Watching RZIM’s The Apologist a few nights ago, where they had two Christians and two atheists debating on why they believed what they believed.
Both of the RZIM apologist where former nonbelievers meaning they did not grow up in a home that taught Christianity and it made me think that former atheist or none believers seem to make really good tactical apologist meaning they defend Christianity sometimes better than Christians that grow up in a Christian home.
I’m a part of this group that grew up Christian and I’ve had to check myself and my belief and understanding of God and the nature of God and I can say growing up I was a miserable failure in defending Christianity and the fact growing up in a small down in Northern California made it that much worse
As I got older I needed to ask myself the hard questions and show evidence of why I believed what I did and this is where people that believe in God but are not grounded or have a good foundation lose the conversation when asked to show the evidence or tell why they believe and then give a coherent answer that can be understood.
Going to the Scriptures we can get a small view of this when reading 1 Peter 3:15: but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. This requires us to do more than just say I believe in God it ask us to have an answer and how we go about answering the question.
Parents that believe in God beyond just believing in a deity need to know the how and why of God because it becomes their responsibility to teach this to their Children.
If you cannot communicate or answer why you believe then how can you yourself understand what you hold to be truth?
If I ask you why are you a Christian can you give me a good answer, if I ask you do you think you are going to heaven can you give me a good answer, if I ask you if I don’t believe in what you believe why is that wrong and will I go to heaven; can you give me a good and true Biblical answer?
These are question that we should be asking ourselves and our children. Don’t think your six year old child cannot give you a good answer if you have taught them well.
To think I’ll just drop them off at Sunday school or youth group and hope for the best is like throwing them in water and hoping they learn to swim, some will some wont maybe if you give them lessons they will learn for sure.
I feel the reason why non believers tend to give better answers is because they are new to the game and if they are serious about their conversion they tend to dive into the word deeper than people that grow up in a Christian home.
I am for one guilty of growing up in a Christian home and taking for granted that God gave me grace, I had the faith but I lacked the understanding of his nature and my nature making me ineffective as a believer to a nonbeliever.
I only bring this up because I hate to see people struggle with understanding the scriptures and being so ineffective in their belief. The most concerning is that these same people now have Children and they too become ineffective witnesses of Jesus and some even get completely lost.
I urge you if you are a believer in God, if you are a believer that Jesus is the son of God that the scriptures are the breathed word of God to then build a knowledge of understanding God. Build a defense of your faith in Jesus for others to know. The cost is time, effort and sometimes friends but the payoff is knowing who God is and how much he really loves you that he would extend his grace to you no matter who you are.
The reason why I write this blog is based on that I believe the idea of God creating the universe based in millions and billions of years only compromises with the secular world view and it has implications that are far more reaching than just difference of opinion.
If you have the time here is a nice little debate or conversation between the idea of young earth and old earth via Ken Ham and Hugh Ross. Ken Ham is young earth and backs his theology by scripture while Ross is old earth that is trying to interpret scripture and the Bible with the idea of fitting millions of years into the Biblical historical picture.
Most secularists will say both proponents Ham and Ross are wrong because the universe is billions of years old.
What I find as the problem with the old earth belief is there is not good evidence and you have to add to scripture to make the point while the young earth is better equipped to follow scripture.
Interesting out of a panel of six on this show, five of the guest believed in a young earth and one (Ross) believes in an old earth that included the big bang.
Out of that 5 only three so it was split evenly (with Ross being the 6th), but only three Ken Ham, Ray Comfort and Eric Hovid believed the scripture was more clear on the idea of each day as it was created by God (day being 24 hours) and that this statement of scripture was very important, not only understanding Biblical creation but it aided in the understanding of Biblical knowledge for everyone.
The interpretation of each creation day being one day (24 hour day) is important to teach people based on if we demand that people believe in the parting of the red seas, a virgin woman getting pregnant by the Holy Spirit and a man dying and coming back to life. How then can we tell people that in Genesis God was not talking about 24 hour day but he meant millions of years and that the passages of Genesis aids itself more to how modern science interprets the age of the earth via millions and billions of years.
On one end we demand people believe in supernatural events but in Genesis we compromise and say there is nothing supernatural how God created the universe. That statement maybe a bit over the top due to that Christians believing in a creation of a million years still view it as supernatural but the idea of God creating the world in 6 days has to be agreed as a bit more of a supernatural event than using a naturalistic way to explain creation.
Sean McDowell and John Bloom from Biola University were more on the fence of Biblical interpretation, McDowell even so far as to going there and saying so much as can we really know the true interpretation from Greek, Hebrew to English. I chalk McDowell statement to his youth; this statement is what secularist use to kill the conversation on Christians that don’t know there Biblical history or believe in actual words of our Biblical authors and we cannot accept such a statement.
Bloom and McDowell were willing to question interpretation while Comfort, Ham and Hovid felt that the Bible was God’s breathed word that all can know, people could know then (thousands of years ago) we can know now. 1 Timothy 3:16 Ephesians 4:11-16 and Hebrews 11: 1-40
McDowell and Bloom walk a slippery slope that will have you back peddling trying to explain Biblical truth in a sea of secular lies and it does not have to be that way if we take scripture at its word.
I believe Ross is trading certainty for truth and McDowell and Bloom are entertaining that idea as well Bloom more so than McDowell.
The truth is we can know scripture and what it says, understanding that not everyone will completely get what is being stated in every book or letter but the main theme of the Bible is God and following God. His grace to us and for us and how and why he did what he did for his creation.
You will see at the end of the video Ross offers a truce and I have no doubt Ross was very sincere just as I have no doubt Ross is a Bible believing man of God. The problem I have with Ross’s truce is it is not as the same way we can view the main purpose of truth from such men as George Whitfield and John Wesley.
Whitfield was a strong preacher of election with his main theme on salvation, while Wesley was a strong preacher on the will to know God with the main theme on salvation so we see two men that preached different styles had the same theme and that was salvation. This is what made these men great in the eyes of Biblical history the final authority was God and his salvation for you.
Ross’s truce is genuine but misguided based on the issue we live in different times than Wesley and Whitfield did; the average person had a standard of who was God and the respect of who God was not to mention being a pastor or evangelist during the 1700’s was a very respectable position.
Today’s western world does not respect God as it once did nor has a standard of who God is. Today’s western world does not respect men like Ross or Ham they view them as the enemy. People like Bill Nye who puts out hate messages that parents that teach creation are abusing their children.
We can easily see why main stream media and science who is desperate to be the grand daddy of all authority of life will mock and tear down our children and young people in the public arena.
How can we as Christians tell our children God did all these great supernatural things but that stuff in Genesis may not be literal, can you see why liberal Churches are not teaching that Jesus died or was born of a virgin, compromise to secularism to be relevant in today’s world is the in thing for people and Churches that think this is the only way to get people to God.
The difference between Ross and Ham is that Ham uses the Bible to interpret scripture for both knowing God and understanding God in a Biblical context with the final goal preaching the word of God for the purpose of following Jesus to salvation. Ross uses the Bible to prove science is correct and prove there is a God while returning a standard of the belief in God to science and while this is important without the notion of one following Jesus and putting God first before all things there is no real hope for people to know God.
Final thoughts I know those six men, Ham, Comfort, Hovid, Ross, McDowell and Bloom are good men of God and I know they want the best for bringing the Gospel to all people but the western world we live in is now requiring we either go with the world or against the world.
Trying to compromise or make a hybrid world view with a mix of some world and some Christianity will not work. It is not Biblical to mix Holiness with evil 1 Corinthians 15:33, like my old youth pastor use to say, two rivers running into each other, one is flowing clear blue water the other is dirty brown water and when the two come together and mix the clear blue water turns to dirty brown. The two cannot mix.
Iowa Caucus done and in the books, big winners big losers this week.
Big winners on the GOP have to be Cruz who won but barely, Trump and Rubio. Both Trump and Rubio were not pummeled but stayed real close and that is a win.
To me this is a real win for Americans in general, both Cruz and Rubio have good plans for America both are pro life and both have good tax plans as well. I view both Cruz and Rubio as pretty good statesmen with Cruz getting the node based on his smaller government ideology over Rubio.
What about Trump well I just don’t have the faith in the Donald like others. A red herring is my first thought, a man who use to support the Clintons, was a self toting liberal from New York just does not have my trust Ross Perot comes to mind. Could Trump have changed and gone middle of the road GOP well of course anything is possible I just don’t trust him at this point he won’t get my primary vote.
Big losers in the GOP Paul, Bush and the rest. I like Paul and hope he can climb back up but I have to admit I’m glad to see Bush fair so poorly. What I would like to see is Paul, Cruz and Rubio fight it out instead of Trump. I know these are political guys in the establishment but these three men have in my opinion the best ideas for America at this point in our time.
Big winner in the DNC are both Clinton and Sanders, Sanders holding on tight and probably will win New Hampshire but after that I think Clinton will blow his doors off.
The losers in the DNC are O’Malley and the American people. Right now the big winner for Sanders is Karl Marx. The fact Americans have split the vote between a lier and a socialist that cannot understand economics is sad very sad indeed. Both Clinton and Sanders want government growth and the only way to do this is for you to give the government your money.
You cannot have free collage, free internet without somebody paying for it. Teacher do not teach for free and AT&T does not give out free data plans. Socially the DNC is morally bankrupt, theft from personal property to pay for free stuff is morally wrong. Killing innocent unborn humans is morally wrong, dismantling the traditional family is morally wrong and those are just the basics.
This is the year people, the year you decide what kind of America do you want, choose wisely because we cannot take back what we choose. In a good world view one should be able to do so but in a real world view it won’t be given back, you are stuck with what you took.
The news of the day in the conservative Christian world easily has to be the open letter from John Piper to Jerry Falwell Jr. about Falwells comments on Christians and guns and the letter back from American Vision’s Dr. Joel McDurmon and a letter written in 2008 by Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries to John Piper explaining to Piper the Biblical response to responsible self defense of the Christian and how maybe some of Pipers letter may have gotten scripture wrong.
First of all let us set our players so everyone knows what the heck is going on here. John Piper is educated in seminary and is the founder of desiringgod.org. He is a prominent speaker and is held widely as having quite the knowledge of Biblical theology an authority worth listening to in short when it comes to many things in Christianity Piper is the one to listen to.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is the son of Jerry Falwell Sr. the founder of the moral majority that was so instrumental in the 80’s and 90’s with guiding the political moral fiber of this country, it seems Jr. has not fallen far from the tree. Falwell is now president of Liberty University the college Sr. founded.
Falwell spoke out on how Christians need to learn how, know and use guns for the coming future. This of course set out a barrage of negative discourse among liberals and liberal Christians a few weeks ago and Piper has weighed in on the Falwells speech as well.
What makes this a big deal is why Piper would bother to get into this kind of conversation. A conversation that one would surly loose if you understand the Biblical construct of self defense and the knowledge of why conservative Christianity backs these kind of ideas. It tells a lot about Piper, it tells us either Piper has completely misunderstood Falwell (which is the belief I hold) or the liberal cracks are beginning to show in Pipers theology (which is the belief I hold as well).
I will confess I don’t know Piper and Falwell extremely well. What exposure I have had with Piper is negative at best. Watching him on a round table Q&A show hosted by Ligoneir ministries it was very front and center that Piper was acting liberal as he tried to defend a subject on social liberalism opposing the conservative view, a viewpoint that would only be rational in a perfect world and we don’t live in a perfect world.
Now don’t get this wrong this is not a scathing attack on John Piper for talking bad about guns. Much like Glenn Beck Piper has entered an arena he ought not to tread.
Glenn Beck is probably in the top three most brilliant persons in the conservative political movement. His understanding of politics is beyond most and mainly because he has values. But when Beck steps into the arena of religion and theology he immediately becomes a 4 year old and understands nothing of the God of the Bible, religion in general even his own and nothing of theology.
Piper is the same, in theology and understanding the Bible and God he is a giant and deserves nothing but respect. As soon as Piper enters that field of politics and social understanding of the secular man his wisdom drops to that of an 8 year old. Yes he can take and quote scripture to try and defend his case but his liberalistic ideas hold him back. He does not understand the conservative idea of social issues and thus I think Piper misunderstands those points of scripture, note this is nothing that anyone has not done no one is immune to this.
Why is this important why do we care and should we care? Well yes we need to care when a giant in theology attacks Christian conservatism because our theology partly rest on these ideas.
I suspect Piper does understand what he is doing he is a brilliant man but my question is does Piper really misunderstand this issue or does he want to believe this way. Better defined does Piper want the scripture to say something it might not be saying because this is what he believes in his social political beliefs.
Theology aside politics matters, I have said this before politics is woven in the fabric of the country and our lives because we are given the freedom to be a part of the freedom.
I have said before liberal Christians will often leave their politics for their liberal religion while conservative Christians will not, they hold to both the theology and the politics that allows the freedom of ideas. This is why conservative Christians have spoke out against Pipers letter to Falwell. It is not because they want to take down a theology giant but because it matters and we care what Piper says and believes. Conservatives don’t hate Piper they are concerned for Piper and how his words affect society.
John Pipers view is nothing new, I have read many blogs and articles from liberal Christians as to why we should not own guns, most of these bloggers will give away to self defense but some still hold that we must lay our weapons down for Gods trust it is not us that exacts the punishment.
I urge you to read both Dr. Whites and Dr. McDurmon’s response letters to Piper to fully understand the conservative Christian’s view. Again I am not deterring anything from John Pipers Biblical theology and understanding; I personally am a 2 year old when it comes to theology compared to Piper. What I am pointing out is when Christians like Piper take scripture out of context or misunderstand scripture it feeds their ideology and that is not good. Whether it was done on purpose or the fact Piper wants to believe this it still is not good.
We all have misunderstood or taken scripture out of context, it is easy to do but we have to remember as Christians we are in this together and being divided serves no one.
With that said this just shows there is a battle of conservative and liberal ideas in the Christians community and there will be casualties for things said.
Piper brings so much to the table of Christian theology, evangelism and teaching just as Glenn Beck brings so much to the political table but people have to understand their strengths that God has blessed them with and try not to stretch those muscles beyond their capability. Most of all truth must reign first and only first both in Christianity, theology and the social arena.
Yes more Hollywood brilliance, of course I’m not saying Penn is a bad guy matter of knowledge he is slightly conservative in an anarchist kind of way (yes Jillette is an anarchist) Breitbart story
Why is this a big deal well, the idea of an atheist involved in a Christmas parade and mind you Christmas is short for Christ Mas just does not jive with me and anyone with a lick of sense of what both Christmas and atheism means shouldn’t either.
Has Hollywood finally reached the point it just doesn’t care about anything or anyone’s idea of sacred and meaningful much less insulting our intellect.
I guess looking at both Hollywood and Jillette, one would think someone with some sense and intelligence would question this decision.
Gillette feels it’s just a holiday but I guess he fails to see holiday is just the modernized word for the Holy Day.
I’m pretty sure few people will actually watch the Hollywood Christmas parade since its normally on some oddball TV network filling in times slot that nobody watches, but I have asked, should we just change the name to say the “December parade” so that way everyone knows the parade stands and means nothing just like Hollywood’s and Jillettes beliefs?
Who loses here? Well, I see it as mainstream America loses because media feels there is no meaning in Christmas, much less the holiness of Christmas.
It is a big deal that a belief in no God grand marshals a parade that is in honor of.
It says a lot when a corner of the country that had little regard to the essence of what a country regards as good and right, and it says a lot about a society that won’t even know what is happening or even cares it has happened.
If we accept the notion that America should not be or is not a Christian national we fail to see the consequences that could have been and will be.
The founding framers attempted to design the constitution with the adaptation of natural law. They were of course a few ticks off but still maintained the importance of the need of The God of the Bible essence to be an integral part of the framework.
A strong percentage of our framers belonged to one church denomination or another, whether they were truly saved is not ours to judge but we have to know this affiliation to a Judeo-Christian church had to influence their judgment when creating a country such as America.
If we take Christianity away then we need only to take away some of our founding fathers like George Washington wondering would we have won the revolution without him and his Christian influence. Would a country full of atheist, Islamism, Buddhist and Hindus could have challenged the crown.
Would we still have a two party political system with the democrats and the Wigs parties? One could argue there would be no need for a man like Abraham Lincoln and how long would America continue slavery without the objection of the Christians.
In 1821 Benjamin Lunday, a Quaker from Ohio, started an anti-slavery newspaper “The Genius of Universal Emancipation.” 1830: The Plantation Mission Movement began. Methodist chapels were constructed on many plantations. 1959 John Brown raid on Haper’s ferry are just a few of the many Christian movements that combated slavery in America.
Christian missionaries moved in to helping the Native Americans, Christianizing many tribes over the years one notable being the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
As America became more prosperous missionary work flourished, one can easily criticize America’s greed but one cannot take away from prosperous people that gave and continue to give for and to missionaries to help the poor and disadvantaged in this country and abroad with privet contributions.
Much of our colleges we have today started out as Christian based education, Harvard, Yale, Princeton to name a few.
Civil rights movement of the 1960’s was heavily Christian with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and seminary students like John Lewis
We can argue and debate on this issue but it’s fairly easy to see the Christian influences in this country are huge. Can we say we are not a Christian nation well I guess one can make the case but we have to say we are a nation of Christian’s and a nation that has been impacted by Christianity. Can you make a case that our government should be secular, yes you can but we must then demand or statesmen and women to be Godly?
Our government functionality should be unbiased to everyone but the people that fill those positions in government should be Godly good statesmen.
If we have bad statesmen then we have bad government, ungodly statesmen ungodly government. In past it was important that anyone serving the public have some ties to a Judeo-Christian believing church of some kind. You can argue this is not fair for a county that embraces all religions all faiths but I’m not sure your argument would be valid.
Go back to the founding framers and their original intentions of natural law, this requires a statesman to know and understand moral law to govern. Can men and women of other faith know and understand good and bad and how morality plays out in a society; to an extent they can but they will fail to grasp why and who set these laws in motion thus the slow migration from a good and moral set of rules to a mixture of moral relativism.
I suspect the last few sentences will enrage some people, we can say America was not intended to be a Christian only nation but we have to admit it is a nation of Christians that have impacted society and helped design country based on a rule and law held on a notion of a creator and one God. A country based on a God with a moral law to protect and govern all that live in this great nation.
Religion and The God of the Bible are not necessarily tied together.
If I ask you what religion do believe in you can give me any number of answers in which none have anything to do with the God of the Holy Bible. In religion anything goes, it does not have to be based on culture, they way one is raised or where one lives a religion can be defined as anything you believe and give sacrifice to.
On the other hand if I ask you what is your theology you now have to give me a answer that defines who you are and what God you believe in. You have to define your God and what that God stands for. One might say I don’t believe in a God but in a idea; you still have to define it and what that idea stands for and how you stand for that idea. Theology wont allow you to get away with generic ideology or idolatry but it pins you to who you are and what you are.
Hugh Hefner waves the white flag ending nudity in the long publication of Playboy magazine while Miley Cyrus gets ready to perform an all nude concert.
Playboy magazine recognizes pornography has engulfed our society so much so Playboy magazine and it’s so called classy nudity is no longer enough to keep the boys happy, a few clicks and you see way beyond what Playboy can offer and best of all or not it is free.
Miley Cyrus who is determined to be the Madonna of her generation plans to perform 6 concerts completely nude along with the band and the audience.
It’s not enough to one up the sex drugs and rock and roll culture Miley needs to take it to the next level but how far is too far and will it ever be too far. Galatians 5:19-21 those who fill their hearts and mind with this will not inherit the Kingdom of God
Reminiscent of the days of anything goes punk rock bands maybe but if Cyrus pulls this off it will trump the deviant norm.
So Miley, the band and the audience enjoy a clothing free concert, what will be next? Will this be as far as Miley and her entourage dare or will the fans, the sponsors and the promoters demand more.
More nudity, add live sex, drugs and some rock n roll and we have achieved a full live on stage pornography show way beyond anything Hugh and the boys at Playboy could have ever imagined.
The conclusion to this is simple; sin if not avoided will continue to grow. Proverbs 6:16-19 states there are six things the Lord hates and one being feet that make haste to run to evil why you ask because it grows larger and corrupts.
Hugh Hefner and Miley Cyrus are lying to you and your children another one of those six sins the Lord hates. They are lying to you and your children that casual sex, drugs, and pornography does not exploit nor destroy people.
Pornography is fine, sex drugs don’t matter nothing will happen. Would you let your son hang with Miley and would you let your daughter date Heff; if not why not, are they not role models; do what they stand for you stand for as well? Philippians 4:8 Turn from sin stand with truth.
In the wake of the Oregon shooting one can easily see the division between not only liberals and pro second amendment people but also between liberal Christians and Christians that believe in the constitution and the 2nd amendment freedoms.
I even read one blog where a liberal Christian blatantly refused to morn with Christians that believed in the right of gun ownership. Sad but true, I understand it in the secular world for such division to be held but it saddens me to see Christians divided amongst each other over such issues.
As a conservative Christian myself who believes in the private ownership of guns, knives, bats, gloves, helmets and any other recreational tools or forms of defense and a believer in the constitution that our founding famers wrote and went to war over. I want to offer this to my liberal Christian and non Christian country men as well my fellow conservatives. I want to ask you to forgive me.
What happened in Oregon is a tragedy but it won’t stop, no matter if you believe in conspiracies or just these things happen; this kind of behavior will continue to make news when we continue live in a world, country and state that worships death over Jesus.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you
I’m not asking you to forgive the shooter although that is a step we can take, I am asking we have patients on how each other feel on this issue.
Is your issue about a shooting by a man (whether he was atheist or had Islamic ties) that walked up and shot people (regardless if they where Christians or not) or is your issue on how can a person believe in gun ownership and still hold to the values of Jesus because those are two different issues based on the fact shootings happen along with knifings and choking the live out of somebody. What is your issue and can you work though it enough to forgive your neighbor and yourself.
Christian in fighting is just what Satan orders to render Christianity and your faith useless. John 10:10 tell us what Satan wants to do he is the thief and he wants to steal from you but Jesus came to counter that attack.
Fall for Satan’s deceit and you are useless in God’s order of preaching the Gospel to the lost.
We can disagree on many things theology, doctrine, pro gun ownership but when we let this cloud our love from each other we lost and Satan has blocked you and your power in reaching the lost.
I’m not asking you to be a drone as some people think Christians are I’m asking will you forgive me. I believe what I believe, in private ownership and my responsibilities to my fellow man if you don’t agree then please just forgive me.
Maybe we just don’t think on the same level or have competing ideas but if you believe Jesus came, died and rose again to save mine and your soul then we do agree on something bigger than a gun or the constitution and that we can agree on.