Thursday, April 24, 2014

For A Dude On My Facebook Friendlist

Actually, this is not reserved for this friend.  I 'll let him introduce himself in whatever manner he chooses to what ever extent he feels most comfortable.  But this was provoked by a my posting of this Laurie Higgins article, which he referred to as "pretentious drivel".  As I am quite the fan of Higgins' work, especially her insightful perspective on the issue of homosexuality and the Agenda That Doesn't Exist, I do not believe I would be so partial to someone for whom the label "pretentious" would be appropriate.  I am certain I've never read anything by her that in any way equates to "drivel".  But then, I am not a proponent, supporter or enabler (and certainly no activist) of the Agenda That Doesn't Exist. 

But FB is not the best forum for true debate on any subject, so I invited him to elaborate on his position here.  I have also given him leeway as regards staying on topic so long as it is related to the general issue.  But anyway, he's a new dude so give him a break and if anyone feels compelled to respond to remarks of his, wield the bludgeon gently.  I've no reason to believe he is of the typically thin skinned variety of opponent.  Nonetheless, as always, I will let him draw first blood if that is his intent.  Leave reciprocal fire to me.

As to the link, I am not going to post any commentary at this point, other than to say if you have not seen it via my FB posting, give it a read here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Lengthy Analysis of Dan's Post



at Dan’s blog, he attempts to respond to questions posed by Craig within a discussion at another blog.  Craig’s questions were provoked by Dan’s typically convoluted explanations of his understanding of Scripture as it relates to matters of wealth and poverty.  Needless to say, Dan’s “take” leaves a little to be desired, in that it smacks of his usual leftist worldliness that colors his understanding.

Before I delve into the quagmire, I want to make especially clear that what follows should in no way be inferred as dismissive of those struggling in economic poverty, or that I in any way believe those who have are not duty bound to help those who have not.  Indeed, this very paragraph should be read a good half dozen times by any left leaning visitor so as to deflect any such nonsensical accusations they might otherwise be so willing to lodge.

One other point necessary to highlight is that Dan is one who constantly refers to himself as one who has come to his Scriptural understanding by way of serious and prayerful study.  I’ll let you, gentle reader, decide if there is evidence of that obvious in his responses.  Now let’s get on with it.

The questions Craig asked of Dan revolve around Dan’s use of the words of Christ to the effect of, “I have come to bring good news to the poor.”  Craig asks of Dan to explain what he thinks it means.  It’s the first question of Craig’s that he attempts to answer.
1. You use this quote a lot, but what do you think it means?

Dan’s initial response is that he cannot know.  No one can know.  Jesus didn’t say.  But Dan goes on to “take a crack at a guess”. 

There’s really no guessing required.  The line comes from Isaiah 61:1-2.  Jesus read from that scroll in the synagogue in Nazareth as told us in Luke 4:14-19.  What Jesus read was that which identified Him as the Messiah.  That’s what the Isaiah piece was describing and Jesus applied these verses to Himself as a way of describing just Who He really was.  This is cemented by Jesus saying in verse 21, “Today this scripture if fulfilled in your hearing.”  The message was quite clear to those of the time who were students of Scripture.  What’s more, that Jesus used the Isaiah piece in this manner is the reason the people of Nazareth moved to throw Him down a cliff. 

Now, I must stop here and elaborate a bit.  Some will look at the verses 24-27 and proclaim them the reason the Nazarenes took umbrage.  Jesus is not speaking well of Israel and suggesting better toward Gentiles.  But the original language that is verse 22 is often interpreted as if the people were impressed in a good way by Christ’s use of Isaiah to introduce Himself as Messiah.  This is not necessarily so and not every Bible version interprets it in such a positive manner.  To some, it is more like they were stunned by His words.  Regardless, His use of the Isaiah piece is indeed meant to imply to His listeners that He is the Messiah. 

None of this shows up in Dan’s response to the question.  He can’t help himself but to put a spin on it that revolves around the people being oppressed by the MAN.  Even when Dan refers to Jesus using this verse in response to John the Baptist, it is to confirm for John that He is indeed the Messiah.  That was, after all, what John was asking of Jesus:  “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect another?”  Jesus answer was, in so many words, “Yes.  I am that One.”

Craig’s next question to which Dan takes a guess is:

”2.  What, specifically, was “the good news” that Jesus preached to the poor?”

Again, Dan doesn’t seem to know or even believe that Jesus explained it.  I don’t know how one can “seriously and prayerfully” study Scripture and then say that Jesus didn’t state what “the good news” was.  The message of the “Good News” was proclaimed from the time of the Immaculate Conception.  It was proclaimed by Zechariah at the birth of his son John, when he said, “...for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins…”-Lk 1:70.  It was proclaimed by angels to shepherds:  “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Lk1:11.  When Joseph and Mary presented their baby in the temple, Simeon praised the God for having allowed him to live long enough to see the Christ, and the prophetess, Anna, “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Lk2:38.  John the Baptist proclaimed the Good News when he “saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Jn 1:29.  And of course, Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn14:6. 

Throughout His ministry, Jesus spoke of Himself and His purpose, which was to be our Way to God through His sacrificial death on the cross.  Not all who heard Him understood Him.  Even His apostles were hazy on the true meaning of His teachings in this regard, even when, as Peter did, they acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, they didn’t quite get it entirely.  But Jesus, while not being as straightforward as Dan obviously needed Him to be, did indeed express what the Good News was.  And we certainly should know it by now, with the knowledge of His apostles’ subsequent teachings in Acts and their Epistles. 

Put another, but very accurate way, Jesus was the Good News that Jesus preached to the poor.  So then, the third question of Craig’s…

”3.  What, specifically, does this mean for us?”

It means, quite plainly in fact, that we, as sinners, have the very same path to God.  Jesus is that path and He died for us so that we, as well, can be sanctified and made worthy to be in the presence of God by virtue of His atoning death on the cross.  We accept Him as our Savior and our sins are washed away by the Blood He shed for us.  It means, specifically, we are saved.  Hallelujah!

”4.  What, specifically, should be happening that is not in order for us to ‘preach good news to the poor’?”

This question is not truly answerable to one like Dan who doesn’t even know what the Good News is.  That is to say, discovering that News would seem to be the Prime Directive, the first step before any thought could legitimately be given to how to deliver it.  Indeed, he claims we can’t know what it even means to preach that Good News if we knew what the Good News was!

One thing is certain, and that is that to Dan, it all has something to do with everyone else giving their stuff to the poor, while he does all he can to avoid acquiring stuff to give away.

Dan goes on to list examples of what he believes are manifestations of what should be happening that is not:

He has a problem with “crystal cathedrals” and mega-churches.  I have to assume he doesn’t believe such larger congregations don’t minister to the poor in a manner he finds suitable, regardless of whether or not he has any idea as to their effectiveness.  He also apparently believes there should be some limited size beyond which no congregation should grow, as if his preference for small store-front churches should be shared by all and are somehow an indication of…what, exactly, true Christianity?  There is also the matter of expectations to which one has no right as regards the spending to tithes.  I don’t believe that what a church does with the money it receives in the baskets on Sunday is of any concern to those who donate it.  THAT money belongs to God’s priests and ministers.  All money for charity is what one gives after. 

He speaks of “intentional” community as opposed to gated communities.  Gated communities arose in response to crime.  They would not be necessary if in preaching the Good News to the poor, the actual teaching of Christian behavior was stressed a bit more heavily. 

I really don’t understand the point about art galleries.  Is this to suggest he doesn’t like how the art market operates?  I have no idea what his concern is in this area and would love to see him post on it.  I’m sure it will be entertaining.

Dan speaks of more associating with poor people.  I have a better idea.  Let’s really help them by voting for people who understand the best that can be done for the poor is to expand our nation’s economy.  We can’t help the poor by being poor ourselves. 

Dan wants the church to look like what he thinks the early church looked like based on his understanding of the descriptions of it from the Book of Acts.  But as was pointed out in the video to which I linked in my April 19 post about ending poverty, there is no evidence that what Dan likes to think was common place throughout early Christendom actually was.  That is, there is nothing known to exist as evidence that the pooling of resources was either practiced elsewhere or even was meant to be a permanent practice.  In any case, it was a totally voluntary thing on the part of all the believers described therein.  What’s more, there is nothing anywhere in the story that justifies the suggestion that the early church did not have expectations about behaviors, rules, if you will, nor that ignoring them would not bring consequences of some kind.  Paul, also an early church leader, explicitly taught about expelling the unrepentant. 

The most problematic aspect is Dan’s statement that this early church as he sees it was a spiritual home that would be literally good news for the literal poor.  It sounds then like the Good News was stuff.  That’s not much different than Obama phones and Obama money.  What compels devotion once the stuff is no longer provided?  This is what Dan thinks churches should look like:  stuff for the poor, finding them work, a communal life whether they like it or not.  I have to wonder how this would actually work in a community that avoids wealth as Dan claims to in his own life.  Where would the stuff come from to provide for the poor so that there was no one in need if no one had excess due to their wealth avoidance practices?  This doesn’t even rise to the level of na├»ve.

I did a little research on the verse  “I have come to bring good news to the poor”.  I looked for commentaries and found a website called “Studylight,org” which provides dozens of commentaries on Scripture.  I looked at what was said about this verse by each of the following:

Adam Clarke
James Burton Coffman
Matthew Henry
John Gill
Peter Pett
Joseph Benson, who was a follower of John Wesley, and
John Wesley himself.

There were others, but I didn’t look at all of them.  But of the above, they each regarded “the poor” of the verse to mean either the poor in spirit, or both the poor in spirit and materially poor.  I don’t recall that any of them were Anabaptists, so they’re all likely full of it.  But that’s what they said in their commentaries.  However, despite God’s concern for the materially poor, and Christ’s teaching that we should care for them ourselves, it is extremely hard to believe that He would focus on those who were marginalized on earth and by doing so marginalize all others.  The thrust of Christ’s ministry was the spiritual, the things of God, not material poverty for material wealth is that which moth and vermin destroy. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ending Poverty...If We Really Care About Doing That

Over at John Barron's blog, Dan has continued to chastise those of us who insist that we are living the consequences of our choices and actions.  Dan is especially demonizing of those on the right who dare suggest such a thing about the poor in this country.  It doesn't matter how many others have experiences that support the proposition.  It only matters that Dan doesn't want to hear it, and prefers that everyone give away all their stuff to the poor.  At least that is the unstated expectation, because he thinks Christ came just to tell us to do that.

Unfortunately, helping the poor and alleviating poverty are two different things, and doing whatever is necessary to point out the importance of making the proper choices in life and following through on those choices constitute the beginning of helping the poor and eventually alleviating poverty.

To that end, I offer http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/jay-richards-how-to-end-poverty-in-10-tough-steps/">this video that I stole from Wintery Knight.  It's around an hour and a half long, but worth the time spent.  More to the point, anyone who claims to care about the plight of the poor are merely posturing if they do not view it and ponder deeply the facts and evidence highlighted within it.  The speaker, Jay Richards, also wrote a book on the subject and his presentation is based upon it.  I can't wait to read it.  If this video is any proof, it'll present the conservative position in a nutshell, which actually produces results.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

WARNING!!! IRONY ALERT!!! Part II

It was worse than I thought.  Alvin Holmes not only made an incredibly idiotic racist remark, the man with dung for brains actually put money behind it.   These two articles give details surrounding the asinine level of confidence this total buffoon has in his racist opinion of white Republicans.  I would be surprised if he did not try to welch on his wager by suggesting a specific number to satisfy his "whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama" criterion.  How many white Alabama families with adopted minority children must there be for this cretin to pay up?

But more importantly, what does it take for Democrats to stand against such blatant misbehavior?  Two lefties showed up when I originally posted on this story and tried to suggest there is a rational explanation for Holmes' vile pronouncements.  But there's a vast chasm-like difference between understanding how white racism in American history, perpetrated by some whites, might influence the perceptions of any given person of color toward the white race, versus using that to dismiss outrageous black racism toward in the other direction.  Like the white racist, Holmes simply does not know enough white people, Republican or otherwise, to justify a blanket condemnation of white people.  This has always been my problem with anyone with prejudice against any group of people.  America was never so completely racist as to justify such a reciprocal racist attitude.

And now Holmes must savor the taste of his own foot, and will be known for the complete jackass as his comments illustrate he is until he ponies up the cash or a public apology.  Not the typical Democrat apology, but an actual apology that demonstrates true remorse for his hatred and a sincere desire to repent of his racism and instead actually judge others by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Agenda Lies 9: How Slippery Is The Slope?

Get a load of THIS! 

The above linked article seems quite clearly to suggest that if one thing happens, such as state level enactment of laws that copy the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, then all sorts of nasty will follow.  The argument is that by allowing businesses to opt out of providing their products or services for sale to those who seek them for celebrations of homosexual "weddings", then obviously homosexuals will be discriminated against when seeking to engage in all other sorts of business, such as, for example, buying groceries.  That sounds very much like the slippery slope argument that is considered fallacious when used by opponents of pro-homosexual legislation (especially same-sex weddings--SSM).  Opponents believe, with much justification now that we're beginning to see manifestations, that other groups, such as those favoring polygamous unions, would seek legal recognition for their unions based on the same arguments that have led to the same for homosexuals. 

But here's the obvious difference the homosexual activist pretends doesn't exist:  The argument of the SSM opponent is that ANY union that does not meet the normal criteria for state licensing of marital unions (one man/one woman, not closely related, of legal age, neither currently married) fails to qualify for a license and state recognition, while no one who meets the criteria, which is the definition of marriage (legally, up until now in some states), is denied a license.  Thus, ejecting any criterion is justification for ejecting any other and really, mandates that the ejection of any other be given the same consideration since the arguments for doing so were used by the homosexuals in ejecting the criterion that had prevented the licensing of their unions.  And again, as we are now seeing the polygamous push for the same considerations, the "slippery slope" argument used by SSM opponents is clearly not fallacy at all, but coming to fruition.

However, the activist wants to insist that because a person of faith (or principle, for that matter) may discriminate against behaviors, then that will lead to that person of faith discriminating against the person who engages in that behavior.  But that would only be likely if the person engaging in whatever behavior offends the person of faith intends that every business transaction is for the purpose of enhancing an offending behavior he in which he will engage,  AND makes that intention known to the business person of faith. 

It's ludicrous and frankly, a dishonest portrayal of the intention of people of faith who wish to live out their lives and conduct business according to the tenets of their faith.  While it may be true that some would try to use a religious exemption to avoid doing business with an Irishman, one would be very hard pressed to prove that this is common amongst people of faith in general.  It just doesn't happen as seems to be the truth in every case of this nature that has been brought to light.  None of the people forced to defend their Constitutionally protected rights have demonstrated the will to discriminate against anyone simply for being who or what they are.  They refused a very specific request for a very specific reason that should be respected by the very people who insist that everyone should respect their immoral beliefs and push for legislation that forces the country to do so. 

The linked article is simply another illustration of the dishonesty so necessary in achieving the goals of the Agenda That Doesn't Exist.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Give Them What They Want

In a discussion regarding businesses forced to participate in the celebration of sin and dysfunction, a comment was posted suggesting that we give them what they want, just not how they want it.  A response to that comment was as follows:

"The photographer should have prayed about it in front of them, and she
should have prayed that God would help them see the error of their
ways... she should have just dropped down on her knees right in front of
them and started praying. And then she should offer to pray for them
during the ceremony with their guests looking on... priceless."


I don't know if this is quite the right way to go about it.  The original commenter suggested doing as little as possible to provide the best service, such as making sure the photos were blurry or some such.  Praying aloud in a manner disruptive or disrespectful to the lesbians isn't exactly good for business.  And while this may only bring upon the photographer a lawsuit of a different kind, it does provoke another idea.

I once visited a customer who had a small sign posted just inside the front door that proclaimed to visitors that they are Christians and hope that all would respect that and act in a manner respectful of their faith while doing business there.  At the time, I imagined it referred mostly to things like profane/obscene language or things of that nature.

But imagine if the New Mexico photographer had something similar at her place of business?  Might those lesbians have continued seeking the services of this photographer if the photographer's faith was known to them before they sought her services?  It's been said that there are those activists that seek out Christians in order to force them to act against their beliefs, and if true, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised considering the fascistic nature of the homosexual lobby.

But consider if a business had a notice in their business such as that of the customer to whom I referred above.  What if businesses incorporated the following in their literature, ads, business decor:

LEV 18:22

Few homosexuals in this country are unaware of that verse.  Few would even need the verse to be printed out in full knowing exactly what they'd read if they looked up "Lev 18:22".  

A homosexual or lesbian looks in the Yellow Pages or online for a baker to get a cake for their "wedding" reception and sees that verse reference in the ad.   Only the most militant would insist on giving that baker any of their business, and that only if they are willing to go to court.  But what would that do for them if the baker went ahead and took the gig?  Every correspondence between the homosexuals and the baker would include "Lev 18:22" somewhere in the text.  The baker could even say, "I'd be happy to provide a quality and delicious cake for the celebration of your sinful union.  What exactly to you have in mind.  I want nothing but to provide for your sinful celebration a cake that will please all who taste it."  or something to that effect. 

The point isn't to deny them the business to which they believe they are entitled, but to provide it for them with the constant reminder that their intentions are sinful.  The photographer, for example, could have "Lev 18:22" printed in an easy to notice manner on his camera case where the customers can see it before hiring the photographer.  Any business that normally serves the wedding industry could partake in this idea if they oppose such unions for any reason.  A non-religious person can simply post notices that they support traditional marriage or some reference to that effect. 

Now, some might reject this idea as hateful.  But they wouldn't take such an attitude with a business that has a rainbow decal on their window, or any pro-homosexual indication.  Such people don't regard it as a double standard to do so, ignoring the fact that to support one thing is to oppose the opposite. 

Part of the reason our culture has become so morally corrupted is due to what the old adage suggests when good men do nothing.  It's never too late for people of faith to step up and defend truth and righteousness.  I mean it's not like the corrupt think highly of such people anyway, so why not? 

I like this idea.  "Lev 18:22" would make a great bumper sticker.  I'll have to see about how to go about having one made.  I'll have to put up with vandalism or the nasty looks and comments like I received from some people when I first applied "nobama" stickers to my bumper in 2008 (though I got, and still get, a lot of positive comments for that).  But the culture is in desperate need of people to simply stand up and say, "This is wrong" regardless of the heat.  It's harder now because it wasn't done well enough before. 

AND, it will draw out those who are the true haters and bigots that have pushed this abomination on the culture.