Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blinded By Fireflys

Call it triangulation. Skeptics in general are insufferably smug about their faith-I'm talking the whole hoggish, minds-so-open-their-brains-fall-out secular humanists, who wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.
They do have some entertainment value, and are useful for a few simple tasks.
The new Skeptic hillbillys I've encountered are members of something called the "Point of Inquiry Podcast-they have some foundation to foment their rebellion against faith/for truth (as if those elements were mutually exclusive), and have been around for awhile. New to me, maybe not to you.
I was chuckling along to their podcast tonight; I haven't heard such earnest joy since my last Pentecostal meeting. They LOVE being right.
One of their high Priests of Skepticism is old JREF himself, "The Amazing Randi" and here's where the story turns:
I like James Randi, have enjoyed his stories and podcasts for years, and from time to time I like to visit his website, the James Randi Educational Foundation, or JREF.
I mentioned triangulation and simple tasks.
At one point of the triangle you find me, a Christian who knows that God exists, and that, according to the Bible AND our lives, that we are spiritual creatures.
At the second point we find James Randi, standing in for all skeptics, who says, "I won't believe in anything that I can't prove or have proven to me. Show me your God and I will believe. But if you can't produce him or it...then you have put your faith in something unprovable, and I respectfully decline to join you in your faith."
To James Randi, ALL religious faith, all superstitious faith, spiritism, psychics and quackery are tarred with the same brush.
Which brings us to the tri in our angles.
The fakes. The fakirs, both God fakers and Spirit fakers. The quacks,cracks and hacks who make a bad living by lying to faithful believers.
Randi and I agree on the fakirfakers. I love the fraudulent jerks being exposed and frogmarched out of the public eye. Most especially those jerks who claim to be speaking for God, promising miracles but delivering heartaches.
But also the Sylvia Brownes, both Jonathan Edwards (psychic and politician), and every other con artiste making people's money go poof! Gone! It's magic!
The fakirfakers have no use at all for Christians such as myself, and they hate James Randi and his band of skeptical brothers.
One of the podcasts tonight was about Harry Houdini, who I guess would be the Moses of the Skeptical religion. It IS a religion, as we are supposed to take on faith that they know what they are talking about.
Houdini went after the spirit readers with a vengance after his mother died, and some of the 'speakers for the dead' claimed to have messages from her. He though it most reprehensible that these fakers would get rich taking advantage of grieving people.
I share that reprehension, as does James Randi. Too bad he's wrong about Christians.
JREF. Joe Bob says check it out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Defend And Offend

Doug writes: "Whatever you reject, it isn't because you can't figure it out. It's because you do not have God's Spirit to give you understanding."

James ripostes: "Oh, right. And you do?"

Doug answers: "Yup."

"5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Romans 8:5-9"

Here, let me bold that up for you: But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

James, from what you've written here in the past few years, I'm confident in stating that you are not a Christian.
You may go to a dead church, you may think about God...but you don't show evidence of being a Christian-actually, you show yourself to be anti-Christian.
So let me tell you plainly-you aren't qualified to discuss Christianity, Jesus Christ, or God, except as an outsider looking in. That's why nothing seems to make sense to you. That's why all you can see are contradictions and mysteries. That's why you keep bringing up "But Calvin said this!" "But Hebrews says this!" all the while ignoring 99.999999 of what Calvin said, of what Hebrews teaches.

"9but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." 1 Corinthians 2:9-13

Maybe you should stick to politics, carping about George Bush.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ideas? This One's A Lu-Lu!

Is there anyone pulling your strings? Anyone? Are you your own boss, answering to no buddy?
Here's the sweet and lowdown: As I Christian, I recognize the authority of God, and know Who He is.
In the comment section, if you're willing, I'd like for you to share your opinions:
On God.
On whether God interacts with humanity.
Share your views, if any, about Heaven and hell, and who goes where,
if any of us go anywhere.
What do you think happens when we die? When we are born?
Where IS God?
Open up, and be ready to defend and/or offend.
If you're wondering about the picture...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But...

I have a two-state solution for NBC. I don't watch "The Tonight Show"-I work evenings-but I grew up watching Carson, back then when we only had a few viewing choices.
NBC had an opportunity to get this right, and they blew it.
Here's my solution:
Conan has earned the Tonight Show. He keeps it, and is happy. Call it...Tonight Show Alpha. It stays where it has been since Steve Allen waved at the first audience.
Leno gets Tonight Show Beta, "broadcast" on satellite/cable MSNBC, CNBC, and whatever other channels NBC owns.
He would have a smaller audience, but his show would be different than the MSNBC political talk shows, hammered in the ratings, year after year, by their Fox News adversaries.
Put both Tonight Shows on at the same beloved, coveted timeslot-they won't be fighting each other for ratings-two separate markets. And NBC could profit from having two Tonight Shows on which to sell advertising. Cable is no longer the red headed stepchild of the Networks-it is the future, and Leno could help NBC get there.
Bye the bye, I worked a long, hard ten minutes on that photo of the Gordian Knotheads.
I'm too impatient to do things well; good enough is good enough. A man riding by on horseback of a cloudy midnight wouldn't even notice the sloppy work.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He Doesn't LOOK Like Trouble, But...

Scott Brown is a Republican, soon to be the junior Senator from
Massachusetts. As he noted during a recent debate, it isn't Ted Kennedy's seat, but the people's seat that he will be filling.
It is wonderful, it is pleasant, but it is no surprize. If the Democrats led by President Obama hadn't been so adamant about changing the country into a Nannystate, if the Dems had listened to the people protesting against their abuses of power...I think that a Democrat would have have been victorious tonight.
Be ready for the pushback-Dems will say that this doesn't mean anything, that he's just one vote out of 100, but I think that the political reality will have many Democrats putting as much distance between themselves and Obamacare as they can ahead of the Fall elections.
Congratulations to Senator-elect Brown!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nobody Ever Gave You A Day

So, here we are at another Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To celebrate this Baptist minister, I thought I might identify some of the doctrinal elements which made him a Baptist.
My church Sunday School has gone through this lesson; the acrostic below is from the Baptist Distinctives wikipedia page, though errors in the thumbnail descriptions are all mine.

"B-A-P-T-I-S-T-S" acrostic

B: Biblical authority -easily understood-we look to the Bible as God’s Word-no church hierarchy or ’leaders’ or church laws are accepted as being on a par with Scripture.

A: Autonomy of Baptist churches-each church is independently governed, though association/cooperation with larger church groupings, such as the Southern Baptist Convention is acceptable. The SBC holds no sway over local church governance-there is no hierarchy above the independent church.

P: Priesthood of all believers -Christians look to Christ; we do not have any other intercessor. We reject the idea of any other person being between us and Jesus Christ.

T: Two ordinances -the Lord’s Supper, which is a memorial to the death of Christ who paid the price for our sins, and Baptism, which memorializes His resurrection; as we partake of these two ordinances, we are identifying ourselves with Christ’s death and resurrection.

I: Individual Soul Liberty-this follows with the Priesthood of all believers-from the wiki page: “Various terms have been used for this concept, such as soul freedom, freedom of conscience and soul competency. It refers to the God-given freedom and ability of persons to know and respond to God's will. Baptists believe that God gives people competency—that is ability—to make choices.” Which we do-often the wrong choices. We are not perfect.

S: Saved Church Membership-we had some discussion on this point yesterday in church-all guests are always welcome to visit, irregardless of whether or not they are saved. But to join a church, one must be a Christian.

T: Two Offices (Pastor and Deacon)-no Bishops except on a chess board. No Popes. Each church will have as governing authority a Pastor and Deacons/Elders. And their authority “ends” at the church door, meaning that they have no authority at all over non-church members.

Now, can a Christian live apart from a church? Absolutely-I went for years with no church membership. But I wasn’t living a life pleasing to God, and God is the one who led me to get back into communion with believers, to join the church where I am now a member.
I encourage you to dig into this subject-it’s all over the internet. Make Dr. MLKjr proud.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


"1Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4“Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”"
Luke 13:1-5

No one, and I mean No promised a certain number of days to live. Some lives are 'cut short' in our estimation.
An earthquake in Haiti, a hospital in Bruges, a park bench in Milwaukee. You never know where or when your final day will come.
What is the worst thing that can happen to a person? To die in his or her sins without repentance, without hope.
Miep Gies passed away this week-the lady who helped hide Anne Frank and her family. She is the one who found Anne's diary, returning it to Otto Frank after the war. A well intentioned commenter elsewhere said that Gies "had earned her way to Heaven" due to her compassionate helping of the Franks.
She may be in Heaven, but only if she trusted in Jesus Christ as her Savior.
As Jesus said, "unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
May God extend to you His Grace, and the faith to believe.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Man Corrupts..Absolute Man Corrupts Absotively

I know-’absotively’ isn’t a true word, but a corruption of ‘absolutely/positively’. My point.

The newish film “The Invention Of Lying” which has sllthered out from under the rock which is Ricky Gervais’ mind…is purported to be the greatest condemnation of Religion and Christianity since last week. Before you rush off to the Red Box, friends, let me tell you something of this movie which I haven’t seen- “There Will Be Boredom”.
How can I crit a movie unseen? I’ve heard it.
Before there was an American verion of “The Office” I had the Brit original on DVD-Gervais was the best and worst parts of the show. Best in writing, worst in mugging/acting/ ego trippin’.
Then came the Ricky Gervais pod cast, in which Ricky and Steve (his partner in all things comedic) shined a tinny little light on the musings of their buddy Karl Pilkington.
Goldmine. Lottery win. Free breakfast at IHOP. Digging into the Pilkington gave us hours of audio enjoyment-it was ferociously funny, and Karl’s dim views were the highlights of the show.
The lowlight was Ricky Gervais pronouncing his screeds against all religions, most definitely including Christianity which isn’t one; Gervais lumped them all together to dismiss with extreme prejudice.
So please, if you are looking for an atheistic stemwinder disguised as a RomCom… “The Invention Of Lying” might just be your cuppa.
I must plug this, for all the fun I’ve gotten there: click on my title post to read the Blu Ray review of “The Invention Of Lying” by Kenneth Brown. Free Cookies!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Taking Leave Of Our Census

No thanks, no way, no how. Nyet nyet nyet. Catch you next decade, if there is one.
I want no part in this U.S. Census.
Back in 1999/2000 I was a Census foot soldier, knocking on doors, doing interviews, filling out paperwork and leaving/picking up questionnaires. It was my third job. Working maintenance for a ski resort was my prime, custodial/maintenance for an art gallery second, and then the Census. My hobby back then was trying to keep my girlfriend happy which, like most hobbies, turned out to be quite expensive, making three jobs a necessity.
But now? No thank you. I would not want to be knocking on doors, representing the U.S. Government in Obama’s America. I dealt with suspicious people ten years ago-now I’ve joined them. I mistrust the Obama administration, and I expect that it will make as much a mess of the Census as it does everything else it touches.
So…will I fill out the questionnaire? Yes. If I’m interviewed, will I answer questions? Yes. Those are my duties as a citizen. But I want to enter Heaven with as clear a conscience as possible, so no Census/Government work during the Obama years. Bring on the Palin years!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

"I'n Not As Think As You Drunk I Am"

I don’t know why they keep bothering to put TV beer commercials on during sports events such as the football games playing right now. I’m not going to buy beer, and they’re just wasting their money, trying to get mine for their alcohol beverages.
Not a New Year’s Resolution Hinterlude: Last year I determined to “give up” soda, pop, whatever you want to call the carbonated drinks. Colas. Root Beer. All of it. I began freezing water bottles, both at work and home, as a healthier, much cheaper alternative. A bottle 2/3rds filled with ice, topped off, would remain cold all through my shift/night.
How long did my NYResolution last? It’s still ongoing, proof that we CAN change habits for the better. I’ve begun a new habit breaker this year which I’ll tell about next January.
Back to the beer commercials. Of course I understand the concept of broadcast advertising-I’m going to get all kinds of adverts pointed at me which I couldn’t care less about. Plenty of alkies ARE the target audience.
And they probably wouldn’t appreciate being referred to as alkies. Fair enough.
The Gospel is being broadcast throughout the world, and you may feel that you are not the target audience, that you don’t want what Christians are selling. You certainly wouldn’t appreciate being referred to as a ‘sinner’. Fair enough.
The difference is: although not all who drink alcohol are alcoholics, we all ARE sinners. You can ignore the Gospel as I do the beer commercials, but where beer can only ruin your life, rejecting the Gospel can ruin your after-Life.
Not a New Years Resolution Hinterlude: The devil doesn’t NEED an advocate, but playing one for a moment and a few lines, consider this:
If I were wrong about God, if there were no Father God, no Jesus Christ, no Holy Spirit, and life was limited only to our physical lifetime-no Heaven, no Hell, just life, then death and then nothing…
I would still be all the richer for the lessons learned in this life as a Christian. To be honest, to strive to do good and BE good, to be at Peace with my fellow man, recognizing that all mankind is equal, irregardless of race or country…
Christians are the Best citizens of the world, even in this world of sin.
But I am not wrong about God, and we live beyond our physical death, either entering into Heaven or Hell.
Happy New Year.