th grade Sunday School level as a result.
When I ask people a probing, foundational religious question, they act no differently than would a person thumbing through their stack of religious bumper stickers frantically seeking which one to hold up. They are absolutely sure that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” but they get a confused look on their faces when you ask them where that promise is found in the Bible. They are even more confused when it comes to other issues like the relationship of law and grace, God’s vengeance, God’s hatred for sin, God’s judgment, God’s anger, and the relationship between forgiveness and repentance. Unfortunately, one finds it exceedingly difficult to property exegete those elements of doctrine in the limited space afforded on a conventional bumper sticker.
What follows probing questions to the bumper sticker Christian types is always the same thing without exception: they feel the need to diminish you personally so as to then be able to discount the question by ascribing to it an evil or malevolent motive: “Oh so you just think God should squash everyone who slips up in life like a bug!” They can’t assail your position honestly and fairly, even though you may not have even revealed it yet, because the image of God that you are alluding to is not to be found on any of their bumper stickers, and that is for some inexplicable reason apparently very threatening and destabilizing for them. Their belief about God most often goes no further than their one solitary proof text: “God is love” for instance, and that text is never one to which they have dedicated any serious measure of study as God has commanded Christians to do. They feel highly threatened, for instance, by anyone who would dare suggest that one of the biblical adjectives used by God to describe himself is “terrible.” (Having the ability to bring terror.)
If one would describe Niagra Falls to you as “wet” and were doggedly determined to leave it at that, I think most people who had stood on the edge of the falls in Western New York would perhaps want to add to that description. Not only that, but what of the person who had ignored the warning sign, jumped the fence, gotten too close to the edge and been swept over the falls? I suspect that he would like to weigh in on the issue and extend the one word definition well beyond any one word.
Christians tend to think that when they get to Heaven, there will be a backslapping hug-fest with Jesus. I don’t think so. I think when we come face to face with God, we will have two primary thoughts that will burn in our souls like a handful of sun:
● I have seriously underestimated the holiness of God.
●I have seriously overestimated my own righteousness.
If you want to see how us lowly humans react in the presence of a Holy and righteous God, there are several examples in Scripture. The classic one for me is John on the Isle of Patmos in the presence of Jesus Christ in His fully radiant glorified body: “I fell on my face as dead.” (Rev. 1:17)
One day I walked across stone bridge spanning a large river. On the other side was a field dedicated to kite fliers. Some of the kites were flying several hundred feet high. I was drawn to a very old man flying his kite. I could see the string going up into the sky, but I could not see the kite. I looked and looked, but no kite was to be found. With my curiosity getting the best of me I asked the elderly man where his kite was. It has been forty years, and I have never forgotten his answer: “You aren’t looking high enough, young man.” Then he pointed up at a much greater angle. I followed his finger and there, up where the big planes fly was the little dot that he identified as his kite. “How much string to you have out” I asked him in amazement. “Over a mile he replied.”
Maybe you aren’t looking high enough for God. Maybe your God is too small. I strongly suspect that mine is. Maybe He can’t be defined by a collection of bumper stickers. Maybe it takes a lifetime of reading His Word, and like Jacob when he wrestled the angel, we need to cry out, “I will not let thee go until thou bless me!” Maybe you expressed that to God a long time ago, but maybe you tired and quit the wrestling match too soon. You’ll never get your hip dislocated by a stack of bumper stickers like Jacob experienced in his agonizing and relentless determination to be blessed of God, but neither will you ever feel the breath of God on your face as you wrap your quivering arms around His neck and cry out to Him that you will never settle for anything less than His best for you. That is called “The Victorious Christian Life” and it does not come cheap, though should it cost you your very life itself, it would be an indescribable bargain.