5/3/14

From Jim McGuiggan... WHAT DO WE TELL TROUBLED SOULS?


WHAT DO WE TELL TROUBLED SOULS?

You know a group (or a family or an individual) that is having a rough ride in life and you know it’ll get worse before it gets better and you purpose to write them a letter. How would you begin it?

There’d be nothing at all wrong in saying something like, “Ah, dear people, we have heard of your pain and loss and we want you to know that our hearts are with your hearts…” Surely there’s always a place for the expression of fellow-feeling and sympathy!

 But troubled people need more than sympathy—of course! Where it’s possible we need to get involved in a “hands on” way to alleviate if not completely eradicate their difficulties (doesn’t Matthew 25:34-40 call us to that and more?). 

 After the meal has been eaten or the warmth of the personal visit is only a memory something must remain with them! The meal and the warmth and the clothes should all be given but there comes a time when the person must carry the burden alone and something must be put into these people that stays when the helpers depart. 

        Peter writes to people in trouble, people despised and rejected by society, people who are undergoing suffering and will face even more in the days ahead. And how does he open a letter to that kind of people? 

 In 1:1-3 he tells them who they are!

 He tells them they are God’s chosen! He tells them that they are the people made different by the Holy Spirit! He tells them that they are the people covenanted to God by the blood of Jesus Christ (see Exodus 24:1-8). He later tells them that though they are rejected by their peers and despised by them that they are chosen by God and that he sees them as precious (1 Peter 2:4). Then he tells them that however scorned and mistreated they are that they’re God’s holy nation and royal priesthood with a destiny and a commission that beggars description (2:9-10).

          Peter doesn’t deny their trouble—far from it! Read the entire short letter in one sitting and see what I mean.
      
     But he opens his letter reminding them who they are! Imagine them sitting in their little assemblies and hearing these words read out to them (1:1-3, and the rest). If they can really believe these almost incredible claims will their lives not be transformed and will they not find joy as they see their trials as part of the suffering of the Lord Jesus? “Will they not be thrilled as they ask themselves, “This is who we are? This is really who we are?”
       
    And how should we speak to our troubled brothers and sisters throughout the world? What should we say to tiny assemblies in far-off places that are suffering for their faith? And to those nearer at hand! Is this not a direction we should go? In wise and caring ways should we not—before we speak of their troubles but never forgetting that they are troubled—should we not tell them who they are?

           Tell each other who you are! Unpack the meaning of who they are. Our people don't know who they are.
Get a hands-on involvement in things that can be changed for each other.
Then tell each other again who you are!
Keep on telling one another who you are!
Keep on telling one another WHOSE you are and therefore who you are!
         [And while we're at it—tell the happy and blessed who they are!]
         [And while we're at it, tell troubled non-Christians what kind of God GOD is. Tell them noble things about God!]


From Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4101

The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In November 2006, several of the world’s leading atheistic evolutionary scientists gathered in La Jolla, California for the first “Beyond Belief” symposium (see Lyons and Butt, 2007), which the scientific journal New Scientist called “an ‘atheist love fest’” (Reilly, 2007, 196[2629]:7). The conference was held to discuss science, religion, and God, and specifically whether science should “do away with religion” (Brooks, 2006, 192[2578]:9). New Scientist writer Michael Brooks summarized the overall attitude of the attendees in the following words: “science can take on religion and win” (p. 11). The participants were ready to roll up their sleeves and “get on with it” (p. 11). They were ready to put science “In Place of God,” as Brooks titled his article.
Fast-forward one year to 2007—to the “Beyond Belief II” symposium—where some of the participants apparently approached the idea of a Supernatural Being much more cautiously. Even New Scientist, who covered the conference for a second year in a row, chose a drastically different article title the second time around—from “In Place of God” to the more sober, “God’s Place in a Rational World” (see Reilly, 196[2629]:7, emp. added). Author Michael Reilly gave some insight into the meeting by recording what one attendee, Edward Slingerland of the University of British Columbia (and founder of the Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture), openly acknowledged.
“Religion is not going away,” he announced. Even those of us who fancy ourselves rationalists and scientists, he said, rely on moral values—a set of distinctly unscientific beliefs.
Where, for instance, does our conviction that human rights are universal come from? “Humans’ rights to me are as mysterious as the holy trinity.... You can’t do a CT scan to show where humans’ rights are, you can’t cut someone open and show us their human rights.... It’s not an empirical thing, it’s just something we strongly believe. It’s a purely metaphysical entity” (p. 7, emp. added).
Although some at the conference had the naïve belief that “[g]iven time and persistence, science will conquer all of nature’s mysteries” (Reilly, p. 7, emp. added), it is encouraging to know that at least one person alluded to one of the greatest proofs for God’s existence—the moral argument.

OBJECTIVE MORALITY

Why do most rational people believe in objective morality? That is, why do people generally think that some actions are “right” and some actions are “wrong,” regardless of people’s subjective opinions? Why do most people believe that it is “evil” or “wicked” (1) for someone to walk into a random house, shoot everyone in it, and steal everything in sight? (2) for a man to beat and rape a kind, innocent woman? (3) for an adult to torture an innocent child simply for the fun of it? or (4) for parents to have children for the sole purpose of abusing them sexually every day of their lives? Because, as evolutionist Edward Slingerland noted, humans have metaphysical rights—rights that are “a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses” (“Metaphysical,” 2011)—and  “rely on moral values.” The fact is, most people, even many atheists, have admitted that real, objective good and evil exist.

Antony Flew

During the last half of the 20th century, Dr. Antony Flew, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading in Reading, England, was considered one of the world’s most well known atheistic philosophers. From 1955-2000, he lectured and wrote extensively on matters pertaining to atheism. Some of his works include, but in no way are limited to, God and Philosophy (1966), Evolutionary Ethics (1967), Darwinian Evolution (1984), The Presumption of Atheism (1976), and Atheistic Humanism (1993). In September 1976, Dr. Flew debated Dr. Thomas B. Warren, Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Christian Apologetics at Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to this four-night debate on the existence of God, Warren, in agreement with the rules of the debate, asked Flew several questions in writing, including the following: “True/False. In murdering six million Jewish men, women, and children the Nazis were guilty of real (objective) moral wrong.” Flew answered “True.” He acknowledged the existence of “real (objective) moral wrong” (Warren and Flew, 1977, p. 248). [NOTE: In 2004, Flew started taking steps toward theism as he acknowledged the impossibility of a purely naturalistic explanation for life. See Miller, 2004 for more information.]

Wallace Matson

In 1978, Dr. Warren met Dr. Wallace Matson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California in Berkeley, California, in a public debate on the existence of God in Tampa, Florida. Once again, per the agreed-upon guidelines, the disputants were allowed to ask up to 10 questions prior to their debate. Once more, Warren asked: “True/False. In murdering six million Jewish men, women, and children the Nazis were guilty of real (objective) moral wrong.” Like Flew, Matson answered “True:” “real (objective) moral wrong” exists (Warren and Matson, 1978, p. 353). Matson even acknowledged in the affirmative (i.e., “true”) that “[i]f you had been a soldier during World War II and if the Nazis (1) had captured you and (2) had given you the choice of either joining them in their efforts to exterminate the Jews or being murdered, you would have had the objective moral obligation to die rather than to join them in the murder of Jewish men, women, and children” (p. 353, underline in orig.). Do not miss the point: Matson not only said that the Nazis were guilty of objective moral wrong, he even indicated that a person would have the “objective moral obligation to die” rather than join up with the murderous Nazi regime.

As Easy as 2 + 2

Although objective morality may be outside the realm of the scientific method, every rational person can know that some things are innately good, while other things are innately evil. Antony Flew and Wallace Matson, two of the leading atheistic philosophers of the 20th century, forthrightly acknowledged the existence of objective morality. Though at times atheist Michael Ruse has seemed opposed to the idea of moral objectivity (see Ruse, 1989, p. 268), evenhe admitted in his book Darwinism Defended that “[t]he man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children, is just asmistaken as the man who says that 2 + 2 = 5” (1982, p. 275, emp. added). Indeed, one of the many reasons that “religion (i.e., God—EL) is not going away,” to use Edward Slingerland’s words, is because moral values are a metaphysical reality (cf. Romans 2:14-15). Philosophers Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl said it well: “Those who deny obvious moral rules—who say that murder and rape are morally benign, that cruelty is not a vice, and that cowardice is a virtue—do not merely have a different moral point of view; theyhave something wrong with them” (1998, p. 59, emp. added).

THE MORAL ARGUMENT

The moral argument for the existence of God has been stated in a variety of ways through the centuries. One way in which the basic argument has been worded is as follows (see Craig, n.d.; Craig and Tooley, 1994; Cowan, 2005, p. 166):
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values exist.
Conclusion: God exists.
Thomas B. Warren worded the argument in a positive, more detailed manner in his debates with atheist Antony Flew (p. 173) and Wallace Matson (p. 285).
  1. If the moral code and/or actions of any individual or society can properly be subjects of criticism (as to real moral wrong), then there must be some objective standard (some “higher law which transcends the provincial and transient”) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized.
  2. The moral code and/or actions of any individual or society can properly be subjects of criticism (as to real moral wrong).
  3. Therefore, there must be some objective standard (some “higher law which transcends the provincial and transient”) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized.
The “society” that Warren used as a case study in his debates was Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. In the 1930s and 40s, Nazi Germany committed state-sponsored genocide of so-called “inferior races.” Of the approximately nine million Jews who lived in Europe at the beginning of the 1930s, some six million of them were exterminated. The Nazis murdered approximately one million Jewish children, two million Jewish women, and three million Jewish men. The Nazis herded them into railway cars like cattle, shipping them to concentration camps. Sometimes the floors of the railway cars were layered with quicklime, which would burn the feet of the prisoners, including the children. The Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on like animals. Hitler slaughtered another three million Poles, Soviets, gypsies, and people with disabilities (see “Holocaust,” 2011 for more information).
So were the Nazis guilty of “real (objective) moral wrong”? According to atheist Antony Flew, they were (Warren and Flew, p. 248). Atheist Wallace Matson agreed (Warren and Matson, p. 353). Whether theist or atheist, most rational people admit that some things really are atrocious. People do not merely feel like rape and child abuse may be wrong; they are wrong—innately wrong. Just as two plus two can really be known to be four, every rational human can know that some things are objectively good, while other things are objectively evil. However, reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective point of reference. If something (e.g., rape) “can properly be the subject of criticism (as to real moral wrong) then there must be some objective standard (some ‘higher law which transcends the provincial and transient’) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized” (Warren and Matson, p. 284, emp. added).

DOES ATHEISM PROVIDE A LEGITIMATE OBJECTIVE STANDARD FOR MORALITY?

Recognition by atheists of anything being morally wrong begs the question: How can an atheistlogically call something atrocious, deplorable, evil, or wicked? According to atheism, man is nothing but matter in motion. Humankind allegedly evolved from rocks and slime over billions of years. But who ever speaks of “wrong rocks,” “moral minerals,” “corrupt chemicals,” or “sinful slime?” People do not talk about morally depraved donkeys, evil elephants, or immoral monkeys. Pigs are not punished for being immoral when they eat their young. Komodo dragons are not corrupt because 10% of their diet consists of younger Komodo dragons. Killer whales are not guilty of murder. Black widows are not exterminated simply because the female often kills the male after copulation. Male animals are not tried for rape if they appear to forcibly copulate with females (cf. Thornhill, 2001). Dogs are not depraved for stealing the bone of another dog.
The fact that humans even contemplate morality testifies to the huge chasm between man and animals. Atheistic evolutionists have admitted that morals arise only in humans. According to Antony Flew, man is a moral being, yet “value did not exist before the first human being” (Warren and Flew, p. 248). Flew believed that morals came into existence only after man evolved, not beforehand when allegedly only animals existed on Earth. Though George Gaylord Simpson, one of the most recognized atheistic evolutionists of the 20th century, believed that “man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind,” he confessed that “[g]ood and evil, right and wrong, concepts irrelevant in nature except from the human viewpoint, become real and pressing features of the whole cosmos as viewed morally because morals arise only in man” (1951, p. 179, emp. added). Atheists admit that people (i.e., even “atheists”) have “their own innate sense of morality” (“Do Atheists…?, n.d.). No rational person makes such admissions about animals. As evolutionist Edward Slingerland stated, “Humans,” not animals, “rely on moral values” (as quoted in Reilly, 2007, 196[2629]:7).
Atheistic evolution cannot logically explain morals. Real, objective moral right or wrong cannot exist if humans are the offspring of animals. Young people (who are not allowed to act like animals at school) are frequently “reminded” in public school textbooks that they are the offspring of animals. According to one Earth science textbook, “Humans probably evolved from bacteria that lived more than 4 billion years ago” (Earth Science, 1989, p. 356).
When I graduated from high school in 1994, millions of public high school students in America were introduced to a new biology textbook by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. What sort of amazing things did they learn? For one, they were informed, “You are an animal and share a common heritage with earthworms” (Johnson, 1994, p. 453, emp. added). Allegedly, man not only descended from fish and four-footed beasts, we are beasts. Charles Darwin declared in chapter two of his book The Descent of Man: “My object in this chapter is solely to show that there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties” (1871, 1:34). More recently, evolutionary environmentalist David Suzuki was interviewed by Jo Marchant of New Scientist magazine. Suzuki proclaimed: “[W]e must acknowledge that we are animals.... We like to think of ourselves as elevated above other creatures. But the human body evolved” from animals (as quoted in Marchant, 2008, 200[2678]:44, emp. added). One has to look no further than Marchant’s title to know his view of humanity. Allegedly, “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are” (p. 44, emp. added). The fact is, as Thomas B. Warren concluded in his debate with Antony Flew, “[T]he basic implication of the atheistic system does not allow objective moral right or objective moral wrong” (1977, p. 49).

ATHEISM: CONTRADICTORY AT BEST, HIDEOUS AT WORST

Atheists cannot logically condemn the Nazis for objective moral evil, while simultaneously saying that we arose from rocks and rodents. They cannot reasonably rebuke a child molester for being immoral, while at the same time believing that we evolved from slime. Reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective reference point. As Warren stated: “[T]here must be some objective standard (some “higher law which transcends the provincial and transient”) which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized” (Warren and Matson, p. 284).
Atheists find themselves in a conundrum: (1) They must admit to objective morality (which ultimately means that a moral lawgiver, i.e., God, Who is above and beyond the provincial and the transient, exists); or, (2) They must contend that everything is relative—that no action on Earth could ever be objectively good or evil. Rather, everything is subjective and situational.
Relatively few atheists seem to have had the courage (or audacity) to say forthrightly that atheism implies that objective good and evil do not exist. However, a few have. Some of the leading atheists and agnostics in the world, in fact, understand that if there is no God, then there can be no ultimate, binding standard of morality for humanity. Charles Darwin understood perfectly the moral implications of atheism, which is one reason he gave for being “content to remain an Agnostic” (1958, p. 94). In his autobiography, he wrote: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones” (1958, p. 94, emp. added). If a person has the urge to suffocate innocent children, like a snake may suffocate its victims (including people), then, if there is no God, there is no objective moral law against suffocating children. If a person impulsively drowns a kind elderly person, similar to a crocodile drowning its prey, then, if atheism is true, this action could neither be regarded as objectively good or evil.
According to Richard Dawkins, one of the early 21st century’s most famous atheists, “[L]ife has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA” (1995, 273[5]:80):
So long as DNA is passed on, it does not matter who or what gets hurt in the process. Genes don’t care about suffering, because they don’t care about anything…. DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music…. This universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference (p. 85, emp. added).
Although Dawkins could never prove that life’s sole purpose is to perpetuate DNA, he is right about one thing: if there is no God, then there is no good and no evil, only “pitiless indifference.” “It does not matter” to atheistic evolution “who or what gets hurt.”
Like Darwin and Dawkins, atheistic evolutionary biologist William Provine implicitly acknowledged the truthfulness of the first premise of the moral argument as stated by philosophers Craig and Cowan (“If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist”). In 1988, Provine penned an article for The Scientist titled, “Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible” (2[16]:10). Although true science and Christianity live in perfect harmony with each other, Provine, in so far as he was referring to evolutionary science and its implications, was exactly right: evolutionary science and religion are incompatible. According to Provine,
No purposive principles exist in nature. Organic evolution has occurred by various combinations of random genetic drift, natural selection, Mendelian heredity, and many other purposeless mechanisms. Humans are complex organic machines that die completely with no survival of soul or psyche. Humans and other animals make choices frequently, but these are determined by the interaction of heredity and environment and are not the result of free will. No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life (1988, p. 10, emp. added).
Provine went on in the article to accuse evolutionists who fail to take their theory to its logical conclusion of suffering from the “trying to have one’s cake and eat it, too” syndrome. He supposed that they may be acting out of fear or wishful thinking or may just be intellectually dishonest. Why? Because they do not boldly admit what he does: atheistic evolution is true. Therefore, “No inherent moral or ethical laws exist.”
Atheistic philosopher Jean Paul Sartre summarized atheism well in a lecture he gave in 1946 titled “Existentialism is a Humanism.” Sartre stated, “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist…. [H]e cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself ” (1989, emp. added). “If God does not exist,” Sartre recognized that we have no “values or commands that could legitimise our behaviour. Thus we have neither behind us, nor before us in a luminous realm of values, any means of justification or excuse” (1989).
Though few they may be, atheists such as Provine, Sartre, and others refuse to walk down the road of contradiction. That is, rather than deny the premise: “If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist,” they acknowledge it: “[e]verything is indeed permitted if God does not exist” (Sartre, 1989). Yet, if atheists refuse to admit that real moral objectivity exists, then they are forced to admit that, for example, when the Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on “like the animals” they reportedly were (cf. Marchant, 2008), the Nazis did nothing inherently wrong. They were, to borrow from Provine, merely complex organic, meaningless mechanisms that chose to follow the orders of the Fuhrer. Or, to apply Dawkins reasoning, how could Hitler be guilty of wrong doing if he was simply trying to perpetuate the survival of the “best” DNA possible? “[I]t does not matter who or what gets hurt in the process,” right? “So long as DNA is passed on” (Dawkins, 273[5]:85). Should we not just react with  “pitiless indifference” since atheism implies that objective good and evil do not exist (p. 85)?
What about most of humanity’s condemnation of rape as an objective moral evil? Is it really an inherently evil act? Although evolutionist Randy Thornhill, co-author of the book A Natural History of Rape, “would like to see rape eradicated from human life” (Thornhill and Palmer, 2000, p. xi), he touted in a 2001 speech he delivered in Vancouver that rape is actually “evolutionary, biological and natural…. Our male ancestors became ancestors in part because they conditionally used rape” (2001). According to Thornhill and Palmer, “Evolutionary theory applies to rape, as it does to other areas of human affairs, on both logical and evidentiary grounds. There is no legitimate scientific reason not to apply evolutionary or ultimate hypotheses to rape…. Human rape arises from men’s evolved machinery for obtaining a high number of mates in an environment where females choose mates” (2000, pp. 55,190). If God does not exist, and if man evolved from lower life forms, in part because they “conditionally used rape,” then even rape cannot be called an objective moral evil. In fact, that is exactly what atheist Dan Barker admitted.
In his 2005 debate with Peter Payne on Does Ethics Require God?, Barker stated: “All actions are situational. There is not an action that is right or wrong. I can think of an exception in any case” (emp. added). Four years later, Kyle Butt asked Barker in their debate on the existence of God, “When would rape be acceptable?” (2009, p. 33). Although Barker tried to make his response as palatable as possible, he ultimately admitted that rape would be permissible if, for example, it meant saving humanity from certain destruction (pp. 33-34). [NOTE: One wonders how Barker can logically say that no actions are right or wrong, but then claim that situation ethics is right? Such a claim is a self-defeating statement. “Nothing is right. But situation ethics is right!?” Furthermore, on what basis does Barker think it is “right” to save humanity? His entire answer ultimately contradicts his already contradictory contentions.] Barker went on to admit (and even disturbingly joke) that it would be acceptable to rape two, two thousand, or even two million women, if, say, it resulted in saving six billion people from hypothetical alien invaders (p. 34). [NOTE: Alien invaders are not really all that imaginary in the world of atheism. After all, since life supposedly evolved on Earth, according to atheistic evolutionists it had to have also evolved in one form or another on some other distant planets in the Universe.] Do not miss the point. Dan Barker admitted that rape would be acceptable given certain circumstances. One obvious question is: who gets to decide the circumstances that warrant the rape of innocent women? Who is Barker to say that a man would be wrong to rape a woman for revenge, say, because she crashed into his new car? Or, who is Barker to say that it would be wrong to rape a woman for stealing $1,000 from him, etc. The fact is, once Barker (or any atheist) alleges that (1) God does not exist, and (2) therefore, “[n]o inherent moral or ethical laws exist” (Provine, 1988, 2[16]:10; a logical deduction if God does not exist), then no one can logically be criticized for anything. As Sartre put it: “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist” (1989). Rape, child abuse, multiple murder, pedophilia, bestiality, etc. cannot be condemned as objective evil, if God does not exist.
What happens when atheistic evolutionists take their godless philosophy to its logical conclusion, at least theoretically? They unveil the true, hideous nature of atheism. Consider, for example, the comments evolutionary ecologist Eric Pianka made in 2006 in Beaumont, Texas where he was recognized as the Distinguished Texas Scientist of the Year. According to Forrest M. Mimms, III, Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, Pianka condemned “the idea that humankind occupies a privileged position in the Universe” and “hammered his point home by exclaiming, ‘We’re no better than bacteria!’” (Mims, 2006). Pianka followed up this comment by expressing his concerns “about how human overpopulation is ruining the Earth” (Mims). According to Mims,
Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.... His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years (2006; for more information, see Butt, 2008, 28[7]:51-52).
Although most people (a good 90% anyway) find Pianka’s suggestion appalling, if atheism is true, and humanity really “evolved from bacteria” (Earth Science, 1989, p. 356), there would be nothing inherently wrong for a man to attempt to murder billions of people, especially if he is doing it for a “good” reason (i.e., to save the only planet in the Universe on which we know for sure life exists). [NOTE: Again, such a  reason that is deemed “good” can only exist if God does.]

CONCLUSION

The moral argument for God’s existence exposes atheism as the self-contradictory, atrocious philosophy that it is. Atheists must either reject the truthfulness of the moral argument’s first premise (“If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist”) and illogically accept the indefensible idea that objective morality somehow arose from rocks and reptiles, or (2) they must reject the argument’s second premise (“Objective moral values exist”), and accept the insane, utterly repulsive idea that genocide, rape, murder, theft, child abuse, etc. can never once be condemned as objectively “wrong.” According to atheism, individuals who commit such actions are merely doing what their DNA led them to do. They are simply following through with their raw impulses and instincts, which allegedly evolved from our animal ancestors. What’s more, if atheism is true, individuals could never logically be punished for such immoral actions, since “no inherent moral or ethical laws exist” (Provine, 1988, p. 10).
For those who refuse to have God in their knowledge (Romans 1:28), life will forever be filled with the self-contradictory, unreasonable, inhumane lies of atheistic evolution. Indeed, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1a). When atheists actually follow through with their godless philosophy and let it complete its journey of indifference, they peel back the phony charming façade of atheism and reveal it for what the psalmist said that it actually is: corrupt and abominable, where no one does good (Psalm 14:1b). On the other hand, when theists follow the evidence to the Creator (cf. Psalm 19:1-4), they discover a benevolent God Who is good (Psalm 100:5; Mark 10:18) and Who demands that His obedient followers “do good to all” (Galatians 6:10).

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan and Peter Payne (2005), Does Ethics Require God?, http://www.ffrf.org/about/bybarker/ethics_debate.php.
Beckwith, Francis and Gregory Koukl (1998), Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), http://books.google.com/books?id=JulBONF0BKMC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false).
Brooks, Michael (2006), “In Place of God,” New Scientist, 192[2578]:8-11, November 18.
Butt, Kyle (2008), “The Bitter Fruit of Atheism—Part 1,” Reason & Revelation, 28[7]:49-55, July, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=603.
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Cowan, Steven (2005), “The Question of Moral Values,” The Big Argument: Does God Exist?, eds. John Ashton and Michael Westcott (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Craig, William Lane (no date), “Moral Argument,” Reasonable Faith, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/documents/podcast_docs/defenders_2/Existence_of_God_Moral-Argument.pdf.
Craig, William Lane and Michael Tooley (1994), “Dr. Craig’s Opening Statement,” A Classic Debate on the Existence of God, http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-tooley1.html.
Darwin, Charles (1871), The Descent of Man: Volume 1 (New York: Appleton), http://books.google.com /books?id=ZvsHAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA126&dq=The+Descent+of+Man+volume+1&hl=en&ei=vzwwTtjoDurc0QH7 mNWFAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Darwin, Charles (1958), The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: W.W. Norton).
Dawkins, Richard (1995), “God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, 273[5]:80-85, November.
“Do Atheists Have Morals?” (no date), http://www.askanatheist.org/morals.html.
Earth Science (1989), (New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Jovanovich).
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Johnson, George B. (1994), Biology: Visualizing Life (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston).
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2007), “Militant Atheism,” Reason & Revelation, 27[1]:1-5, January, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3195, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=585.
Marchant, Jo (2008), “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are,” New Scientist, 200[2678]:44-45, October 18-24.
“Metaphysical” (2011), Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphysical.
Miller, Dave (2004), “Atheist Finally ‘Sobers Up,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1467.
Mims, Forrest (2006), “Meeting Doctor Doom,” The Ecologic Powerhouse, http://www.freedom.org/board/articles/mims-506.html.
Provine, William (1988), “Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible,” The Scientist, 2[16]:10, September 5, http://classic.the-scientist.com/article/display/8667/.
Reilly, Michael (2007), “God’s Place in a Rational World,” New Scientist, 196[2629]:7, November 10.
Ruse, Michael (1982), Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley).
Ruse, Michael (1989), The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge), http://books.google.com/books?id= 4iAhPbYwHOUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+darwinian+paradigm&hl=en&ei=3dgtTomSOofagAeiqLH7Cg& sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.
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Simpson, George Gaylord (1951), The Meaning of Evolution (New York: Mentor).
Thornhill, Randy (2001), “A Natural History of Rape,” Lecture delivered at Simon Fraser University, http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/Readings/Thornhill_on_rape.pdf.
Thornhill, Randy and Craig T. Palmer (2000), A Natural History of Rape (Cambridge: MIT Press).
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From Mark Copeland... The Gift Of The Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                  The Gift Of The Holy Spirit (2:38)

INTRODUCTION

1. In his first gospel sermon, Peter offered hope to his guilt-stricken
   audience...
   a. The remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit 
   b. Provided they repent and were baptized - Ac 2:36-39

2. What is the gift of the Holy Spirit...?
   a. Is the Holy Spirit Himself, or something the Spirit gives?
   b. If the former, then in what way is the Spirit a gift?

[I understand that the gift of the Holy Spirit to be the Holy Spirit
Himself.  While I respect those who think otherwise, here are some 
reasons for my view...]
 
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT AS THE GIFT

   A. GRAMMATICAL CONSIDERATIONS...
      1. "gen., receive the Spirit as a gift, Ac 2:38." - Arndt &
         Gingrich, Dorea, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and
         Other Early Christian Literature, p.210
      2. "'you will receive (God's) gift, the Holy Spirit' Ac 2:38." 
         - Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of 
         the New Testament: Based on semantic domains. New York: United 
         Bible Societies
      3. "dorea - gift, free gift, benefit; in the NT used only of 
         spiritual and supernatural gifts that are freely given by God to
         believers, including eternal life (JN 4.10), the Holy Spirit (AC 
         2.38)" - Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol.
         4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids,
         MI.
      4. "Unique to Acts is 'gift of the Holy Spirit' (Acts 2:38; 10:45),
         but here the gen. is epexegetical: the gracious gift is the Holy
         Spirit." - Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. (1990-). Exegetical 
         dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.
      5. "With the epexegetical gen. of the thing given, the Holy
         Ghost, Ac 2:38." - Thayer, Dorea, Greek-English Lexicon of the 
         New Testament, p.161
      6. "In Ac 2:38, 'the gift of the Holy Ghost', the clause is
         epexegetical, the gift being the Holy Ghost Himself." - Vine, 
         Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p.147
      7. "The genitive is appositional, as in v.33 the promise is the
         Holy Spirit, so here the gift is the Holy Spirit." - Lenski, The
         Acts Of The Apostles
      8. "of the Holy Spirit - this clause is an appositional genitive
         with 'the gift' and means 'the gift, namely, the Holy Spirit.'" 
         - Kistemaker, Acts, New Testament Commentary, p.110
      -- That the Spirit is the gift in Ac 2:38 is the consensus of
         Greek scholars

   B. CONTEXTUAL CONSIDERATIONS...
      1. The immediate context
         a. Jesus spoke of the Spirit to His apostles as "the Promise
            of the Father" - Ac 1:4-5
         b. Peter spoke of the outpouring of the Spirit as "the promise
            of the Holy Spirit" - Ac 2:33
         c. Having just mentioned the "the gift of the Holy Spirit",
            Peter then says "For the promise is to you..." - Ac 2:38,39
         d. What promise is Peter referring to in Ac 2:39?
            1) The context suggests the promise already mentioned and
               just offered as a gift
            2) I.e., the promised Holy Spirit who has been poured out
               is now available as a gift to those who obey
      2. The remote context
         a. The Spirit is given (i.e., a gift) to those who obey God 
            - Ac 5:32
         b. The same phrase ("the gift of the Holy Spirit") is used
            elsewhere when it clearly means the Holy Spirit Himself as 
            the gift - cf. Ac 10:44-47
         c. Other passages refer to the Holy Spirit as that given to
            Christians - Jn 7:37-39; 2Co 1:21-22; 5:5; Ga 4:6; Tit 3:5-6
      -- That the Spirit is the gift is supported by both immediate and
         remote contexts

   C. HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS...
      1. "The Holy Ghost is one of the promises of the New Testament,
         Ac 2:38-39." - Barton W. Stone, Works of Elder B. W. Stone
      2. "The phrase 'the gift of the Holy Ghost' occurs in Ac 2:38;
         10:45, and in both places must be understood as equivalent to 
         the 'the Holy Spirit as a gift'' - T. W. Brents, The Gospel Plan
         Of Salvation
      3. "The gift of the Spirit promised in Ac 2:38 was the Spirit
         itself" - David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers
      4. "The expression means the Holy Spirit as a gift" - J.W.
         McGarvey, New Commentary on Acts of Apostles
      5. "Certainly the gift of the Spirit is the Spirit itself given."
         - Moses Lard, Lard's Quarterly
      6. "The gift of the Holy Spirit is not some definite thing the
         Holy Spirit gives, but the Holy Spirit as a gift." - R. L. 
         Whiteside, Reflections 
      7. "I believe the Holy Spirit is the gift to those who repent and
         are baptized." - Ferrell Jenkins, The Finger Of God
      -- That the Spirit is the gift in Ac 2:38 is a view that has been
         held by many; these are but a sampling of those in the 
         Restoration Movement

[For such reasons, I understand the gift of the Holy Spirit to be the
Holy Spirit Himself.  In what way, then is the Spirit a gift?  Allow me
to summarize just a few blessings of the Spirit for the Christian...]

II. THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

   A. HE REGENERATES...
      1. Saving one through the washing of regeneration (baptism) - Tit 3:4-7
      2. Causing one to be reborn, in conjunction with the Word - 1Pe 1:22-23

   B. HE SANCTIFIES...
      1. A process begun when washed and justified - 1Co 6:11
      2. A process that continues with the aid of the Word - cf. Jn 17:17; Ac 20:32; Ep 6:17

   C. HE INDWELLS... 
      1. Otherwise we do not belong to Christ - Ro 8:9
      2. He will give life to our mortal bodies - Ro 8:11
      3. Which ought to motivate us to live holy lives - 1Co 6:18-20

   D. HE EMPOWERS...
      1. That we might put to death the deeds of the flesh - Ro 8:12-13
      2. Serving as God's instrumental agent whereby He strengthens us
         - Ep 3:16,20

   E. HE INTERCEDES...
      1. In times of weakness, when we do not know how to pray - Ro 8:26
      2. Making intercession for the saints of God - Ro 8:27

   F. HE SEALS...
      1. A seal marking us as belonging to God - Ep 1:13; 4:30; 2Co 1:22
      2. "It is our conviction that when a person obeys the gospel he
         is given the Holy Spirit. In this way God seals the person. In 
         effect God says 'This person belongs to me; let everyone take 
         note." -  Ferrell Jenkins, The Finger of God, p.19

   G. HE GUARANTEES...
      1. An earnest or guarantee as a promise of our inheritance - Ep 1:14; 2Co 1:22; 5:5
      2. "The Holy Spirit is God's earnest (down payment) to the
         Christian as assurance of the complete promised inheritance. 
         There is no comfort here for the advocate of the impossibility
         of apostasy.  The Christian can 'grieve' the Spirit (Ep 4:30).
         We can forfeit the down payment and not receive the inheritance."
         - Ferrell Jenkins, ibid.

   H. HE BEARS FRUIT IN OUR LIVES...
      1. Leading those who walk in the Spirit - Ga 5:16-18; Ro 8:5-6
      2. Producing spiritual graces of Christ-like conduct - Ga 5:22-26
      3. Engendering a deepening love for God as our Father- Ga 4:6; Ro 8:15-16
      4. Filling us with love and hope - Ro 5:5; 15:13

CONCLUSION

1. What is the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38? I am mostly
   persuaded by ...
   a. The overwhelming consensus of Greek scholars
   b. The immediate and remote context in which the phrase is found
   c. What else is taught regarding the Spirit in the life of the
      Christian

2. I believe "the gift of the Holy Spirit" is the Spirit Himself...
   a. Given to those who become children of God - cf. Ga 4:6
   b. A promise related to the indwelling of the Spirit - cf. 1Co 6:19

3. Even if "the gift of the Holy Spirit" in Ac 2:38 refers to something
   the Spirit gives...
   a. Other passages speak of the Spirit as being given to the Christian
      - Jn 7:37-39; Ac 5:32
   b. What a wonderful gift, one that refreshes the Christian like
      "rivers of living water"!

There is much more that could be said about the Holy Spirit, His role in
the scheme of redemption, and work in the life of the Christian (cf. The
Holy Spirit Of God).  

But one does not have to have a comprehensive understanding of the Holy
Spirit to begin enjoying the blessings of the Spirit.  

They need only to respond to the gospel as proclaimed by the apostle
Peter... - cf. Ac 2:38-39

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading May 3


Bible Reading   

May 3

The World English Bible


May 2
Deuteronomy 19, 20

Deu 19:1 When Yahweh your God shall cut off the nations, whose land Yahweh your God gives you, and you succeed them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses;
Deu 19:2 you shall set apart three cities for you in the midst of your land, which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it.
Deu 19:3 You shall prepare you the way, and divide the borders of your land, which Yahweh your God causes you to inherit, into three parts, that every manslayer may flee there.
Deu 19:4 This is the case of the manslayer, that shall flee there and live: whoever kills his neighbor unawares, and didn't hate him in time past;
Deu 19:5 as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and lights on his neighbor, so that he dies; he shall flee to one of these cities and live:
Deu 19:6 lest the avenger of blood pursue the manslayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him mortally; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he didn't hate him in time past.
Deu 19:7 Therefore I command you, saying, You shall set apart three cities for yourselves.
Deu 19:8 If Yahweh your God enlarges your border, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which he promised to give to your fathers;
Deu 19:9 if you keep all this commandment to do it, which I command you this day, to love Yahweh your God, and to walk ever in his ways; then you shall add three cities more for yourselves, besides these three:
Deu 19:10 that innocent blood not be shed in the midst of your land, which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance, and so blood be on you.
Deu 19:11 But if any man hates his neighbor, and lies in wait for him, and rises up against him, and strikes him mortally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities;
Deu 19:12 then the elders of his city shall send and bring him there, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
Deu 19:13 Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.
Deu 19:14 You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set, in your inheritance which you shall inherit, in the land that Yahweh your God gives you to possess it.
Deu 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established.
Deu 19:16 If an unrighteous witness rise up against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing,
Deu 19:17 then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before Yahweh, before the priests and the judges who shall be in those days;
Deu 19:18 and the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness is a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother;
Deu 19:19 then you shall do to him as he had thought to do to his brother: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
Deu 19:20 Those who remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil in the midst of you.
Deu 19:21 Your eyes shall not pity; life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Deu 20:1 When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for Yahweh your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Deu 20:2 It shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,
Deu 20:3 and shall tell them, Hear, Israel, you draw near this day to battle against your enemies: don't let your heart faint; don't be afraid, nor tremble, neither be scared of them;
Deu 20:4 for Yahweh your God is he who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
Deu 20:5 The officers shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there who has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.
Deu 20:6 What man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not used its fruit? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use its fruit.
Deu 20:7 What man is there who has pledged to be married a wife, and has not taken her? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
Deu 20:8 The officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return to his house, lest his brother's heart melt as his heart.
Deu 20:9 It shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people, that they shall appoint captains of armies at the head of the people.
Deu 20:10 When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it.
Deu 20:11 It shall be, if it makes you answer of peace, and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become tributary to you, and shall serve you.
Deu 20:12 If it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it:
Deu 20:13 and when Yahweh your God delivers it into your hand, you shall strike every male of it with the edge of the sword:
Deu 20:14 but the women, and the little ones, and the livestock, and all that is in the city, even all its spoil, you shall take for a prey to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which Yahweh your God has given you.
Deu 20:15 Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far off from you, which are not of the cities of these nations.
Deu 20:16 But of the cities of these peoples, that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes;
Deu 20:17 but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as Yahweh your God has commanded you;
Deu 20:18 that they not teach you to do after all their abominations, which they have done to their gods; so would you sin against Yahweh your God.
Deu 20:19 When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them; for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of you?
Deu 20:20 Only the trees of which you know that they are not trees for food, you shall destroy and cut them down; and you shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until it fall.



May 3
Deuteronomy 21, 22
Deu 21:1 If one be found slain in the land which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it isn't known who has struck him;
Deu 21:2 then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure to the cities which are around him who is slain:
Deu 21:3 and it shall be, that the city which is nearest to the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hasn't been worked with, and which has not drawn in the yoke;
Deu 21:4 and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.
Deu 21:5 The priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them Yahweh your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in the name of Yahweh; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be.
Deu 21:6 All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;
Deu 21:7 and they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
Deu 21:8 Forgive, Yahweh, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don't allow innocent blood to remain in the midst of your people Israel. The blood shall be forgiven them.
Deu 21:9 So you shall put away the innocent blood from the midst of you, when you shall do that which is right in the eyes of Yahweh.
Deu 21:10 When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and Yahweh your God delivers them into your hands, and you carry them away captive,
Deu 21:11 and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have a desire to her, and would take her to you as wife;
Deu 21:12 then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
Deu 21:13 and she shall put the clothing of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that you shall go in to her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
Deu 21:14 It shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she will; but you shall not sell her at all for money, you shall not deal with her as a slave, because you have humbled her.
Deu 21:15 If a man have two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers who was hated;
Deu 21:16 then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved the firstborn before the son of the hated, who is the firstborn:
Deu 21:17 but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
Deu 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they chasten him, will not listen to them;
Deu 21:19 then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place;
Deu 21:20 and they shall tell the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
Deu 21:21 All the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Deu 21:22 If a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and you hang him on a tree;
Deu 21:23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day; for he who is hanged is accursed of God; that you don't defile your land which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.

Deu 22:1 You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely bring them again to your brother.
Deu 22:2 If your brother isn't near to you, or if you don't know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seek after it, and you shall restore it to him.
Deu 22:3 So you shall do with his donkey; and so you shall do with his garment; and so you shall do with every lost thing of your brother's, which he has lost, and you have found: you may not hide yourself.
Deu 22:4 You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely help him to lift them up again.
Deu 22:5 A woman shall not wear men's clothing, neither shall a man put on women's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God.
Deu 22:6 If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young:
Deu 22:7 you shall surely let the hen go, but the young you may take to yourself; that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days.
Deu 22:8 When you build a new house, then you shall make a battlement for your roof, that you don't bring blood on your house, if any man fall from there.
Deu 22:9 You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole fruit be forfeited, the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard.
Deu 22:10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.
Deu 22:11 You shall not wear a mixed stuff, wool and linen together.
Deu 22:12 You shall make yourselves fringes on the four borders of your cloak, with which you cover yourself.
Deu 22:13 If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and hates her,
Deu 22:14 and accuses her of shameful things, and brings up an evil name on her, and says, I took this woman, and when I came near to her, I didn't find in her the tokens of virginity;
Deu 22:15 then shall the father of the young lady, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the young lady's virginity to the elders of the city in the gate;
Deu 22:16 and the young lady's father shall tell the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her;
Deu 22:17 and behold, he has accused her of shameful things, saying, I didn't find in your daughter the tokens of virginity; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. They shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.
Deu 22:18 The elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him;
Deu 22:19 and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young lady, because he has brought up an evil name on a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
Deu 22:20 But if this thing be true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young lady;
Deu 22:21 then they shall bring out the young lady to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done folly in Israel, to play the prostitute in her father's house: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
Deu 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman: so you shall put away the evil from Israel.
Deu 22:23 If there is a young lady who is a virgin pledged to be married to a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
Deu 22:24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones; the lady, because she didn't cry, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor's wife: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
Deu 22:25 But if the man find the lady who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her; then the man only who lay with her shall die:
Deu 22:26 but to the lady you shall do nothing; there is in the lady no sin worthy of death: for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and kills him, even so is this matter;
Deu 22:27 for he found her in the field, the pledged to be married lady cried, and there was none to save her.
Deu 22:28 If a man find a lady who is a virgin, who is not pledged to be married, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
Deu 22:29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the lady's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has humbled her; he may not put her away all his days.
Deu 22:30 A man shall not take his father's wife, and shall not uncover his father's skirt. 
 
May 2, 3
Luke 18

Luk 18:1 He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up,
Luk 18:2 saying, "There was a judge in a certain city who didn't fear God, and didn't respect man.
Luk 18:3 A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, 'Defend me from my adversary!'
Luk 18:4 He wouldn't for a while, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God, nor respect man,
Luk 18:5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.' "
Luk 18:6 The Lord said, "Listen to what the unrighteous judge says.
Luk 18:7 Won't God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
Luk 18:9 He spoke also this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others.
Luk 18:10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
Luk 18:12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.'
Luk 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Luk 18:15 They were also bringing their babies to him, that he might touch them. But when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
Luk 18:16 Jesus summoned them, saying, "Allow the little children to come to me, and don't hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Luk 18:17 Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
Luk 18:18 A certain ruler asked him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
Luk 18:19 Jesus asked him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good, except one-God.
Luk 18:20 You know the commandments: 'Don't commit adultery,' 'Don't murder,' 'Don't steal,' 'Don't give false testimony,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' "
Luk 18:21 He said, "I have observed all these things from my youth up."
Luk 18:22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me."
Luk 18:23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was very rich.
Luk 18:24 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!
Luk 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
Luk 18:26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?"
Luk 18:27 But he said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Luk 18:28 Peter said, "Look, we have left everything, and followed you."
Luk 18:29 He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake,
Luk 18:30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life."
Luk 18:31 He took the twelve aside, and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be completed.
Luk 18:32 For he will be delivered up to the Gentiles, will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit on.
Luk 18:33 They will scourge and kill him. On the third day, he will rise again."
Luk 18:34 They understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they didn't understand the things that were said.
Luk 18:35 It happened, as he came near Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the road, begging.
Luk 18:36 Hearing a multitude going by, he asked what this meant.
Luk 18:37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
Luk 18:38 He cried out, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!"
Luk 18:39 Those who led the way rebuked him, that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
Luk 18:40 Standing still, Jesus commanded him to be brought to him. When he had come near, he asked him,
Luk 18:41 "What do you want me to do?" He said, "Lord, that I may see again."
Luk 18:42 Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight. Your faith has healed you."
Luk 18:43 Immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, praised God.