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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Suck a dick

Just bitching about mods closing my threads for no reason other than their apperent inability to appreciate and/or comprehend my style of writing and sense of humor. 

Penis jokes and recycled 4chan = Open
Words with more than 4 letters = Closed

Smells like logic. 
4:32 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Friday, May 01, 2009

How Modern Culture Skews Religious Understanding

I could expand on the ideas here almost indefinitely, but this blog is mainly to journal my current thoughts in order for future reflection, expansion, and alteration.  I invite you to comment in order to aid me in this process. 

I've come to realize that the vast majority of individuals, both religious and otherwise, lack understanding of, and possibly the ability to fully grasp, core religious concepts.  As a result of a recent debate with eldanny, I've begun to consider the various reasons for this and how culture works to establish ideologies that prohibit this understanding and actually form language or logic barriers between fundamental and necessary religious doctrine and our assumed place in society and reality.  


** DISCLAIMER **
This blog, like many others of mine, references only the Christian God and Christian doctrine.  It assumes that God exists and that He possesses all traits disclosed or assumed from logical necessity in the Bible.  If you are unwilling or unable to allow me these presuppositions for the sake of argument, this is not the place to debate them. 

I'd also like to
clearly state that I am entirely in favor of both of these concepts, and all of the subsets that they encompass.  However, they, like many other social paradigms, are practical only in moderation and under the authority of a governing entity.  For this reason, they are both entirely illusionary. 


I've attempted to organize my thoughts into broad characteristics or paradigms and they are as follows:

Autonomy:

What it is -

Simply put, autonomy refers to individualization and the notion of self-governance.  It is the thought that people can make their own moral and ethical decisions. 

How it is Reinforced -
The concept of autonomy is echoed through all accepted avenues of social thought including: psychology, sociology, business leadership/management, and the overarching philosophical acceptance of moral subjectivism.  It is established and reinforced in society in numerous places from our occupations to school to life at home.  For instance, my recent blog on abortion will meet great opposition because of the autonomy we feel is due to women.  The slogan "right to choose" exemplifies our understanding of and desire for self-governance. 

Entitlement:

What it is -
Our sense of entitlement is the understanding that we deserve something.
 

How it is Reinforced -
Much like autonomy, our sense of entitlement is established through nearly every social and educational medium.  We are politically entitled to our civil rights and legally entitled to receive payment for goods or services.  We feel entitled to own and use property, possessions, and our bodies in whatever manner we see fit.  We express this in varying degrees and through multiple channels.  For example, many feel entitled to use their personal cellphone or personal belongings on school property or during class.  They feel they deserve free health care, a well paying job, or to make profane/explicit posts on private internet forums.

Our sense of entitlement also changes with social status.  In the states, you're entitled to drive at age 16, to vote at age 18, to drink at age 21, though these boundaries are typically ignored as a result of our sense of autonomy. 

Why they cause Misunderstanding -
Together along with other social ideals, these concepts work to establish that our entitled possessions and autonomous identities are paramount and nearly synonymous to our social and physical existence.  In addition, they enforce the idea that what we have and who we are at this moment is all that there is and all that there will be.  We're entitled to make the most of our existence in this universe, and possess the autonomy to decide what that means on an individual basis. 

The truth in Christian doctrine -
There are really only two fundamental points from which everything else can be assumed. 

1. This existence is neither all that will be nor paramount. 

Our actions in this universe should be tempered by the fact that our true existence is eternal and our true possessions entirely metaphysical.  Our purpose and usefulness are not contained to this life, and this life is not, or is not intended as, the pinnacle of our achievements or desires.   

2.
We have defined terms such as innocence, justice, and fairness in ways that reflect and compliment our social paradigms.

Just as the government, your parents, your boss, or your teacher act as a boundary for our "autonomous" decisions, God is a moral authority.  Furthermore, nothing we have is entitled to us.  On a macro scale, we are here purely because God created us to be so, and on the micro level everything we possess we do so by the grace of God.  Keeping in mind my first point,
if God wishes to terminate your existence in this universe, He is not denying you something to which you are entitled and neither is He committing an act of injustice regardless of your perceived innocence. 

11:49 am - 1 comments - 2 Kudos
Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why pro-abortionists are hypocrites

I've made these arguments in a handful of threads, but I feel that they've not received the attention they deserve. 

There are a multitude of assumptions made within any argument in favor of abortion.  The pinnacle of which is that the zygote, blastocyst, or fetus is not human.  This of course begs the popular question, when exactly does humanity begin?  The answer varies from person to person, but most intelligent individuals will answer one of two ways.  They will claim that the fetus becomes human around 20-22 weeks, being that at this point the fetus has a fully functional central nervous system and at least some level of cognition.  We'll call this the 1st case, while others claim that humanity begins when the fetus or baby can survive independently of its mother and the placenta.  This, the 2nd case, is the view that a fetus is no more than a parasite or virus.  These premises are absolutely necessary in order to defend the conclusion that abortion is not murder and therefore morally sound. 

I always posit that human identity and existence is metaphysical in nature, and therefore not tied to intellect or pain response as is the 1st case.  Also this metaphysical or ontological view of humanity is not tied to independence or social identity as is the 2nd case.  In establishing my conclusion, it's helpful to consider these two cases as they apply to a broader definition of existence instead of merely to a fetus. 

If we maintain that the 1st case is accurate and that human existence begins with cognition, intellect, and a responsive nervous system, I find it impossible to not also accept that human existence or identity can not be terminated through the loss of these qualifiers.  By this I mean that someone who we once would have considered to be human could lose this identity through the loss of any or all of the aforementioned attributes.  Typical examples would include someone who has suffered a mentally debilitating injury, a psychologically traumatic event, damage to their nervous system, or has been placed into a coma either through trauma or medical induction.  In each of these cases, the victim would have lost, either in part or in whole, their intellect, cognition, and/or their ability to experience pain...even if only temporarily.  So, following the assumption that these things are necessary for human existence and identity, one must accept that someone who has lost any or all of these attributes is also no longer human. 

The 2nd case is similarly challenged as anyone who finds themselves dependent on another individual or device would also lose their humanity.  Arguably children or persons of any age can be considered dependent on a legal guardian or parent for survival.  However, even evaluating it in a strictly biological sense, one would have to accept that any person relying on a life support apparatus is exhibiting parasitic behavior and therefore no longer human. 

If you are unwilling or unable to accept these conclusions, or can not provide an argument against them, than you should also find any moral justification for abortion to be illogical and therefor objectionable or in the same manner rationalize the murder of any individual who lacks intellect, cognition, or pain receptors. 

As a side, I find it interesting the amount of individuals who disagree with animal cruelty, but find no problem with abortion, and I take particular offense to those who justify abortion past the 20th week.  Even only accepting a definition of human existence that is reliant on some external factor such as cognition you would find yourself making self defeating arguments considering the fact that animals have low levels of thought and cognition...if any self awareness at all.  The point of course being that most animals can easily be compared to a human fetus with the possible exception being that a fetus can not experience pain.  Of course, this argument is also self defeating because you would then find yourself arguing from a position that must justify murder granted that the victim experiences no pain or trauma.  A position I doubt many would be willing to defend. 

Allow me also to dispel some common points that many pro-choicers tend to get hung up on in an attempt to quickly justify or strengthen their position.  I'm talking mostly about the case of rape.  Pro abortionists are quick to point out the psychological trauma associated with rape, and the fact that this forced pregnancy is unwanted and will only serve as a reminder of that horrific event.  While this is true, they neglect to consider the emotional and psychological damage caused by undergoing an abortion.  A great percentage (some reports cite 65%) of women who even willingly receive an abortion experience acute or post traumatic stress disorder.  Another point is that these women would then be forced to raise an unwanted child.  Although I don't expect many reading this to share my sentiments, it's worth noting that love is deserved by every individual, especially (if you accept my previous arguments) an innocent human being, and that it should be given freely and unconditionally.  Assuming you lack the conviction to accept this, the option to place the baby up for adoption is always available. 

This is the point in which many will claim that if every unwanted child were placed for adoption, the state/government/local economy would be unable to sustain the burden.  To this I have two responses: in the immediate, this simply is not true.  I personally know many families who desired to adopt a baby born here in the US, only to find the 10 year waiting list less than favorable, and adopt instead from Guatemala.  Some of these families have done this multiple times...and this is only in my small circle of friends and acquaintances.  On the long term, as society rejects the notion of adoption as being a valid or acceptable practice, the number being undergone will diminish to a manageable level.  I'm not naive enough to expect that it would ever cease, but what crime has and how can anyone possibly view that as a rational reason to legalize something morally objectionable? 






3:49 pm - 151 comments - 0 Kudos
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Poetic Fiction

At the not so recent request of Gonzaw...the following is an unfinished work of poetic fiction. That is, every line break begins a different poem, and every poem completes a chapter of the same story. It's somewhat
fragmented now, but I believe the story can still be followed. Maybe posting it here will inspire me to finish the work. Enjoy!


Chapter I
The rose you've kept for me,
I exchange for draining sand,
That are feelings buried deep,
In the life we could have had.
At times I often wonder,
If you can see through me.
Straight to the lie I cover,
And desires that I keep.

Chapter II

As you're sleeping there beside me,
I feel estranged wrapped in your cold embrace.
Tho you’ve tried to treat me kindly,
Through the years I’ve watched you slowly change.

I don’t need you to console me,

I won’t bother to indulge in such clichés.

I don’t beg your understanding,

I've to leave although you say you feel the same.

As you quiet yourself behind me,
I can still faintly here you drawing breath.
And this dimly lighted hallway,
Is all that's between me and this life's death.
As I maneuver blindly,
To the door and out this place that was our house,
I forget the pain inside me,
Overcome by fear but unable to shout.

Chapter III
And this is how it feels to say goodbye,
To open the door to new life, and to let another die.
And this is when you know forever fades,
When a lifetime worth of promise, amounts to only days.
It's the crash of reality found in broken hearts,
And the end of hopes and dreams as two souls part.

Chapter IV
So now I've become my shadow, my deep desires freed.
But this life too is hollow, living out this fantasy.
Has this now become my future?
How quickly new love fades and turns to grey.
Bliss is turned to torture,
And the cherished past is marred by my mistakes.

Chapter V
Weariness brings me to myself.
Our forever gathers dust on a shelf.
Dreariness reminds me of my past.
The rain and winter’s chill take me back...
To a Time when my life wasn’t better or bad, only different.
Filled with times that we had,
And with moments I shared with the love of my life, that are nothing.
Only flashes of light.
But the life I have now is the forever we had, only different.
I tell myself that.
Cause it scares me to think that all I have now, is my future,
There’s no way out.
And the…
Weariness brings me to my home,
My forever waits there in the cold.
Dreariness reminds me of that.
Rain nor winters chill can take me back.

Chapter VI
I’ve lived this life so guarded.
It’s how this started and how it ends.
My friend, how did you expect this to conclude?
Didn’t I leave one love to live this lie with you?
And now you seem surprised that this one too, is through. 
I guess history repeats itself again.
This millstone of loving and losing, leaving and boozing,
then finding something new is getting old.
But the past that I’ve played near my chest is laid to rest,
and I’m strong enough to finally best my family crest.

Chapter VII
Looking back now I can plainly see,
That all I thought was you was really me.
Lost inside because I saw you change,
But through the years your love remained the same.
Everything was all you gave to me,
And in return I gave dishonesty.
Why is it that we realize too late,
That all we think we need are just mistakes?

Chapter VIII
And the rose you'd kept for me,
I lay now in your hand,
As your body's buried deep,
With the life we'll never have.
At times I often wonder,
If you watch over me.
If you see the lie I cover,
And desires that I keep.
3:46 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sola Scriptura

The concept of Sola Scriptura, or that Christianity is governed by scripture alone, is so foreign to me because I can see it no other way.  It seems so apparent that I have given it no previous thought.  In response to a disagreement that Primusfan and I had, I have spent a bit of time on the subject.

This blog catalogs some of the research I have done in support of my position:

Colossians 2

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

To imply that the Bible, the Word of God, does not posses all authority and is only part of what is required of us by God is hypocritical and damaging to the religion on the whole.  I can not see how this conclusion could be reached without undermining and disqualifying all of the scriptures. 

Matthew 28

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Jesus/God possesses all authority in heaven and Earth.  His sovereignty is without question. 

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now apply some simple logic.  If God has all authority and God is the Word, doesn’t the word have all authority? 

Now also consider the covenants and promises that were made by God:

Exodus 24

3 When Moses went and told the people all the LORD's words and laws, they responded with one voice, "Everything the LORD has said we will do." 4 Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said

7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."

12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction."

Exodus 34

10 Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today.

27 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." 28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.

Leviticus 18

4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.

Leviticus 26

3 " 'If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.

I Kings 3

13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."

John 14

15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

This is very clear that God’s covenant and law and commands are all within scriptures and says nothing of any other traditions. 

In fact, the only times that tradition is mentioned within the Bible it is with scorn. 

Matthew 15

1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"

 3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
 8" 'These people honor me with their lips,
      but their hearts are far from me.
 9They worship me in vain;
      their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"

 

 

 

2:36 pm - 9 comments - 4 Kudos
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Common Religious Arguments Pt2

I would suggest reading Part 1 of my common religious arguments before beggining here. 

There are many passages in the Bible that deal with slavery.  It doesn’t outright condone it, but it doesn’t condemn it either.  My argument is that Israel actually had very progressive and revolutionary laws and rights reserved for slavery, which was very entrenched in the social system and remained so throughout the Middle Ages.  Slavery then was much like the peon of the feudal caste system.  It was a legitimate occupation and a way to repay a debt.  People would often sell themselves to slavery. 

All slaves in Israel had not only human rights, but spiritual rights as well.  Although Hebrew slaves had even greater protection aliens still ate the same food as their master, they were protected from abuse and oppression, they could own their own property, many times the master would give his daughter to marry a slave.  Slaves, once circumcised, were allowed to enter in to worship with God.  They would rest on the Sabbath (Jewish holy days), they could file grievances with their masters, and if they ran away they were to be given sanctuary and not returned to their master...etc.  The Bible also restricted forcing someone in to slavery or kidnapping them.  Furthermore, the slavery in the Old Testament was not the oppressive slavery that the modern world has come to know.

Here are some Biblical resources for my points above:

Esther 7

4 For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king."

Here an Israelite woman, Esther, tells a king that she would not be pleading with him on behalf of her people if they were merely sold into slavery.  From this verse alone, we can gather that slavery was vastly different in that time period. 

Exodus 12

43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover...

44 Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.

Exodus 23

12 "Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.

Exodus 21

26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.

Job 31

13 "If I have denied justice to my menservants and maidservants

       when they had a grievance against me,

 14 what will I do when God confronts me?

Deuteronomy 23

15 If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master. 16 Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses. Do not oppress him.

Deuteronomy28

68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

2:42 pm - 8 comments - 2 Kudos
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Common Religious Arguments Pt1

This blog is more of a resource for myself.  As many of you know, I spend a great deal of time in the Religion Thread where I am frequently asked to repeat past arguments on common points of interest. 

Preface:

Some of these points will likely presuppose some of the arguments I've already made in my blog about God Paradoxes

The most notable of which I will repeat here in simple terms because it is often misunderstood and will be the focal point of some of my arguments.  I am, of course, talking about free will.  Let's first look at what we know as fact, accepting of course that the Abrahamic God exists and that He is the creator of the universe as the Bible claims. 

God created matter, space, and time. 

This is a simple statement, but with heavy implications.  If God in fact did create matter, space, and time then it logically and necessarily follows that He could not be contained or bound within them. 

From this we can conclude that God is not affected by time.  From His "outside" vantage point, wherever that may be, He is free to view all of the time in the universe simultaneously.  From beginning to end and all of the places in between, our time is always the present to God. 

Having established this, we can come to realize that not only does God's omniscience not hinder free will, but His ability to so view our universe from an outside perspective actually grants Him that omniscience.  He knows what our future actions and choices will be, not because He has preordained them, but because He has already seen them happen as a result of our free will. 

Basically, God looks at our future as His present.  Even though you haven't decided what to eat for breakfast tomorrow, God knows what you will choose to eat because He watched you make the choice in the future. 

This is a bit abstract, but I really don't know how to simplify it any more.  Now that we've hopefully established that free will does exist and may actually necessitate omniscience, let's move on to the real reason for this blog. 

Regarding the Old Testament:

How does the Old Testament fit into modern day Christianity:

I am frequently asked to reconcile God's actions in the Old Testament with the New Covenant established by Jesus in the New Testament and even with modern society.  Many people, atheists and Christians alike, lack understanding of the Old Testament law, and believe the God of the OT to be full of vengeance and wrath.  This is viewed as standing in stark contrast to Jesus, and becomes a contradiction in light of God's perfect and unchanging nature.  This is before you consider that the Old Testament seemingly justifies murder and slavery, but we’ll get to that in a bit. 

The first thing that I would like to establish is that the Old Testament is merely a history of Israel, God's chosen and holy people who would eventually give birth to the Messiah.  It is impossible to place Old Testament law or commands in a modern context because they apply directly and specifically to the Israelites in that time period.  To help make this point, allow me to quote from first the Old and then the New Testament.

Old:

Jeremiah 31

32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,"
declares the LORD.

33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.



Exodus 19

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."

New:

Matthew 26

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Galations 3

15 Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.

This is not to say that God changed His mind.  Reading everything in context, you will find that God's plan, to which the author of Galations was alluding, is consistent throughout the entire Bible.  To illustrate this, let's again take a look at some Old Testament scripture, this time foretelling or giving us a glimpse at the theme of the Bible and God's master plan. 

Genesis 18

17 Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."

In the above verse, God tells Abraham that his descendants will become the nation of Israel, and that all of the nations on Earth will be blessed through him.  We know now that the blessing or Messiah that God was speaking of is Jesus. 

Isaiah 51

4 "Listen to me, my people;
       hear me, my nation:
       The law will go out from me;
       my justice will become a light to the nations.

 5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
       my salvation is on the way…

The prophet, Isaiah, reminds Israel of God’s plan for their holy nation. 

Matthew 28

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Thousands of years later, Jesus reveals that He is the Messiah that God and the prophets had been preparing Israel for, and that the blessing for all of the nations on Earth is salvation through Jesus Christ. 

So far we’ve established that God delivered the Old Testament law to the Israelites in order to make them a holy nation who would be worthy to be the lineage of the Messiah.  Since Jesus died on the cross for us, we no longer offer blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin or follow any of the other OT rituals, and many of the OT laws were repeated to all of the nations of Earth in the New Testament (such as the Ten Commandments).  However, why should the Israelites get away with killing Canaanite men, women, and children or with keeping slaves? 


Was the Old Testament God a Hypocrite?

This is the next thing I am repeated asked to justify.  Let’s look at the issue of murder first.  Many people consider God’s actions against Sodom and Gomorrah or the nations of Canaan to be murderous.  The first thing I always remind them is that the law is “thou shall not murder”.   The word murder implies that the victim is innocent, and the people whom God brought to justice through the hands of the Israelites were far from holy. 

The book of Jasher is an ancient book mentioned in the Bible. It gives details about the evil in Sodom. For example, strangers and travelers who came into the city would be robbed, stripped, and held captive within the city. They would wander the streets slowly starving to death to the great amusement of the citizenry. Another account relates that visitors to Sodom were offered a bed according to the Middle Eastern laws of hospitality, but it was a bed of torture. People too short were stretched. People too long had their legs cut off. If a traveler had no money, he would be offered bricks of gold and silver with his name on them! Only nobody would sell him bread and water, even for all that gold and silver. So the traveler slowly died of starvation.

These stories just give us a hint of how bad things had gotten in Sodom. It was probably worse than our imaginations can conceive. The Canaanites knew about the destruction of Sodom. They knew that God would judge evil. They also knew about Melchizedek and Abraham. They had access to truth. They weren’t ignorant or innocent. Egypt and other nations, despite their great sin, were not completely destroyed, so the sin of the Canaanites must have been much more serious. God restricted Israel from attacking Edom, Moab and Ammon, so they must not have deserved such a severe judgment.

Archeology gives some hints about what the Canaanites did. On one of the High Places, archeologists found several stone pillars and great numbers of jars containing the remains of newborn babies. When a new house was built, a child would be sacrificed and its body built into the wall to bring good luck to the rest of the family. The firstborn were often sacrificed to Molech, a giant hollow bronze image in which a fire was built. Parents would place their children in its red hot hands and the babies would roll down into the fire. The sacrifice was invalid if the mother showed grief. She was supposed to dance and sing. The Israelites later copied this practice in a valley near Jerusalem called Gehenna. Hundreds of jars containing infant bones have been found there.

There was a great deal of sexual sin among the Canaanites. They believed that cultic prostitution was important to encourage their gods, Baal and Ashtoreth to mate so that the land would be fertile and rain would come. VD was probably rampant. Many young people forced into prostitution were abused to the point of death. Even the surrounding pagan nations were appalled by Canaanite religious practices.

Yet God did not hurry to judge the Canaanites. In Genesis 15, God tells Abraham:

In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

God gave the Canaanites 400 years while Israel was in Egypt. After Israel passed through the Red Sea, He waited 40 more years while Israel wandered in the wilderness. The people knew Israel was coming, and that God had given the land to them, according to the Canaanite Rahab in Joshua 2:9:

“I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you."

Jericho had six additional days to repent while Israel did laps around it. The day judgment finally came to Jericho, Israel marched around the city seven times. God judges swiftly when He finally acts, but He patiently warns and waits for repentance.

Source - http://www.susancanthony.com/Resources/Dennis/cana an.html

From that abstract, you can imagine the kind of activities that were commonplace in the Old Testament nations that God judged.  This is typically the time in the argument when people will ask about God’s omniscience and benevolence.  Why would God kill children along with adults in His judgment?  If you skipped my introduction about free will, you’d best read it more thoroughly. 

Being omniscient and outside of time, God is free to judge perfectly and benevolently for infractions that we haven’t even committed yet.  The nations that were destroyed were so indoctrinated with evil, that had God not stepped in, the children that were destroyed would have gone on to live the same destructive and malicious lifestyle as their parents.  God’s timelessness allows Him to see the future acts that they would have committed of their own free will and maintain both perfection and justice. 


Continue to Pt2...



2:42 pm - 36 comments - 10 Kudos
Thursday, April 10, 2008

More lyrics and poetry.

While going through some old college school work, I came across another collection of old poems and lyrics.  Any comments and criticism is always welcome.  If you missed my last blog of poems here's the link.


A day in the life

Alone on the street with the wind on my face,
I can distance myself from the things that take place,
In my house every night when the drink that he tastes,
becomes too much to mask all the rage in his face.

So hidden I'll stay from my fear and disgrace,
By keeping emotions inside where they're safe,
And I simply explain all the scars on my face,
As a fall instead of the bottle he drained. 

Torture...
The soul's survival of one thousand deaths.
Departure...
The journeying mind through the body's unrest.
Salvation...
Slips farther from me with every slice.
Frustration...
I see my own hand is holding the knife.
Echoing...
Your actions still seen through my broken smile.
Beckoning...
To find the control that I lost as a child. 


Under Open Sky

Two lovers lay, under open sky,
Their lustful thoughts run wild.
Oh, how the couple's dreams will die,
With the blessing of a child.

A diamond shines, under open sky,
Four words are spoken low.
A nervous man awaits reply,
From a woman letting go.

The distance grows, under open sky,
The couple's love has flown,
But for their son they live this lie,
Together yet alone. 

A happy home, under open sky,
For family and friends.
What lies behind those wall at night,
When the facade ends? 

A lovers quarrel, under open sky,
The angry words they said.
A father's rage a mother's sigh,
A child upstairs in bed.

And so it goes, under open sky,
To provide a better home.
They live alone, alone they die,
and their son now plays the role. 


Alone?

Left alone within my mind,
to unravel, to unwind,
but there's something far behind
within its depths.

I scream but nothing's heard,
not a sound, not a word,
and it seems a bit absurd
to waste my breath.

Then the voice that echoes back,
from the darkness, from the black,
is a whisper that could wrack
the farthest breadth.

It's a voice that's not my own,
Just a murmur, just a moan,
and it seems I'm not alone
here in my death. 


Waking up from the American Dream

We drown in this monotony we call life, pulled down by the undying thought that all we do in this world is nothing more than frivolous vanity.  A scene played out for an unseen watcher.  This game of His that we call living. 

But this same monotonous routine that haunts our thoughts and riddles our minds with questions of life's meaning is the only thing that we cling to for sanity.  The belief that swirling with us somewhere in this never ending spiral of routine is a measure of control.  The thought that by confining our day to day within the boundaries of routine gives us control of that existance.

You work away at the grindstone.
All your trouble and your time,
and it buys your granite headstone.
There's more than this to life. 





5:40 pm - 5 comments - 4 Kudos
Monday, February 25, 2008

Mac and Windows...

aren't even comparable.  Mac is a toy, a conversation peice, something to fool around with as a hobby.  Windows, on the other hand, is the backbone of every corporation in the world.  Here's a post I made in a Mac vs. Windows thread that was recently closed...

Mac sucks but only slightly less than its annoying consumer base.

Without Windows (or Linux), there would be no internet, you would get no emails, there would be no corporate networks, there would be no cellphone or enterprise voicemail, huge databases could no longer be supported meaning that the financial industry would be unable to operate , and nearly every other business would be using pencil and paper.  The list goes on and on...the ONLY thing that Mac is even the slightest bit useful for is making animations, movies, and music recordings. So all of you liberal arts students who have no grasp of what is going on in what I like to call, "the real world" need to shut your gaping holes and get over the fact that you're O/S doesn't contribute dick.

Basically, if Apple were to fall of the face of the planet, the only people who would be affected are Steve Jobs and a bunch of guys working for Pixar.
2:04 pm - 12 comments - 6 Kudos
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Marketing

What's with inane and just plain idiotic marketing campaigns?  Did anyone ever wonder how the hell some things get started and, why in the hell they continue?  For example, I pulled in to a gas station the other day and while filling up I threw out some trash that I had in my car.  On the trash can was an embossment  that read, "No Littering". 

Do people drive around looking at garbage receptacles as they would a billboard?  The only time I pay them any attention is when I'm going to put something into them...which would mean that I'm already not littering. 

I've also seen signs in restrooms that tell staff members to wash their hands.  Of course, they are always hanging behind the sink for maximum effect. 

Doesn't anyone ever think about this kind of stuff? 


7:00 am - 6 comments - 5 Kudos
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