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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Those Denying God's Existence Should Forsake His Cash As Well

An article titled “Christian School Teacher Fired After Deciding To Live 2014 As An Atheist” attempts to place the onus for such a state of occupational limbo on organized religion. But isn't it even more the fault of the educator in question for attempting to turn his crisis of faith into some kind of theological publicity stunt?

According to the article, Ryan Bell was a Seventh Day Adventist minister and adjunct professor whose leftwing support of gay marriage and variance with his denomination's eschatology resulted in his resignation from the Hollywood congregation he pastored. He was forced from his teaching positions from Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University when Bell publicly announced his intentions to live as an atheist for a year to see if that particular worldview more accurately reflected his spiritual state where disillusionment caused him to question a number of his most deeply held beliefs.

The press account puts the blame for the hardship Bell would have to endure on these respective institutions of higher education. After all, Bell pointed out in the article, he has utility bills to pay and children to feed.

But shouldn't these employers be applauded for assisting Bell in taking his experiment in atheism to its logical conclusion? For Bell is not a minister in the Unitarian or Episcopal Churches so wishy washy in their core doctrines and beliefs that they are at times willing to keep outright unbelievers on their respective payrolls.

According to the article, Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University both require faculty to adhere to a statement of faith seemingly quite broad in terms of Christian specifics if these institutions of higher education claiming to be Evangelical openly embrace Seventh Day Adventism. What Dr. Bell has said is that, at the time this all came to a head in 2014, he no longer believes the bare bones required by these schools.

As such, if Bell for the time being no longer believes that there is an all powerful being sustaining the universe and providing a means whereby fallen men might be brought back into fellowship with Him, why shouldn't Bell also forfeit the salary provided by those that do believe in such in a context that already doesn't sound all that picky or particular regarding what are commonly referred to as secondary theological matters? After all, when the unbelievers are holding the administrative reigns and catch a whiff of doctrinal content they aren't particularly fond of they aren't exactly all that magnanimous either.

For example, in “Reason In The Balance”, popularizer of Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson chronicled the case of a Biology Professor that suggested that the complexity of even the simplest lifeforms pointed in the direction of a designer. Whom or what that might be was left up for the student to decide as the professor made no suggestions as to whether that designer was God in yonder Heaven or little green men zooming about the cosmos in a flying saucer. For engaging in the free exchange of ideas in an environment supposedly priding itself on such intellectual dynamism, this professor was booted out the door.

Adherents of Intelligent Design have faired little better in other settings. For example, a scientist lost his job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for simply expressing an interest in Intelligent Design.

Yet that very same facility explicitly stated in its public propaganda how its administrators supposedly appreciate innovative perspectives. Apparently believing that a Higher Power is behind the grandeur of the universe has little to do with building better rockets with the exception, of course, of boosting the esteem of Muslims in regards to that civilization's developments in mathematics from nearly a millennium ago. President Obama was quite explicit in making that an aeronautical agency funding priority despite their being barely a cent available for manned extra-atmospheric travel in the form of a space shuttle or lunar expeditions.

Did the atheists that got all worked up on behalf of Ryan Bell rush to meet the material needs of the occupationally displaced adherents of Intelligent Design or flagellate themselves in shamefacedness over the way the establishment media expects Christians to upon hearing of the hardships caused by the failure to at first compromise and then ultimately set aside these minimal standards derived from a set of very rudimentary beliefs one would think nearly anyone even wanting to be employed in a Christian setting would agree to? After all, it is not like Fuller Seminary these days enforces a no movies under any circumstances rule.

Proponents of the decision to impose penalties upon the bakers refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings insist that we ought to be willing to accept such punishments with little comment as the price for standing for convictions at variance with established social norms. In the case of those professing some manner of public unbelief such as itinerant academic Ryan Bell, this is to be yet another of the expanding network of exceptions and double standards.

by Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 2

Academics get the ball rolling on a more widespread denial or misunderstanding about the divine existence of Jesus by first calling into question and raising doubts about the validity and accuracy of the Biblical accounts pertaining to the life of the Messiah. Often such efforts are commenced under the banner of an epic endeavor such as "The Quest for the Historical Jesus" or "The Jesus Seminar" where professors with impressive scholastic credentials such as John Dominic Crossan claim to be doing the truly devoted a service by scraping away centuries worth of theological barnacles to get at the simple Jesus that existed before the executors of his reputation elevated the compassionate Nazarene handyman to religious superstar status. However, closer examination of the actual historical record reveals scholars advocating such a viewpoint are as mired in fiction and fantasy every bit as much as Dan Brown.

Throughout political and religious history, one of the most time-tested tactics to undermine one's opponent is to attack the credibility of his messengers or heralds. That is why the so-called "cultured despisers of religion" have spent so much of their effort to drag the Bible in general and the Gospels in specific into disrepute. For if one begins to doubt the authenticity of these ancient documents, it is often not long until one begins to question the claims of and about the Savior Himself detailed within those pages.

First and foremost, the apologist must show that the Bible can go toe to toe with what is considered established, factual history. In his essay, Quarles compares the New Testament with the Roman Annals of Tacitus (106). Of this work, Quarles points out no complete sample of the manuscript survived from the time it was written around AD 115 to 117, with only two fragments known to exist and the earliest complete manuscript of the text dating back to the ninth century. Regarding the New Testament, the earliest surviving manuscript, the Vaticanus, is dated at AD 325, several centuries closer to the time of the New Testament Autographs.

However, the superiority of the New Testament as an authentic historical document does not end here. For whereas only two ancient fragments of Tacitus have been discovered, numerous portions and segments of the New Testament have been discovered that are believed to date often just a few decades from the time the originals were believed to have been written.

One could easily conjecture there would have been more of an opportunity to perpetrate some kind of forgery in regards to the writings of Tacitus. Yet we find no clever professor having academic laurels bestowed upon his furrowed brow for bringing into question our entire understanding of the Classical World or Ron Howard producing from such speculation a summer blockbuster bringing in sufficient box office receipts so he can finally afford that realistic toupee or hairweave he has desperately needed for so many years.

More importantly, how many (other than the most enthusiastic of historians) would really have their epistemological and moral worlds shattered if it was eventually discovered that the likes of Tacitus, Julius Casear, or even Plato and Homer were frauds? Thus, the documents of Scripture are not only historically authentic, but so is the account of an individual whose meaning and significance far transcended the ordinary.

The Christian can be assured of this because not only are the Biblical documents historically authentic in terms of their mechanics in how they came down to the contemporary world but also in terms of being reliable in regards to the credibility of the internal content. For example, if the Bible was nothing more than propaganda literature, in all likelihood those compiling the documents would have taken considerable care to downplay the faults of the movement's earliest leaders. However, this clearly did not happen.

In Church History, Christ's handpicked Apostles are considered the closest any human beings can come to epitomizing the ideal qualities of leadership. However, before being imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament is rife with instances where the pillars of the Church were closer to the human rather than ideal side of the lofty concept.

For example, John's mother is depicted as a social climber who wasn't fully aware of what she was getting her sons into when she went right up to Christ demanding that her sons be placed at His right hand in the coming kingdom. And though many view Peter as the unyielding rock upon which Christ built the Church, given his bumbling and cowardly nature, he seems no more competent than any of us and certainly neither a figure militant nor triumphant.

Thus, from such attention to the details that could have easily been brushed over if those penning the New Testament had been out to perpetrate either a religious fraud or to craft an inspirational but still a nevertheless fictional narrative, the believer gains a confidence that the Bible may be just as truthful in regards to its much more majestic claims as well.

Since the Bible itself teems with historical respectability, those serious about considering its claims ought to examine what is said about the text's central character, Jesus Christ. Certain skeptics wanting to pat themselves on the back just how broadminded they can be claim they applaud the so-called "ethics of Jesus", insisting that He was a good man but did not claim to be deity.

However, the Bible tells us otherwise. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus said, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

And since we have no reason to disbelieve the legitimacy of the account, Jesus did indeed rise from the grave. Secondly, at no time did Jesus condemn those that claimed He was God despite the rigorous monotheism of ancient Judaism. Of special interest to the skeptic will no doubt be Thomas who, like his counterparts in contemporary academia, was reluctant to accept the reality of the risen Jesus without more tangible proof. Upon examining Christ's wounds first hand, Thomas declared in John 20: 28, "My Lord and my God."

In previous eras, such would likely bring us to the end of an evangelistic apologetic discourse since respect for (though perhaps not always adherence to) Scripture was ingrained throughout the culture. However, today there are so many worldview alternatives to select from that the believer must not only state what Lee Strobel has termed "the case for Christ" but also begin to plant the seeds that will assist the seeker to disentangle themselves if they so desire from the webs of deception in which they are entrapped. The Christian cannot assist in this process unless they themselves are familiar with at least the basic tenets of their own faith's most prominent competitors.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 1

Here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Apologetics as an evangelistic endeavor and intellectual theological outreach finds itself in something of a paradox. When the West thought of itself in terms of resting on broadly Judeo-Christian assumptions, the discipline was not as desperately needed while most within the church at least knew of the field's existence as a subject. At the time, the less practically inclined among the membership dabbled in the subject by contemplating abstract questions and topics. However, as society moves away from Biblical assumptions and the church finds itself in desperate need of the discipline to prevent both individuals and nations from sliding into the abyss, it seems very few even know what Apologetics is and those that do are often contemptuously dismissive of this kind of scholastic undertaking in favor of a more pietistic or even mystical approach to the Christian faith.

In the anthology “Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses On Christian Apologetics”, Paul Copan and William Lane Craig have assembled a number of essays rallying the faithful as to why Apologetics is necessary and tackling head on a number of the greatest challenges to the Christian faith prevalent in the world today.

Renowned futurist Alvin Toffler has remarked that the changes sweeping over society are akin to waves that can be so unsettling that they leave those they have rolled over in a state of shock while leaving those still riding the crests of previous conceptual epochs dumbfounded as to how to address the changing situations around them. Particularly hard hit has been the humanities, of which the areas of study such as philosophy, religion, and thus ultimately apologetics happen to be a part. Unlike previous eras of world history in which the average individual often dealt with a limi

ted space in terms of both mental and physical geography, today even the poorest resident of the twenty-first century West finds himself bombarded constantly with opposing worldviews. These come at us in the forms of an omnipresent media establishment, the swarms of people pouring over our borders from every conceivable corner of the globe, and the shocking number of our own countrymen willing to abandon the worldview this civilization was built upon in favor of any number of alternatives that turn out to be less than solid upon closer inspection.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The confusion characterizing the spiritual scene today would not have come about unless there had been a widespread abandonment of what Francis Schaeffer termed the “Christian consensus”, what C.S. Lewis referred to as “Mere Christianity”, and what those wanting to cast the most ecumenical net possible might characterize as the Judeo-Christian belief system. G.K. Chesterton is credited with observing that the problem that arises when we abandon orthodox theology is not that we won’t believe in anything but that we will believe in anything.

The pillar or keystone of Christianity setting it apart from all other religions and philosophies is that Jesus as the only Begotten Son of God and second person of the Trinity came to earth by being born of the Virgin Mary to live the sinless life no man could, to die on the Cross as payment for our sins and to rise from the dead so that all that believe in Him might spend eternity with God in Heaven. This is what is known as the Gospel message.

All excursions into error (no matter how seemingly ancient or modern) begin as either an outright denial of or failure to recognize these fundamental truths. This can be seen in terms of both popular and academic culture.

In terms of his own theory of Apologetics, Ravi Zacharias has postulated that there is a highest refined level of philosophy that eventually filters downward to the general population in the form of mass media and entertainment. This is true of other academic humanities as well and is not a phenomena confined solely to technical philosophy.

The first decade of the twenty-first century, renowned primarily for its advances in electronic entertainment, experienced a publishing phenomena that gripped the public imagination like few things else in the form of a novel titled “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. Underlying the suspense of this thriller is the conjecture that Jesus was not divinity in human form but rather simply an outstanding human teacher no different than anyone else but elevated to godhood for political purposes at the Council of Nicea.

Provocative as those heresies might be, what really set the book off like wildfire was the assertion that among those otherwise mundane things Jesus did as an ordinary human being was to father a child by Mary Magdalene. It was through this lineage, rather than through any organizational church structure, that true Christian teaching was passed down through history through the intermarriage of Christ's descendants with the royal houses of Europe, especially the Merovingian of France. Of these astounding claims and their alleged justifications, Charles Quarles writes in the essay “Revisionist Views About Jesus” in “Passionate Conviction”, “This fact coupled with the enormous popularity of the book and the film require thoughtful believers to respond intelligently to the claims of the Code (96).”

It seems odd that so many --- both Christian and non-Christian alike --- would allow a popular novel to either so shake their faith or to allow it to justify what they already believe. Quarles writes, “Those whose faith is shaken by Dan Brown’s claims lose their faith far too quickly. If they will take the time to investigate Brown’s claims, they will find that his statements about biblical and historical Christianity are a comedy of errors and lack historical evidence (108).” Thing of it is though, Christianity has been maligned and discredited for so long in the halls of higher learning that the average person thinks such radical skepticism is the default position of the open, educated mind.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Organizationally Top Heavy Church Admonishes Parishioner Austerity

In a podcast discussion centering around the issue of Baptist political involvement posted by the staff of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, one of the participants remarked that God might not be that interested in religious freedom in America because Christians live too comfortably in this nation and are not only reluctant to speak out as a result but even refrain from overseas missions trips. Mind you, the criticism might carry more weight if Berean Baptist Church was some rundown shack along a country highway or in the middle of some cornfield.

However, from its website, its programs and facilities remind one more of a religious Disney World or at least a Chuck-E-Cheese rather than a facility conducive to the kind of solemn austerity that one voice on its multi-pastor staff seems to be calling for. And that brings us to the first criticism.

From my own experience, the Baptist churches I have attended or am quite familiar with usually had a singular pastor on staff. Rarely was there even an assistant or associate pastor.

The most godly pastor I probably ever knew actually worked also as a full-time letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. However, Berean Baptist Church has around six pastors.

And it seems even this number is insufficient to cover how many pots this ecclesiastical organization seems to have its fingers in. For under their oversight, comes not only a board ten deacons but also an administrative council consisting of five directors.

If we are going to be hyper-Biblical how everyone else is to abandon their preconceptions about what constitutes the American way of life in favor of world missions to the pygmies, in what Scripture do we find the office specifically designated “Director”?

Yet in further addition, reporting to this top heavy managerial structure are a total of nine additional employees. After all, you probably need someone with coffee barista experience to serve up the muffins and cappachno in the church cafe.

Also troubling are a number of the questions on the application and renewal application to serve as deacon in this church. For example, the questionnaire asks potential deacons are they not only faithful to their wives in body but also in thought.

For starters, so long as these stirrings have not been taken beyond the level of thought, is this really the business of a church busybody? Who in their right mind is going to confess this sort of thing to someone else other than to Christ?

And while we are on the issue of Baptists that want to “out catholic” the Catholics in terms of legalistic works righteousness, even more disturbing is the question asking is the diaconial aspirant willing to resign if he no longer supports the vision of the church as articulated and interpreted by the senior pastor. How is this requirement any different in spirit than the Papalism this brand of Baptist is infamous for railing against?

Any deacon worthy of the office is loyal to God first, then the welfare of the church, and then perhaps lastly the pastor. Any church that requires this degree of loyalty to a mere human being has moved beyond the boundaries of sound religion into the worst characteristics of nepotistic bureaucracy.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things. However, it is wrong when those themselves living on pretty much what cannot be characterized as anything other but an easy street look down from their pulpit perch to enunciate why you ought not be enjoying what you have likely earned from a day's labor probably far more honest than any the one verbalizing such condemnation has likely toiled away at in a very long time.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Gullible Believers Guilt-Tripped Into Free Labor

According to Dave Wager of the Silver Birch Ranch on an episode of “Standing For The Truth”, if pastors are really interested in teaching their young people a lesson, they ought to bring them to his facility to do dishes for a week.

In other words, what he is interested in is no cost labor.

It is claimed such measures are needed to teach youth these days the value of work.

What then is to teach these kinds of rackets that, just because an organization adds the term “Christian” to their name or mission statement, it does not mean believers are henceforward obligated to comply with outlandish demands for their time and treasure?

For does not the Bible say that a workman is worthy of his hire?

If so, if Dave Wager needs dishwashers, why can't he provide a market based wage?

If he cannot afford it, perhaps his enterprise or ministry ought to close up shop.

After all, for aligning himself with those that want to get back to simple, unencumbered New Testament Christianity, perhaps Pastor Wager can point out in what Epistle or Gospel retreat centers or Bible camps are elaborated upon.

If anything, isn't the earliest analogy of where the conspicuously pious could go to labor for the purposes of deepening their sense of spirituality and religious devotion the medieval monasteries which are often condemned in these circles as Roman Catholic accretions to divine revelation?

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Faulty Theology Leads To Faulty Conceptions Of God's Will

Glenn Beck has been stricken with a crippling neurological disorder.

The prognosis given estimates that he might have between 5 to 10 years before he is disabled or incapacitated.

In the announcement of his ailment at The Blaze, Beck confided that his doctors informed him that, if he did not stop working, his condition would get worse.

However, Beck did not believe that God was necessarily telling him the same thing.

Beck is to be commended for doing all that he can with whatever time he might have left.

However, who is not to say that such illnesses are not God's way of telling an individual that it might be time to slow down a bit or that their efforts are required in what to our mortal perceptions might seem to be less meaningful endeavors?

Then there is the truth so few are going to possess the courage to mention.

As a Mormon, Beck professes a belief in a seriously flawed understanding of the Gospel and divine revelation.

Not only that, but the power and knowledge possessed by the Mormon conception of God is not as complete or comprehensive as that postulated by more orthodox understandings of Christianity.

With these under consideration, how can Beck thus be assured that what he construes to be a divine urging for him to continue on at a breakneck pace really is an encouragement from the Heavenly Father?

And even if it is, what assurances does a Mormon possess that a well-meaning but ultimately ineffective God is even able to deliver for Beck the good that is intended irrespective of earthly outcome?

In such a situation, mustn't the prudent inquire if the compulsion Beck believes is driving him forward might just as likely be a malevolent force or entity attempting to both end Beck's work as well as imperil his immortal soul?

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Leftwing Protests Herald Collectivist Brutality

As those following the news over the past several years are no doubt aware, a leftist protest movement has galvanized under a banner referred to broadly as “Occupy Wall Street” This name was selected almost as an after thought by a coalition of converging groups and causes in order to appeal to the sympathizes of a significant swath of the American population.

For there really aren't many that have not been perturbed at one time or another over the shenanigans of Wall Street. To those on the Left, these often stand out as ostentatious displays of greed. Those on the Right, though having little problem in theory with the accumulation of considerable profit, are as just as much in principle disturbed by the government intervention rushing to prevent economic collapse as a result of imprudence on the part of investors and other fiduciaries carelessly overseeing delicate financial assets.

Because of those assembling under such a banner, a number of the nation's leaders from institutions such as government and media have spoken favorably of these protests. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi have often assumed a John Belushi “Thank you, sir. May I have another” posture in gratitude for protesters speaking out with such boldness and direct action.

But before Americans that (unlike these protesters) actually work for a living or take an assortment of steps to see that they minimize their dependence upon public assistance march in solidarity as we are told to by revolutionary leftists, perhaps we should take a look at what movements such as Occupy Wall Street actually profess, what kinds of deeds they have committed, and what elites such as Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi endorse by default as a result of their favorable remarks and lack of condemnation.

For example, participants in these sorts of upheavals have, like disgruntled apes in zoos, relieved their bowels in police cruisers. Did President Obama speak out against such outrage?

If not, shouldn't it be construed that he has no problem with such an act? After all, he found it appropriate to interject himself into the misunderstanding between a police officer and a Harvard professor so full of himself that he did not think he had to comply with the lawful orders of law enforcement like a mundane, run of the mill American.

More importantly, if there is nothing inherently wrong about pulling down one's pants and relaxing one's anal sphincter against a police cruiser, then what would be so wrong about perpetrating a similar outrage against a presidential motorcade? After all, are we not acculturated that, in our federal system of government, ideally the local level is just as important as the national and no one person or official more worthy of deference than another?

Another aspect worthy of note is how these leftist elites respond to Occupy-style movements in light of their to the Tea Party movement. One such example is none other than Hag Pelosi.

In one interview, the crone about broke down into tears how the kinds of frustrations vociferously articulated in the earliest days of the Tea Party movement were what led to the violence of the 1960's, especially as epitomized by those carried out in her beloved San Francisco area. President Obama echoed similar sentiments insinuating that Tea Party activists needed to watch what they said in light of the shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords not by a proponent of constitutional government and fiscal responsibility but rather by a psychotic motivated by the occult as evidenced by the Voodoo shrine he erected in his parents' backyard.

But while members of the Tea Party can hardly be linked to any actual incidents of violence and are more likely to have assaults perpetrated upon them as evidence by a Black gentleman beaten to a pulp by union goons for simply attempting to sell “Don't Tread On Me” paraphernalia, those allied with Occupy Wall Street and related upheavals have actually perpetrated outrages that about bring tears to any but the most calloused news hounds.

In Italy, mobs in solidarity with the Occupy Movement desecrated and vandalized religious objects and works of art in a church. Had such an act of deliberate animus taken place on the part of the Tea Party movement at a Jewish synagogue (especially of the liberal variety where those that gather do so more out of a passionate disregard for Christianity rather than out of any affirmative embrace of the revelation of a monotheisitic God to mankind), every news bureau in the country would have a correspondent on the scene with Geraldo especially ripping out his mustache in an act of lamentation.

And in another act of religious hostility occurring on the Italian Peninsula, a protester set ablaze a Bible during a mass conducted by the Pope. Just see what happens to you if a similar act of disrespect is perpetrated to a particular venerated Islamic text. The next video footage of something set on fire is likely to be you.

Did the Obama Administration release any kind of statement condemning such acts of hatred against Christianity? Yet this was the very same regime that propagated the impression that mentioning the terms “Islamic” or “terrorism” to describe the contemporary documented phenomena of violence committed in pursuit of specific theo-political ends is going to spark an epidemic of bias related incidents directed towards Muslims that are in no way participating in this covert yet not so subtle attempt to destroy the Western way of life.

Among crimes, there rank gradations of offense. Since the structures are ingrained culturally into our psyches as places exuding goodness and holiness at least to those that frequent them, most Americans of sound conscience would not think of vandalizing a house of worship even if it was of a tradition other than their own. The only other acts that strike the descent individual as more shocking would probably be assaults of a sexual nature and outright homicide.

It has been said that in the eighteenth century that the Bible was killed, in the nineteenth century that God was killed, and in the twentieth century man was killed. This rhetorical flourish shows how a total disregard for the basic mortality of Scripture leads to a disrespect for God which results in the catastrophic death that results as man perfects his technology but certainly not his morality. Experimental sociologists of the twenty-first century do not necessarily have to waste centuries any more to watch such a process play out. It is unfolding before their very eyes in the form of Occupy Wall Street and derivative protest movements.

Following the shocking vandalism of the Italian churches, participants of the Occupy Movement having expressed such outright contempt for the things of God have expunged themselves of perhaps the greatest hurdle up until now preventing them from afflicting similar atrocities upon their fellow human beings. Perhaps the likes of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi would care to comment on any number of these since they certainly don't mind foaming at the mouth at the alleged behavioral shortcomings of the Tea Party Movement.

For example, in a number of Occupy “shanty towns” and indigent enclaves, a number of women have been sexually assaulted and even raped. It was been reported that one of these victims was a 14 year old and, another , a woman with cognitive disabilities.

At one Occupy demonstration, a tent for women only had to be established in order to provide a sense of comfort to women reluctant to sleep amidst a group of men whose appearances alone often reveal a lack of discipline and self control. However, given the nature of the mob mentality, is a sign reading “Women Only” going to dissuade a bunch of lust-filled hooligans when they don't have much respect for law, rules, and basic human decorum to begin with?

Even when such unconscionable acts occur, often it is the preference of Occupy organizers that such infractions be settled within the confines of the demonstrating collective. After all, when these beatniks believe we are nothing more than animals to begin with, such assaults really aren't that evil after all. Categorizing such acts in that manner is a manifestation of the bourgeois notions of the uptight and sexually repressed.

Perhaps it is this notion that the likes of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi embrace so heartily. That notion is of course that the laws that govern we mere common mortals should not be used to bind those consciences and minds so revolutionary that, as Hegel taught, they are already attuned to the new epoch unfolding before us.

For example, among those thinking that the sexual predators within the ranks of the Occupy Movement should not be remanded to bourgeois justice are those probably insisting that Herman Cain be placed on some kind of offender registry for commenting that one woman was about his wife's height and for requesting another to doctor his tea.

Throughout history, though many revolutions start out galvanized around a noble principle, eventually since they do not yield to the laws of God nor respect the rights of those that disagree with their conclusions, end up in violence and eventually loss of life. As has been seen in terms of the desecrated church and sexual molestations, this movement has already tottered over the edge into violence. The discerning and concerned must ask how long until the loss of innocent life?

Already a number of Occupy participants have succumbed to overdoses on pharmaceutical compounds. Proponents of the Occupy Movement will respond that this was the result of the deceased individual's own hand.

Fair enough. One only need glance at the vast numbers of Occupy participants for no more than fifteen seconds to tell that these types aren't exactly renowned for pursuing lives of ascetic self-control and mortification of the flesh.

However, incidents have occurred that could lead one to conclude that the Occupy Movement could turn violent or even homicidal at the drip of a pin. Or perhaps, in this case, rather a pen.

For just such a writing implement was plunged into the neck of one particular broadcast journalist covering one of these activist enclaves. One supposes it only logical that the proper use of such communication technology no doubt evades those unable to master the techniques necessary to aim their respective digestive effluents into the designated sewage receptacles.

Often the mouthpieces of these uprising throngs claim that their goals are of a nonviolent nature. Yet these malcontents then proceed to smash windows, flip over automobiles, and now desecrate religious objects.

To the average person not educated beyond the point of usefulness, such acts embody the notion of violence. However, to such leftists that have conscientiously abandoned established moral norms, such acts are not construed as violent.

To them, such an ethical appellation only applies if forceful actions are directed towards particular types of human beings. But among the first steps of systematic demhumanization is to either take away the property of your political opponents or to exhibit some kind of overwhelming disrespect towards it.

For example, bricks through windows and setting trashcans afire is a favorite tactic of this kind of movement in its early stages. As such acts become second nature to the perpetrators, they may even move to even more shocking acts of vandalism such as the painting of yellow stars on the property of those belonging to a particular ethno-religious category.

After what might even include a little nocturnal breaking of the glass, the shock troops of the New World Order are well on their way to eroding what little remains of the human conscience to allow not only for the destruction of the things owned by the despised demographic (be they Jews, Christians, property owners or even those driving automobiles deemed too luxurious by the proponents of anarchistic collectivism) but the snuffing out as well of the very lives of those deemed a hindrance to progress and the next stage of social development.

Already the mental and philosophical preparation is being put into place to ratchet things up to the next level. Even the godless amoralitsts need to be conditioned for the pending taking of human life.

In a story posted at the Blaze.com titled, “Anti-Capitalist Teach-In Leader: 'We Have People Organizing Inside The Military”, a member of the Progressive Labor Party boasted that he and his comrades are infiltrating the military, college campuses, and among industrial workers in preparation of a pending uprising. In essence, this is totalitarian as it mirrors the orders of society laid out since the Middle Ages encompassing nearly everyone in terms of those who work, fight, and pray.

Infiltrating the churches and colleges is essential in order to mold the masses in compliance with one's own warped worldview. It is essential to seize control of the means of production in order to bring society to a grinding halt. For if you can cut off access to food, other necessities and assorted luxuries, you can coerce quite a few to go along with your demands even if they are not inclined to because of the ingrained drives for food, shelter, and clothing.

There is only one reason that one would want to take over the military as articulated by a mentioned Occupy spokesman. That reason is to none other than kill or intimidate into compliance those within education, industry, and religion unwilling to surrender this side of the grave to the brutalizations of totalitarian collectivism.

Some snobs might sneer down their noses since Blaze.com is the news portal of ideological flip-flopper Glen Beck. However, how that refutes the veracity of an Occupy subversive speaking in his own words is never really explained. That's one reason they want to seize control of the military. So the will never be required to explain themselves.

However, there was another statement documented that verifies that desire for what the vast majority of Americans would categorize as violence. One agitator participating in Occupy Movement activism enunciated how he would like to hurl a Molotov cocktail into Macy's.

Such an act is an act of terrorism not all that different than that perpetrated by Islamists around the world. Anyone claiming it is not because of the animosities they harbor against the symbols of capitalism such as department stores should be asked how they would like such an horrible deed perpetrated against their own homes or economic establishments more to their own likings such as food coops and organic markets featuring what is claimed to be locally grown produce.

In response to a brief blog entry I posted, a commenter remarked that I had better stop watching Fox News or Rush Limbaugh and wake up to how the so-called 99% disapprove of how the 1% are living. This also raises a number of questions.

For starters, what if I refuse to? As a free individual, I am permitted to consult whatever sources of information and media that I desire. We call that freedom of thought and expression. It is obvious that with such threats that those sympathetic to the rampagers do not respect liberty of conscience.

But more importantly, does the fact that the 99% approve or disapprove of something make that thing in question good or evil? It has been said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. To configure that sentiment in a more dignified elocution, the Biblical idiom insists that broad is the path that leads to destruction.

For example, it has been said that pure democracy is a group consisting of 51 men and 49 women where the 51 men vote to rape the 49 women. Some conditioned into the notion that the only way to express things is in the most docile manner possible so as not to spark offense will recoil, insisting that such an extreme example could never take place. But given what has taken place at a number of Occupy encampments such as unsolicited toe sniffing, outright sexual assault, the establishment of female-only tents surrounded by barbed wire and a leadership so spineless that it is reluctant too hand over such criminals to the justice system, those that would consider them themselves adjusted human beings had better think long and hard about basing their convictions upon a foundation no more secure than the whims of a drug-addled mob.

Global society indeed totters along the edge of destruction. Though anyone aware of a world beyond themselves is outraged by the gross excesses wallowed in by those atop the system, one must also be constantly aware of the threat posed by those fanatically insistent that the only way to rectify the perceived outrages is to nearly destroy all of civilized existence in the process.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Monday, April 3, 2017

News Weeklies Insinuate No Societal Decay Before January 20, 2017

The cover of the March 23, 2017 edition of Time Magazine asks, “Is Truth Dead?”.

But instead of focusing on truth throughout American culture and how developments such as speech codes stifle the free exchange of ideas, the article hones in on the crux of the issue with the more elaborative title of “When A President Can't Be Taken For His Word”.

So was this premiere propaganda outlet of the prevailing establishment as concerned about the issue of truth in government when one President told us that, if we liked our doctor, we could keep our doctor? And what about the President that insisted that he did not have sex with that woman and quibbled once about what the definition of “is” is?

And as Time was shedding crocodile tears over the demise of political veracity, over at Newsweek the hacks there were giving the American people a lesson in how journalism claiming to be objective can still be manipulated to present a slanted view of reality.

For on the March 14, 2017 issue was a caricature of the Statue of Liberty adorned as a member of the border patrol.

The caption that accompanied the illustration read, “Trump's Border War: The Fight Over Immigration Is About To Get Ugly”.

And before now the semi-lawless situation at the border where the territorial integrity of the United States has been protected piecemeal like a Kardashian's virtue has adhered to the highest notions of the true, the good, and the beautiful?

Will these elites assure us that the lax enforcement of these laws that has no doubt led to increased human trafficking has not yet turned ugly?

Will these proponents of cultural decay stand up proudly and declare that they are glad a fourteen year old was allegedly raped in a high school restroom by a freshman pushing well into the age of adulthood that shouldn't even have been in the country in the first place?

Journalism as one of the foundational guardians of the Republic indeed ought to be concerned about the state of truth in America.

But it is indeed a shame that a disturbing percentage practicing this craft and profession lack the fortitude to consider the role played by the press in bringing about the state in which the nation now finds itself mired.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Headline Potpourri #95

Those scuzzy witches descending upon the Nation's Capital no doubt ranked among those that condemned Promise Keepers' Rallies which were little more than high priced Bible studies and not likely gatherings where men glorified their privates in a raunchy manner.

Unless her confession that she has thought a lot about blowing up the White House is an admission that she secretly desires to become an author of thriller novels in the tradition of Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn, shouldn't Madonna be hauled in by the Secret Service for investigation?

So do these shrill banshees that constantly gripe about the “coarseness” of contemporary politics and condemn men for doing anything other than sitting around at tea parties like a bunch of pansies intend to condemn the constant use of the term “pussy” at the Moloch dedication rally in DC the day after the inauguration?

If a church sings a song containing the lyric “brokenness is what I long for”, should the pastor really bemoan the low state of the congregation's finances. Seems you have indeed received the very brokenness you are piously claiming that you desire.

There's really little point in chewing out an elderly congregation about the declining numbers in children's Sunday school and AWANA programs. Frankly any White folks of breeding age that can afford to have long departed the area.

In light of the Trump inauguration, Madonna has admonished that we must now go as “low as we can go”. Given as many times as she's been on her back, that's got to be pretty low.

The media is condemning “the alternative facts” insisted upon by the Trump administration regarding the attendance numbers at the inauguration. Does the media intend to take such a bold stance in favor of objective verifiable empiricism when it comes to other issues such as the outright falsehoods advocated at the million woman march, the advocates of global warming, and much of the public school curriculum?

Russell Moore needs to explain something. For well over a year, Dr. Moore went on numerous tirades against Christians supporting Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency. This opposition was largely in part because of Trump's enthusiastic call to curtail illegal immigration. Because Moore sits on the board of the National Christin Hispanic Leadership Conference, he apparently believes it is his duty to advocate for the advancement of preferred demographics at the expense of conservative Caucasian Americans. As such, does he now intend to direct his condemnation at Samuel Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Leadership, for speaking as part of the official inaugural program? It might be claimed that providing an invocational prayer or Bible reading does not necessarily constitute an endorsement. However, it is doubtful a minister is going to grant this sort of explicit blessing upon a public figure ascending to high office unless the minister and the official shared at least profound admiration for one another.

WRC 4 in Washington celebrated a 90 year old dragged by her family to the infanticide rights orgy that descended upon Washington, DC. Fascinating that, when those of a similar demographic to this crone assembled for Tea Party rallies, such people were condemned for being old and White.

Probably the best way to spin the debate surrounding the size of the Trump Inauguration is to admit that the crowd was smaller than originally insisted. Spindoctors should then immediately proceed to point out that this was because average Americans were afraid of professional Sorosian agitators such as the Black Lives Matter hooligans that proceeded to kick a disabled woman nearly unconscious and the others that set fire to the hair of another Trump supporter.

Madalyn Albright has declared she is ready to register as a Muslim. Good. Can someone now get her a burqa so the rest of us no longer have to gaze upon her withered visage?

An episode of a National Association of Evangelicals podcast was titled “What White Christians Need To Know About Black Churches”. Firstly, a White Christian does not really “need to know”. They might “want to know”, but their continued well being and ongoing survival is not predicated upon it. Second, one of the topics discussed included “What prevents Black Christians from attending predominately White churches?” Usually when such matters are discussed it is for the purposes of getting the guilty party to change their ways. So does the National Association of Evangelicals intend to guilt trip Black churches into altering the practices that make White folks apprehensive about attending such congregations such as those in attendance running up and down the aisles to such an extent that medical professionals must be on standby and the homiletical focus not so much being eternal Christ truth but rather a constant reminder of Whitey's shortcomings.

Both sides are seeming to indicate that the so-called “dreamers” (children brought to America by illegal alien parents) should be allowed to remain here because their residential status is not their fault. Utilizing such logic, wouldn't it be wrong to impose crippling fines against the bakers refusing to bake the cakes for gay weddings because that might negatively impact the lives of the children of those falling afoul of the social indoctrination agenda?

Similar to a drug addict in need of a fix, Citizen Obama could not refrain from commenting on President Trump's restrictions on refugees. The former president assured that he disagrees with discriminating against individuals because of their religion. So is that why his regime turned away Christians at a higher rate than Muslims?

Fascinating how those insisting the loudest that scrutinizing those extended the PRIVILEGE (not the right) to enter sovereign U.S. territory is unAmerican any other time insist that there is no other distinctively America way superior to that practiced by less advanced or even deliberately evil regimes.

If the Boy Scouts must admit into membership girls who only think they are boys, shouldn't the United Negro College Fund disperse scholarship funds to White people claiming to be Black?

A crone was tossed off an airplane for disruptively berating another passenger over Donald Trump's climate change skepticism. If she truly believed in climate change herself, what is she doing on an airplane to begin with given the notoriously high “carbon footprint” inherent to that particular mode of transportation?

In a tweet aimed at Mike Pense, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling posted “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole and forfeits his soul.” Wonder if she is as familiar with the Biblical texts as condemnatory of witchcraft and sorcery?

Charles Schummer is outraged over Donald Trump for relieving a temporary Attorney General of her post for refusing to implement his immigration moratorium of entrants from designated countries noted for their links to terrorism and jihadist Islam. Would the legislator herald as a civil servant of integrity a bureaucrat that refused to implement President Obama's pro-homosexual directives?

Homilists are often hard on the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan. But if these religious functionaries had intervened by touching the bloody victim and gone about their temple duties, would they have been struck dead for doing so in violation of assorted hygiene laws also told to them by God? So the characters in this account would have been in a panic and experiencing considerable inner turmoil beyond simply not wanting to be bothered.

A Youtube video posted by Dallas Theological Seminary is titled “Woke Church”. In the explanation of the term, Dr. Eric Mason elaborates how the concept was developed by Black nationalists in applying sociology and historical analysis to comprehend alleged systemic racism. This theologian then proceeds to elaborate how such a perspective can be redeemed for Christian usage. As such, does Dallas Theological Seminary intend to invite chapel speakers elaborating how the worldview assumptions of the Christian Identity movement or the AltRight if they refined can assist the believer in rectifying the decline gripping American culture?

Regarding the filthy protest mobs that chant “This is what democracy looks like” as they destroy property and cavort down the street in obscene costumes. Did they supportively articulate this sentiment regarding the Tea Party movement?

Propagandist Chris Cuomo insists that Donald Trump is to be blamed for the mob destruction in Berkeley, California. Applying this logic, if a malicious horde laid waste to a TV station, would Cuomo's biased reporting be at fault?

It is no more an “insult against the Founding Fathers” to be in favor of term limits than it is an insult against the Founding Fathers to believe that Black folks should be able to live free. It was the Founding Fathers that implemented the amendment process so that future generations could tweak the system around the edges in regards to those areas where the Founders might have been in error or in light of circumstances that even these visionaries could not have foreseen.

Interesting how in one sermon a pastor will lament that Christians don't take seriously enough the admonition to avoid those that practice the most explicit forms of godlessness and then turn around in other sermons condemning Christians that only associate with other Christians for fear of doctrinal purity and avoiding contaminating compromise.

Will these tolerancemongers get as jacked out of shape over an American attacked for wearing a red hat on the grounds of being an alleged Trump supporter as they do about those allegedly attacked for being adorned in Islamic apparel?

According to an admonition articulated on Fox & Friends, we are somehow obligated to drink beer because some prominent brewery is giving a donation to a charity that provides scholarships to the children of fallen military personnel. So who is giving scholarships to the children of the raving alcoholics or those killed in drunk driving accidents?

The cover of the 2/6/17 issue of Businessweek consists of a photo of Donald Trump holding an executive order with the text manipulated to read, “(Insert hastily drafted, legally dubious, economically destabilizing executive order here).” Interesting how concern over executive orders during the Obama and even the Bush regimes was dismissed along with crop circles, chemtrails, and sasqatch sightings.

Liberals are apoplectic that Trump appointed Jerry Falwell, Jr. of Liberty University to a task force on educational reform. The fear is that a devout Christian will ruin higher learning in America. In comparison to what: the Berkeley student body which apparently cannot countenance a single speaker articulating a viewpoint other than their own without resorting to rampaging violence?

In solidarity with the proposed general strike called for on the part of the same WOMMMMMMEN that perambulated around the nation's capital on costumes depicting their reproductive organs, perhaps men should leave the toilet seat up that day.

Homeschool activist Kevin Swanson announced in a podcast uploaded to SermonAudio that he is raising his children to be married. What he is really saying is that you are a failure as a human being if you are not. Yet one doubts that conviction is not so sincere that he is above accepting your tithe or offering dollar even if he considers you substandard. Wouldn't truly godly parents instead raise their children to be moral irrespective of whatever state they might happen to find themselves in?

In an analysis of marriage and divorce trends, home school activist Kevin Swanson observed that it seem that Gloria Steinem's worldview won out over Elizabeth Elliot's. Unfortunately so. But frankly in their religious fanaticism to the point where her husband Jim Elliot reveled in his low grades as indication of his religious devotion and abandoning his family in favor of missionary outreach to cannibalistic Indians, their worldview isn't really worthy of slavish aspiration either.

Technically, in censuring Elizabeth Warren for impugning the character of another Senator, aren't the legislators bringing such a charge also impugning her character?

Establishmentarian media is jacked out of shape over the alleged ethical impropriety of Kellyanne Conway's frustrated outburst urging Americans to go and purchase items from Ivanka Trump's canceled product line. Too bad there is not as much concern regarding the revolving door that traditionally exists between the ranks of administration functionary and the punditocracy to the point where it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the boundaries between the two classifications.

Virginia is considering legislation that would allow homeschoolers to play on public school teams. But if government education is so wicked that these parents insist upon removing their children from the system altogether, shouldn't they also be willing to sacrifice athletic glory for doctrinal purity? Why don't they arrange for students to play on a private school's team or to form a team consisting of other homeschoolers? Furthermore, are these homeschoolers advocating for this sort of accommodation out of pursuit of the Almighty or rather the almighty dollar?

That lady NASCAR driver in the “Vegan Power” car was a total airhead in an interview. She got on her environmentalist high horse how she is opposed to fossil fuel sponsorship. Lady, if you are against fossil fuels, aren't you in the wrong sport? So apparently it is acceptable for her to expend 500 miles worth of fuel driving in a circle, but you are expected to be wracked with guilt for simply commuting to work or running errands around town.

Maryland is considering letting schools hold class on George Washington's Birthday and Easter Monday in order to complete the required days of scholastic instruction with a first day of school set after Labor Day. Yet not a word has been said about holding class on Martin Luther King Day. Apparently Jesus wasn't Black after all or students would keep the day off.

A cover story article of the March 2017 issue of Foreign Affairs is titled “How America Turned Against Experts”. In other words, the Council On Foreign Relations is jacked out of shape that an increasing number are no longer sitting around quietly as elites conspire to take away your liberty, your property, and even in a variety of these postulated contingencies your very life in the name of planetary sustainability.

An article titled “Own Up: Should A Writer Ever Write A Character Outside Their Identity” published in the January 2017 issue of The Writer suggests that one ought to be cautious in crafting narratives involving characters beyond the categories one has been assigned to by racialist bean counters. However, criticism of White heterosexual Christian primarily males will be allowed to continue unabated by those from beyond that classification.

It was said in a sermon that the child of God that does not want to appear fanatical is likely lukewarm. But cannot this desire not to appear fanatical also consist of a wariness of practices pervasive among certain religious circles that are not necessarily obligatory from a plane reading of Scripture but are at best merely the traditions of man. Discernment is itself a quality stemming from the fruits of the Spirit and the Armor of God.

Media propagandists are insisting that President Trump has not done enough to denounce Antisemitism. Do they intend to demand the President also condemn the hostility against Christianity expressed on the part of Jewish individuals? It's doubtful Trump's own daughter is a convert to Judaism and raising her offspring in that faith out of sincere conviction. Why didn't the son in law renounce his faith to adopt her family's nominal Christianity?

In the hymn “My Faith As Found A Resting Place”, the text reads, “My faith as found a resting place not in device or creed: I trust the Everliving one --- His wounds for me shall plead.” But isn't that itself a creedal statement? There are indeed those that profess a dry and cold orthodoxy. But isn't that the fault of the one articulating such an orthodoxy rather than the orthodoxy itself? Creeds testify to a truth beyond them. However, without the objective statements of the creeds, how do we determine what to put our faith in?

Apparently Cal Thomas's problem with Milo is not that the provocateur is gay and possibly a defender of pedophilia. Rather, in a column, Thomas criticized the flamboyant iconoclast for the tendency to point out how things are heading to Ghenna in a wicker transport receptacle rather than coming up sunshine and lollipops. But in being negative about Milo's lack of optimism in emphasizing what he is against rather than what he is for, isn't Thomas himself being negative? And as a syndicated columnist, hasn't Thomas been griping about what is wrong with the world for over thirty years now?

Donald Trump attended an “African American Listening Session” commemorating Black History Month. Does the federal government intend to hold European American listening sessions to kick off Caucasian American History Month? Usually such terminology is euphemism for minorities to berate Whites with Caucasians not permitted to respond in a similar manner.

It is claimed women use three times as many words as men. Probably because if men used as many, at best whatever we would say would be invalidated or, at worst, condemned as just another form of abuse. Most of these extra words mostly just consist of the woman repeating things she's told you numerous times before but if the man says something that's already been spoken the woman cuts off the conversation like what he is saying is not worth hearing a second time even if it is relevant to the conversation.

From the tone of a Fox News interview, Bill Bennet seems quite pleased with President Trump. The foreign and economic policy Trump campaigned on are inspired in large part by the America First platform developed by Pat Buchanan. Perhaps Dr. Bennet can explain why he denounced that movement when it was spearheaded by Pat Buchanan (a profoundly moral individual that consistently advocated these beliefs for nearly all of his adult life) while he is backing them with Trump at the helm despite the fact that the real estate mogul has adopted them fairly recently and (unlike Buchanan) has not really lived by the principles of Judeo-Christian morality that Bennet has accumulated considerable fame and fortune advocating.

If a deacon points out he began reading the Bible because he did not have a house and a good job, is he really doing these things for spiritual edification or to get the house and job? If the deacon did not get what he wanted, are we to assume God is not pleased with him? How does this differ from Osteenism other than it is being articulated by an independent Baptist rather than some variety of holy roller?

A pastor confessed he has not heard much about fasting until he went to Africa. Was it that these Africans were really into fasting as a spiritual discipline or that this was just a polite way that the African had no food available but felt to ashamed to accept charity?

If a Baptist says we ought to fast as part of the confession of sin, how is this different than a Catholic insisting that the contrite believer ought to perform some act of penance? And if you just happen to preach on fasting the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday, how is that any different than the liturgical churches that celebrate Lent?

If it is emphasized in a homily that fasting is a voluntary personal decision that has no bearing on one's holiness, is it really appropriate to deliver an entire sermon attempting to guilt-trip gullible believers into doing so? If people are to be mocked and ridiculed that they do not fast because they like to eat, who was it that created humanity with a need to eat accompanied by pleasure from doing so?

A fundamentalist lamented how he wished broadcaster Chris Plante would tone down the namecalling. Really? Has this pastor reflected upon the things he has himself has enunciated from the pulpit? If not for the robust rhetoric, what exactly does Christian fundamentalism have going for it? So why is it apparently acceptable to mock women that wear pants but apparently not actual subversive liberals that will actually undermine morality and the American way of life?

Interesting. In referring to Chris Plante, a pastor made it known how he wishes the broadcaster would tone down the namecalling. Yet in favorbably mentioning Tony Campolo in that very morning's sermon no mention was made to be cautious of the assorted debaucheries and apostasies advocated by Campolo. If a pastor is going to enunciate to a congregation that Campolo is a Christian, why not articulate similar pronouncements of fellowship regarding certain Catholics that are as spiritually astute in their observations and reflections?

A Yahoo headline suggests that school vouchers don't help students. The conclusion that the propagandists desire to manipulate the reader into adopting is that this variety of educational subsidy should not be implemented or abolished. By this logic, since the public schools fail a significant percentage of students, shouldn't this form of pedagogy be abolished as well?

At the Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel remarked, “This broadcast is being watched...around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us.” That accusation was no doubt intended to be an insult aimed at President Trump. However, the disdain directed at America is probably even more the fault of filth spewed forth by a significant percentage in Hollywood as exemplified by the sorts of productions heralded at these sorts of ceremonies (for it is seldom “The Lord Of The Rings” or “Star Wars” that take top honors) and the way many of these entertainment luminaries live their lives in the public spotlight.

For International WOMMMENNN's Day, paper towel fixture Brawny insists “Strength Has No Gender”. If so, broads buying into this mindset can put the toilet seat down themselves and keep their mouths shut about it.

Newt Gingrich went on a vacation to Antarctica. Yet at one point he apparently thought global warming was such a dire threat that he punished the American people for our resource consumption by subjecting humanity to the image of himself frolicking on a love seat with Nancy Pelosi.

If gays can get married and grown men can now tinkle in the ladies' room in front of little girls, why should a man be condemned for putting ketchup on a steak if that is his lifestyle choice or professed genetic proclivity? Apparently diversity is to be applied to everything other than what the concept was legitimately intended.

To paraphrase the logic Planned Parenthood expects the rest of us to applaud as the greatest breakthrough in intellectual history since the Greeks discovered the syllogism, if you don't like ketchup on YOUR steak, don't eat it that way.

According to homeschool activist Kevin Swanson, Breitbart News advocates the “wrong kind” of conservatism because the content provider is for the most part critical of immigration. As a hardline Sola Scriptura Presbyterian, perhaps Rev. Swanson should point out the passage of the divine text demanding a nation must swing its borders wide for whatever riffraff wants to saunter in.

Giving Day? Don't we give every day the government confiscates a percentage of our income? I invoke the need for a safe space having been mentally assaulted by this manifestation of the false altruism scandal.

Regarding the episode of Arrow that dealt with firearms violence and gun control. Given that the name of the gun used in the attack on city hall was repeatedly enunciated, does that mean from now on Oliver Queen's preferred projectile delivery apparatus will no longer be referred to as a bow but rather by the manufacturer's make and model number? The message the episode attempted to convey might not have come across as so hypocritical if the protagonist's alias was not itself derived from a weapon or that, for the first couple of season's, it seemed that he deliberately killed the majority of his enemies rather than simply beat the snot out of them Batman style.

The Maryland Statehouse is considering the legalization of recreational cannabis. One proposal would allow those over 21 years of age to possess up to an ounce of weed and for licensed dealers to sell up to an ounce to customers. But if there is nothing inherently wrong or dangerous about pot now that its legitimate use is being moved beyond limited medical situations into the realm of party goods, who is the state to say how much of it an individual is allowed to possession? After all, at this time, the government cannot tell me how many Big Macs can be found in my possess or how many used books one can sell on Ebay.

Regarding Baptist ministers all gungho now for Lent and looking down their noses at Christians that don't observe the occasion. What occupational class was it that conditioned the average pewfiller to react in a near anaphylactic state at the mere whiff of anything even remotely perceived as Catholic in the first place? If low church Protestants are now going to be shamed into celebrating Lent, shouldn't we be extended the decency of the traditional pancake supper the night before and the ashes dabbled on the forehead? After all, when was the last time in church history Baptists turned down the opportunity to stuff their faces and pancakes certainly sound more appetizing than the swill of the quasi-annual International Dinner.

In support of gender-based indolence, one shrill banshee wailed that Day Without Women was not just in support of mistreated WOMENNN but also in solidarity with immigrants and Muslims. In other words, this demonstration is yet another excuse to bash Donald Trump. But more importantly, don't these morons realize that Muslims are probably the greatest abusers of women on the face of planet Earth?

Will Evangelicals applauding the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina voting to move its affiliation to the Anglican Church In North America defend the right of Baptist churches refusing to direct offering dollars to the Ethics and Public Policy Commission while that body is headed by Russell Moore? After all, as proponents of congregationalism, Baptists are not obligated to finance organizations found nowhere in the pages of Scripture.

If our civilization is not superior, why do immigrants flock here rather than stay in their native regions? The United States is not geographically contiguous with Syria.

The City of Berkeley is refusing to do business with contractors involved with the construction of the Great Wall of America. Shouldn't this municipality be penalized with financial ruination in the same manner as the Christian bakers refusing to provide goods and services in support of gay weddings?

On the podcast hosted by the creator of Veggie Tales, it was pointed out that in Britain (unlike second rate America as the vocal inflections insinuated) Christianity is not equated with the nation. So what about the establishmentarian “Church of England”? What those advocating this particular perspective would apparently prefer would be to live in a land where Christians are denied basic liberties of speech and where areas of the country have been so overrun by a particular faith not as concerned about imposing its strictures upon others that even law enforcement is reluctant to enter these ghetto enclaves.

In coverage of the African American “listening session” in commemoration of Black History Month, President Trump was instead accused of talking about himself. And how is this markedly different than Citizen Obama who during his own regime would articulate the word “I” so many times that it almost seemed as if one was watching the surrealist jury in the series finale of “The Prisoner”? What those articulating this criticism really mean is that Trump likely did not articulate a sufficiently Marxist condemnation of America along with promises of pending government handouts.

In a podcast uploaded to Youtube, Phil Vischer tackled the topic of whether or not Christian media stunts Christian growth. But is he so convicted by this conundrum as to renounce the gobs of money he no doubt earned as the creator of Veggie Tales? Interesting how he did not formulate this remark on a laptop at his kitchen table but rather from a rather elaborate media studio.

In a speech critical of the Religious Right, Russell Moore admonished that White Christians should properly expect their Black and Hispanic counterparts to raise uncomfortable issues such as racial bias in sentencing. Perhaps they wouldn't get such harsh sentences if they weren't committing crimes.

In a speech critical of the Religious Right, Russell Moore said that prosperity theology is worse than Canaanite fertility religion because such ministries invoke the name of Christ. But apart from modalists such as T.D. Jakes, doesn't that wing of the Charismatic movement still adhere to Trinitarian theology? Furthermore, are the orgies and related human sacrifice for which Canaanite religion was infamous not that big of a deal?

Pope Francis announced that indigenous peoples must give prior consent before any economic activity can take place on their ancestral lands. What someone ought to do is get a group of Protestants together with genetically proven Etruscan ancestry and that all Roman Catholic structures comprising the Vatican be taken down.

A Washington Post headline laments, “German Right Wing Violence Flourishes Amid Online Hate”. Guess those Islamist refugee hordes do nothing more than assemble for prayer and detached contemplative reflection.

A Washington Post headline asks why can't Trump just let things go? What like President Obama who constantly had to remind everyone that he is Black?

If assorted globalists are going to accuse nationalist conservatives of “xenophobia” which is often defined as an undue fear and hatred of foreigners, perhaps similarly a term should be coined to condescendingly describe those subversives exhibiting a pathological contempt and loathing of their fellow countrymen.

by Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Book Review Condemned For Promoting Contemplation Beyond Devotional Naval Gazing

This is one of the reasons I nearly don't really care to be around actual groups of Christians or to interact with them unmediated outside my study.

In a book review I posted, I wrote, “As God's revelation to mankind, the Bible is complete in itself and capable of equipping the believer for every good work. Thus, with it alone, the Christian has everything that is necessary to learn the essentials of salvation and the wisdom necessary to sail the turbulent seas of life. Yet, unlike many other theological and religious texts, the Bible presents numerous universal truths by addressing concrete historical situations rather than by presenting a set of detached philosophical postulates."

For posting this at a Christian forum, it was said to me in reply, “Again I am drawn to make quite a sad observation of your OP. You seem to think that the focus of the Bible is us, where as it is God the Father`s revelation of His well beloved Son. The whole word of God unveils His character, His ways & His purposes. It is He who is far above all that we need to know & experience, anything less becomes religion. `And beginning at Moses & all the prophets, He (Jesus) expounded to them in ALL the scriptures the things concerning HIMSELF.` (Luke 24: 27) BTW did you notice there is not one mention of CHRIST in your long OP. It was talking of the scriptures, yet NOT ONE mention of our LORD. That speaks volumes as to where the focus & direction is. We rather should be - `looking unto Jesus, the author & finisher of our faith,...` (Heb. 12: 2).”

So in other words, just because I did not say, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”, like some blathering Hare Krishna in an airport or Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz clicking her heels together in hopes of returning to Kansas, I am just about having the validity of the profession of my faith drawn into question.

For starters, the initial composition was not directly ABOUT Jesus. It was a book review about a text on the New Testament taken from the standpoint as a work of objective literary and religious history.

At no point did I not say that the Bible was not about Jesus.

But if the Scriptures were not written for the benefit of mankind but rather for God to toot His own horn, doesn't that make Him little more than an insufferable egotist?

Jesus did indeed expound upon how the Scriptures testified to Himself. However, that was for OUR benefit.

There comes a point where some are so explicit in their piety that they become a danger to both sound doctrine and clear thought.

For while Jesus is indeed the author and finisher of our faith, how are we to know that beyond a Bible that can be trusted and of solid repute?

If those emphasizing the importance of the Bible in a review of a book about the Bible rather than focusing on Christ in a review of a book that was not about Christology are to be emphatically criticized, the discerning are forced to raise the following observation.

Are those that seem to yammer incessantly incessantly about Jesus as Jesus doing so from a sincere sense of religious devotion or rather because this is what expected if they desire to posture for acceptance by or to acquire position within their particular circle.

For posting in a Christian forum that the Bible as God's revelation to mankind is complete and capable of equipping the believer for every good work and that this divinely inspired anthology often teaches through narrative rather than explicit imperative declaration, I was informed my focus was incorrect.

Instead, that out to be directed towards Jesus rather than the Scripture.

But Jesus really isn't directly here right now.

As such, how can we be sure what He has to say to us apart from the Bible?

Usually, in the case of those claiming to have direct auditory communication with the divine or the numinous, before it's all over with God is telling you to go ahead and bed your neighbor's spouse (and that's in the more respectable cases given the number of ministers these days of confessions both orthodox and heretical that can't seem to keep their hands of teen girls) or to force the congregation to drink the funny smelling fruit punch that burns as it goes down.

By Frederick Meekins

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Is Mainstream Media Subtly Advocating Insurrection?

The cover of the 3/2017 issue of the Progressive consists of a swarm of bees surrounding a bear that is suggested to be Donald Trump as evidenced by the blond wig worn by the forest omnivore.

In nature, bees go into such a defensive mode when their property is attacked.

So is the Progressive now prepared to come out in favor of the castle doctrine or stand your ground laws?

More importantly, does the Progressive intend to advocate Americans vigorously standing up to protect their property from government thugs seeking to pillage and loot for a variety of reasons justified by any assortment of bureaucratic legalese?

Published in the table of contents of this very same issue of the Progressive is a picture of the White House with the construction crane in the background from which Greenpeace eco-terrorists unfurled a banner reading “Resist”.

How are those flocking to that call by committing assorted acts of civil disobedience any different than the business owners refusing to provide an assortment of goods and services advancing the cause of gay marriage?

An article in the 3/17 issue of the magazine “In These Times” is titled “Cities Go Rogue: In A Sea Of Red, Blue Enclaves Test Their Power To Rebel”.

Ironically, those applauding the spirit of that article probably support hurling rocks through the car windshields of those that are conservatives articulating contrarian perspectives in such progressivist strongholds.

Interestingly, the illustration accompanying the article consisted of X-Wing fighters from Star Wars with a caption reading how the White House and many statehouses are in the hands of the Dark Side.

Since that is an explicit Star Wars reference, shouldn't it be asked if these propagandists are advocating armed insurrection?

Furthermore, why is such imagery acceptable when liberals are out of power but, if conservatives such as Sarah Palin utilizes the image of a bullseye, they are accused of fomenting violence such as mass school shootings?

By Frederick Meekins

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

McLaren Distorts Hebrew Scriptures To Undermine Border Security

The particular danger of the heretic or apostate that insists upon to holding to the religious orthodoxy in name only is that so much of their message and ministry is aimed at only telling half of the story for the purposes of manipulation.

For example, regarding the issue of immigration, Emergent Church theologian Brian McLaren is quoted as saying, “A lot of people don't realize the Bible is a book about immigration. Abraham was an immigrant. Moses was a refugee. The Hebrew scriptures have so much to say about how we should treat immigrants and aliens.”

Given the extent to which McLaren has come out in support of gay marriage, why ought he invoke the Hebrew scripture to justify a position he supports when it is quite obvious he has deliberately tossed aside one of that revelation's most foundational teachings?

If we as twenty-first century believers are to uphold the so-called “Hebrew scriptures” and the cultural milieu flowing from that body of teaching as the ideal to which our own society ought to aspire, perhaps we ought to consider and implement as a totality how the ancient Israelites approached (to borrow a term popular in the sort of postmodern circles those like McLaren love to wallow in) “the Other”.

The Mosaic law did indeed admonish that a degree of hospitality and kindness was to be extended to the alien or stranger that the Hebrews encountered that desired to sojourn in the Land of Israel.

McLaren insists, “So much of Jesus' ministry is defined by his reluctance to play along with the nativist urges of his day.”

Yet while the degrees of separation might no longer be as rigorous now in light of the completion of Christ's work in His death, burial, and resurrection as second member of the triune Godhead, it was Christ Himself as a member of the Triune Godhead that played a role in establishing a number of the Hebrew practices that even those religious conservatives McLaren loves to deride would no longer want to see implemented.

For example, regarding intermarriage with those categorized as foreigners from the perspective of the ancient Hebrews that McLaren apparently is emulating as his ideal, Deuteronomy 7:3 says, “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor shalt his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For thy will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”

And of these foreigners that came to dwell in Israelite territory, they might have been bestowed a degree of hospitality not known in other cultures of the time.

However, it is doubtful that, if the letter of the Mosaic law had been adhered to, these strangers would have been allowed to continue in their explicitly pagan practices or that the Israelites would have ended up flagellating themselves for existing as a distinct people with their own unique culture and set of customs.

If anything, those wanting to dwell amongst Israel were often required to go through specific rituals to explicitly verify (one might also call the process extreme vetting) that they were in essence without reservation renouncing their former way of life

For example, Deuteronomy 21:11-14 elaborates that of women captured during a war, if an Israelite man wished to marry one of these, he was to shave her head, cut her nails, and to mourn her family for a month before she could be taken as his wife.

Liberals will snap how that seems exceedingly harsh by twenty-first century standards as to border on rape or sexual assault.

Probably so. But in this instance, is it not up to Brian McLaren to explain why he wants to uphold Mosaic law as the ideal upon which to base U.S. immigration policy?

Regarding the literary approach taken in the text, Scripture is believed to teach as much by historical example as by explicit didactic commands.

If so, even though Scripture counsels compassion towards the stranger, it also warns of the dire consequences that result when this is not done from the standpoint of the strength of adhering from morally superior convictions but from a spirit of amalgamative compromise where one god is seen as no different than any other god in the rush for nothing more than a romp in the sack.

Samson's decline can be directly traced to his attraction bordering on the pathological to Philistine women.

Despite serving as the conduit through which numerous warnings promulgated in the Book of Proverbs regarding a variety of strange women, King Solomon himself veered from the path of righteousness in order the placate his numerous heathen brides.

It was in such moments that the Nation of Promise sank to its most debauched depths.

It is doubtful that Ruth celebrated Moabite History Month or did so by demanding that Boaz articulate how wretched he felt for being a Hebrew.

Likewise, it is doubtful Rahab insisted that she be referred to as a Canaanite-Hebrew and that in her presence that events such as the Battle of Jericho were to be recalled only with a downcast face of regret.

God does indeed want Christians to be a beacon of hope in a fallen, troubled, and perishing world.

However, he does not necessarily require us to forsake commonsense to the point where we as individuals and as a distinct world people imperil our own prosperity and very survival in order to do so.

By Frederick Meekins

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Newsweek Trashes Christ’s Name During Christmas Season

The Dec. 17, 2012 issue of Newsweek Magazine published a cover story titled "Who Was Jesus."

Instead of providing a balanced perspective on this topic, editors instead allowed the topic to be addressed by Bart Ehrman.

Bart Ehrman's claim to fame is essentially undermining every tenet of orthodox Christianity by casting doubt on the sources that serve as the foundation of the faith in favor of texts more gnostic in origins and interpretation.

Thus, it must be asked, would Newsweek publish an article casting aspirations on the founder or central figure of another world religion deliberately during a time of the year held to be one of the most sacred among a significant percentage of the faith’s adherents?

Would Newsweek pull something like this during Ramadan?

Both Voltaire and Nietzsche in their respective eras remarked how the name of Jesus Christ was on the wane and that God was dead.

Now, a Bible Society has turned Voltaire’s former home into an office and it is Nietzsche that is dead.

As the periodical prepares to publish its last print edition towards the close of 2012, perhaps Newsweek should stop and reflect where its name will be 200 years or so in comparison to the Name Above All Names.

by Frederick Meekins

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Christianity Solidified By Apologetics In The Early Days Of The Church

In the Church today, a debate rages over the relationship of philosophy and theology to one another. Some scholarly believers as epitomized by Norman Geisler argue that, since this world is God's world, both can be used to understand Creation if each of these disciplines are approached from a Bibliocentric perspective. The other side of the debate contends that, since theology contains God's revelation to mankind, philosophy at best merely repeats the understanding of theology or at worst actively undermines theology by enshrining human reason as the ultimate standard.

This debate extends back to the earliest days of the Church. Living in the Hellenistic world awash with numerous philosophies, mystery cults, and state religions, the Church quite early on had to address these realities.

Basing their approach on Paul's Mars Hill missionary efforts in Acts 17, early Christians advocating the value of philosophy pointed out that philosophy could be used as a point of contact with the unbeliever when both philosophy and theology concurred on certain matters. For example, Paul was able to win the attention of some Stoics because of the similarities between Christianity and that particular philosophy. Justin Martyr, who went from being a Stoic to an Aristotelian to a Pythagorean to a Platonist, ultimately settled upon being a Christian because he categorized the faith as the true philosophy.

The second approach emphasized its own Pauline justification as well by invoking I Corinthians 1 where in the passage the world's wisdom is categorized as foolishness. Elsewhere, Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception.” Those adhering to this approach noted how philosophy often bred heresy and unbelief.

A number of Church Fathers favorably disposed towards philosophy harbored questionable beliefs often linked to Platonism. For example, Origen of Alexandria believed that Satan was not beyond redemption since the Devil is a spirit not unlike a run of the mill human being (Gonzalez, 80). Such a perspective was often derived from the Platonic view that God was a nondescript entity that did not create the universe from nothing and did not personally care for individual human beings. Yet God as revealed through Scripture and incarnated in Jesus Christ is known personally by His followers and cares when even the tiniest sparrow falls to the ground.

When viewed from a certain light, both of these approaches relating philosophy and theology possessed merit. Each agreed regarding the centrality of God's revelation of Jesus Christ and on the need for salvation. Those appreciating philosophy were correct in pointing out that all truth is God's truth and that segments of truth can be used to introduce the lost to the source of all truth. Those leery of philosophy were correct in pointing out the danger the discipline would wreak if left unchecked. The descendants of the early Church walking the Earth would do well to consider both of these positions.

I Peter 3:15 commands the Christian to provide an answer for the hope within. Many apologists and theologians interpret this as giving a response to objections and inaccuracies raised by the unbeliever. In the process, the potential exists to bring a substantial number into the faith by highlighting those points of commonality shared between the faith and the most profound insights that human thought have to offer.

Realizing that a percentage of the persecution befalling the Church was the result of inaccurate rumors and incorrect assumptions, the early Apologists set out to set the record straight in a manner that would make a Madison Avenue public relations firm proud. The Apologists answered head on the charges leveled against Christianity and turned them against their pagan adversaries. When accused of orgies and incest through misunderstandings as to the nature of the love feast and the practice of calling fellow believers “brother” or “sister”, the Apologists explained what these terms meant and the pointed out that the pagans themselves committed such debaucheries as exhibited by certain Dionysian rites. (Gonzalez, 50). Accused of atheism for believing in what the Romans considered god and for not believing in the sanctioned state pantheon, Polycarp at his trial was ordered by the judge to vocally proclaim, “Out with atheists.” Polycarp theatrically gestured towards the assembled crowd and declared, “Yes, out with the atheists (Gonzalez, 45).”

Having deflected some of the criticism, the Apologists sought to win Classical civilization by showing that the insights and accomplishments achieved by that particular cultural tradition were not necessarily antithetical to Christian belief in and of itself. Justin Martyr argued that all knowledge stemmed from the universal reason of the Logos manifested in the person of Jesus Christ. Reason was to the Greek what revelation was to the Hebrew in terms of the basis of each culture's epistemological foundation. Justin in fact characterized Christianity as true philosophy.

The Apologists found themselves in an era hostile to the claims of Christianity. Yet they were willing to proclaim the message that the hostile forces arrayed against the Church needed to hear. Though it has not yet come to the same point in our society where believers are being executed for their faith, the contemporary Church needs to emulate this example before such a state of affairs occurs once more.

Over the course of its early history, the Church faced numerous threats. Some of these such as the hostile Roman and Jewish authorities came from without. Those claiming to come from within the Church's own ranks as embodied by the heresies of Gnosticism and Marcionism were as equally dangerous in their own particular manners.

Gnosticism was the name given to a number of related sects claiming they possessed knowledge beyond that held by the Church and the ordinary believer. Gnosticism was in fact a blending of Platonism Judaism, Zoroastrian, and Christian beliefs (Chadwick, 35). A number of these beliefs held by Gnosticism put the movement at odds with the Christian faith.

First among these was that only the spiritual was good and that matter was in fact evil. This teaching manifested itself in two primary ways. Some Gnostics engaged in extreme ascetic practices that ignored basic bodily needs. Other Gnostics invoked their disregard for the material as an excuse for debauched and licentious practices since they insisted bodily actions bore no impact upon one's spiritual well-being.

Beyond this, Gnostics possessed several faulty notions regarding Christ. For example, many Gnostics held that Christ did not actually possess a human body but rather merely appeared to have one. Such a claim would make Christ a liar and thus unworthy of worship.

In Luke 24:39, Christ Himself says, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” If Christ did not have an actual material body, why would He go to such a length in deceiving His associates into thinking He had one? In regards to Gnostic conceptions of salvation, it was not enough to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, one needed to be initiated into the inner circle of hidden knowledge in order to obtain the passwords needed to ascend to higher levels of enlightened existence.

The second heresy faced by the early Church was Marcionism, named for its founder Marcion. Marcion believed that the God of the Old Testament who created the physical world and who was worshiped by the Jews was not God the Father of Jesus (Chadwick, 39). The higher God sent Jesus into the world to correct the evil wrought by the maniacal Jehovah. To do away with physical procreation which nauseated him, Marcion argued that Christ stepped onto the world stage as a fully grown individual.

Marcion then took it upon himself to establish a canon of sacred writings suitable to the teachings of his sect. Having enunciated this antipathy for the Old Testament God, Marcion rejected that particular portion of Scripture. Of what came to be known as the New Testament, Marcion accepted only the Gospel of Luke and Paul's Epistles. Even these documents did not escape his editor's pen as Marcion proceeded to expunge these texts of their Old Testament quotes and allusions which he claimed had been placed there as Jewish propaganda.

Gnosticism and Marcionism presented powerful threats to the fledgling Christian Church. Fortunately, the Church was able to rally around the faith elaborated in Scripture and empowered by the Holy Spirit to keep these false doctrines at bay.

As the Church grew in number and influence, it was not long before those assembling under its banner or claiming to speak on behalf of its divine founder began promoting and squabbling over differing theological beliefs and interpretations. A number of these were either highly controversial or even blatantly aberrant.

Montanism was a reaction against Marcion and Gnostic theologies. Both Gnosticism and Marcionism sought to undermine the more conventional literal interpretation of Scripture by allegorizing these as many Gnostics had done or by denying the authenticity of such outright as Marcion had done. Each sect also denied essential doctrines such as Christ's virgin birth or physical incarnation.

Montanus along with Prisca and Maximilla were alleged to have prophesied under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit against as what was classified as “...the Gnostic elimination of the eschatological expectation (Chadwick, 52). “ In many ways, Montanism proved as divisive as its Gnostic and Marcion competition. Many congregations in Asia Minor split, with the church at Thyatira remaining Montanist for nearly a century (Chadwick, 52).

The Montanist movement even appealed to theologians of considerable reputation such as Tertullian. Tertullian was originally attracted to the movement's rigorous ethics and spiritual vigor. However, even he grew weary of the innovation after a fashion because of the movement's failure to deliver on its promise of a new era marked by increased accessibility to the power of the Holy Spirit and its promise of a Christian life surpassing even that enjoyed by the Apostles themselves (Gonzalez, 76).

Such enthusiasm could not be sustained indefinitely. Even if it could, Montanism was not even necessarily that good of an idea since it was itself based upon questionable theological assumptions. For example, Montanists claimed that those doubting the veracity of their prophetic utterances were guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the greatest offense one could commit in violation of Scripture. Hippolytus pointed out in reference to the Montanist emphasis on supernatural manifestations that these were not the greatest miracle that an individual could experience. But rather that honor was reserved for the occasion of their own individual conversion (Chadwick, 53). The orthodox response to Gnosticism and Marcionism was not to be found in the fits of ecstasy and seeming irrationalism as offered by Montanism but rather in more powerful tools that the Church would find at its disposal.

It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that the average Christian thinks that the Bible plopped down from Heaven complete with leather binding and the words of Christ conveniently highlighted in red. However, the process by which the Church came to accept this gift from God, particular in regards to the books of the New Testament, was a gradual process fraught with a certain degree of controversy along the way.

In response to the Marcion and Gnostic denial of certain Gospels and portions of the Epistles embodied by Marcion's acceptance of only the Gospel of Luke and his removal of Paul's Old Testament quotations as Jewish propaganda, the Church felt that it needed to formalize which writings were binding as divinely inspired. Since Jesus accepted the Old Testament as divinely inspired, so would the Church. Therefore, most of the debate arose surrounding what post-Old Testament writings would be accepted into the corpus of holy writ.

According to Justo Gonzalez in “The Story Of Christianity: The Early Church To The Dawn Of The Reformation”, the first works accepted by the Church were the Gospels. Instead of being discouraged by alleged discrepancies between the exacting details of the Gospels, orthodox Christians pointed out how the considerable agreement between these documents undermined Gnostic claims to the secret knowledge as found in the sect's preferred text the Gospel of Saint Thomas (Gonzalez 63). The next set of works accepted by the Church included the Pauline Epistles and the Book of Acts.

The greatest debate centered around the texts found towards the end of what Christians categorize as the New Testament. Debate ensued over II Peter, Hebrews, James, II John, III John, Jude, and Revelation. Councils were convened at Hipporegiaus in 393, at Carthage in 397, and the Council convened in 419 was under the leadership of none other than Augustine. It was the purpose of these councils to identify which books stood out as having been authored under divine inspiration. However, this process of consensus did not always end the dispute as was the case regarding the Book of Revelation. Though accepted by the third century, its inspiration was questioned after Constantine's conversion because of the book's harsh words regarding tyrannical government and worldliness but this concern subsided by the second half of the fourth century (Gonzalez, 63).

Though the New Testament did not plop down fully formed from Heaven into the hands of Billy Graham or John Paul II, the Church can rest assured as to this work's divine authenticity because even to this very day there are few things to which all Christians agree. For example, Dispensationalists and Covenant theologians seldom agree on the specifics of Scripture's eschatological chronology, but both will agree upon the supremacy of the Lord proclaimed within its pages and the value of each inspired word to the salvation of mankind to this very day.

Faced with challenges such as Gnosticism and Marcionism, the Church formulated several weapons to be used against these kinds of heresies, the New Testament canon being the most powerful tool at the disposal of the Church. However, the Church also possessed a number of other supplementary weapons to be used in a supportive role in the realm of intellectual and spiritual confrontation.

One of these tools used by the Church came to be known as the Apostle's Creed. This symbol of faith was used to identify true believers since those reciting it with understanding were enunciating orthodox doctrine. This creed spoke to the subject of Jesus as God's Son, of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the historicity of Christ's incarnation under the rule of Pontius Pilate and other foundational Christian doctrines with which assorted competing sects found themselves at variance.

The second used in the Church's arsenal was the Rule of Faith. Very much akin to the Apostle's Creed, the Rule of Faith provided a brief summation of key doctrinal ideas such as those enunciated in the Creed such as the Creation, the Incarnation, and the Ascension. Tertullian found the Rule of Faith easier to use than the Scripture itself since the heretics interpreted Scripture through the lens of their pre-established theological preferences while not accepting the doctrines articulated within the Rule (Chadwick, 45).

The third method employed by the Church to protect the faith was the notion of Apostolic Succession. According to the idea of Apostolic Succession, Christ passed his teaching authority on to the Apostles who in turn handed orthodox teachings over to their successors who eventually handed down this heritage throughout history in an unbroken chain. This idea was formulated to combat Gnostic claims of secret knowledge either passed down outside the established Apostolic channels or lost until rediscovered by the Gnostic adepts of succeeding generations.

Each of these tools used by the Church did possess considerable influence yet could not surpass the power of the New Testament Canon. Both the Apostle's Creed and the Rule of Faith were derived from the teachings of Scripture and were merely tools used to summarize the greater body of work contained within the pages of the New Testament. Apostolic Succession was only of use if those invoking it were willing to adhere to the truth of the Gospel proclaimed by the Apostles and embraced by the early Church. Succeeding centuries would provide the results of what would happen when the traditions of men were given nearly the same weight as the revelation of God.

I Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11 list the office and gift of teaching as one of the primary missions within the structure of the Church. It has often been the duty of those taking up the mantle of teaching to fight the doctrinal errors of the day and to prepare their respective congregations to face challenges in the society at large. Two individuals taking up this role in the early church included Irenaeus of Lyon and Tertulian of Carthage.

Iraeneus was born in Asia Minor around AD 130. Eventually Irenaeus migrated to Lyon in southern France where he became presbyter and ultimately bishop after Photinus died under persecution. A disciple of Polycarp, Irenaeus had a pastor's heart in that his greatest interest was in teaching his congregation to live the Christian life and comprehend doctrine. As such, he did not engage in significant philosophical speculation (Gonzalez, 68).

That does not mean, though, that Irenaeus was an intellectual slouch. In “Demonstrations of the Apostolic Faith” and “Against Heresies”, Irenaeus played the role of an ancient Hank Hanegraaff or Norman Geisler by refuting the doctrinal errors of his day --- namely Gnosticism --- and by instructing his readers in essential Christian belief. Taking the shepherd role of a pastor to heart, Irenaeus saw God as a shepherd lovingly leading his flock of humanity to the culmination of history (Gonzalez, 68).

According to Irenaues, humanity was created as children eventually to takeits place as the judges of angels who themselves would help mankind in reaching the point of maturity like a tutor teaching a prince to one day take his place of rulership. Man is also to be taught by God's Word and Holy Spirit. Though history is now marked by sin, there would have been a history anyway (though one not quite as tragic as that now filling the world's libraries). In the drama of history, Israel is the instrument through which God's Word and Spirit reach out to all of mankind with an offer of eternal communion in the form of Jesus Christ.

The second teacher to be discussed is Tertullian of Carthage. In certain respects, Tertullian was the Francis Schaeffer or Ravi Zacharias of his day, utilizing logic and argument to reveal the intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy of his opponents. For example, Tertullian used his legal and rhetorical training to expose the inherent inconsistency of Trajan's policy regarding Christianity: don't actively flush out believers but indeed prosecute them if they happen to get caught (Gonzalez, 74).

Tertullian believed Christianity represented all truth and to seek truth apart from it through Classical culture was pointless at best and idolatry at worst. This sentiment was summarized by his famous aphorism asking what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem. Despite his wit and penetrating logic, Tertullian veered from the straight and narrow off into the Montantist movement which often emphasized alleged fits of the Spirit over the application of logic in addressing other rising heresies.

Perhaps Tertullian's greatest contribution was his understanding of the Trinity. His understanding was formulated in response to Modalism (the belief that the names of “Father”, “Son”, and “Holy Spirit” signify the modes or roles of a unitary God rather than distinctive individuals). Tertullian said of the Trinity that the Godhead consists of one substance and three persons with Christ as the Savior being that distinct person possessing two natures (Gonzalez, 77). And to top off this formidable existence of intellectual accomplishment, Tertullian is honored as the father of Western theology for being among the first to use Latin rather than Greek in his writings.

It is often easy to look down upon teachers and apologists for their application of the intellect in approaching the things of the spirit. However, it cannot be denied that these thinkers play a pivotal role in strengthening the faith of believers and in introducing the faith to a hostile and unbelieving world.

By Frederick Meekins

Chadwick, Henry. “The Early Church.” 1967.

Gonzalez, Justo. “The Story Of Christianity (Vol. 1): The Early Church To The Dawn Of The Reformation. Harper Collins Publishers, 1984.

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