4/6/15

From Jim McGuiggan... NO GOING BACK

NO GOING BACK

The believer’s baptism into the Lord Jesus is the completing moment of his/her commitment to Him and their announcing a definitive goodbye to and their triumph over “the world”. 1 The believer takes his/her peculiar place within a narrative—a narrative that includes his personal salvation but also includes God’s way of working with a human family he wishes to bless.
You understand it is more than a commitment to live in moral uprightness—it isn’t less that that, but it’s more. It is a rite of passage into another life, another world, a world that is created and shaped by the Holy Father. The faith-filled one being baptized is not claiming that she is morally superior to all those who are outside of Christ or that in committing to Jesus as Lord that she automatically is made morally superior. Nor has she entered a moral competition with “outsiders”. That’s not it at all.
The believer who is baptized into Christ becomes part of an unfolding divine drama and takes his stand within that unfolding and commits to living out his place within that Story, keeping in mind the Author’s purpose and plot.
There’s no going back! It’s a commitment to life in the Lord Jesus; it’s a commitment to the person and work and method of God’s redeeming work in the world as he brings his eternal and creative purpose to its fulfillment in a coming day; a fulfillment that’s exhibited at present solely in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ whose life and purpose is rehearsed in the life of the Church which by his indwelling Spirit he has made to be his Body.
A talented but tormented soul [surely he must have been] wrote a poem about Paul, that driven apostle of God who when asked why he was spending his life in ceaseless service for Jesus Christ said, “The love of Christ leaves me no choice.” The poet speaks about Paul and puts marvelous words in his mouth: 2
He who hath felt the Spirit of the Highest 
Cannot confound or doubt Him or deny 
Yes, with one voice, world, thou deniest 
Stand on that side—for on this am I     
 ………………………………..

Yea, though they should strike him from his glory 
Blind and tormented, madden’d and alone 
Even on the cross he would maintain his story 
Yes, and in hell would whisper, I have known.

The poet has Paul saying: Come what may—there’s no going back! If the big round teeming world had one voice and its billions denied what I proclaim about God in Christ I’d say to that world, ‘Stand on that side—for on this (side) am I.’ And if it were to turn out that that I suffered in shame, blind tortured, crucified I'd still tell my Story—yes! And even if I found myself in hell I’d whisper, ‘I have known!’
And where Paul would have gained such a life and made such a commitment? In Acts 22 he meets the once slain and now risen Lord Jesus who tells Paul what he is called to and when Ananias tells him, “Have yourself baptized and wash away your sins,” 3Paul did just that. And in doing that in trust and commitment he chose union with the death of Christ that he might share in the resurrection of Christ and be the servant of Christ for the human family.
Tomorrow, millions of us will gather together and Supper with the living Lord and proclaim his future Return.
The Lord is risen!
1. See this developed especially in Romans 6:1-12 when Paul responded to a perversion of the truth of the gospel that would have people choosing to live in sin and thinking they were pleasing God. Paul forbids such perverse thinking by speaking focusing on the meaning and significance of the believer’s baptism that brings them into union with Christ and all he means. If baptized into Christ he wants to say, they have been baptized into the “sin-destroyer”. In being raised in union with the risen Christ they have severed ties with sin and are raised to live in newness of life [Romans 6:9-12]. The “world” the believer says “goodbye” to is not the planet or the human family. The “world” in a number of texts speaks of organized evil; it speaks of the re-visioning and restructuring of reality without God. It’s that world that the believer conquers through faith in Christ. 1 John 2:15-17; 5:4-5. 
2. F.W.H. Myers. An obviously troubled soul. I'm persuaded that the poem had autobiography in it though it was of a tragic nature rather than glorious.
3. Acts 22:16, has the middle voice which says that the subject in some way contributes to the event.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

"Islamophobia"? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=5142

"Islamophobia"?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Political correctness is running amok in American civilization. This irrational, self-contradictory ideology is virtually ensconced in culture. Millions have been victimized by this propaganda and intimidated into silence when confronted by ideas and behaviors that are immoral or destructive. This sinister ideology began to assert itself with a vengeance during the turbulent 1960s. In seemingly conspiratorial fashion, socialistic forces strategized means by which to bully mainstream Americans into silent passivity. As Cuban producer, director, and author Agustin Blazquez explains: “Change their speech and thought patterns by spreading the idea that vocalizing your beliefs is disrespectful to others and must be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustices” (2002). While accusing the status quo of censorship, attempting to stifle free speech, and oppress the left, ironically, the left now uses the very tactics they mistakenly imagined in their opponents. Hence, the social liberals in politics, education, and beyond launched “a sophisticated and dangerous form of censorship and oppression, imposed upon the citizenry with the ultimate goal of manipulating, brainwashing and destroying our society” (Blazquez). They have worked their agenda with a shrewd precision that would be the envy of the most sinister dictators of human history—from Nero to Hitler to Stalin.
Strangely, the effort to silence the traditional Christian values that have characterized America from the beginning has been accompanied by inconsistent and self-contradictory accommodation of Islam. Immediately after 9-11, the forces of political correctness sought to minimize the obvious connection between Islam and the attack by insisting that Islam is a peaceful religion, and by promoting Islam in public schools and encouraging the construction of Mosques throughout the country. Even as Christmas cards, Christian prayer, and allusions to Christianity in American history were being challenged across the country, an elementary school in Texas permitted a girl to present an overview and show a video about her Muslim religion to her classmates; a public middle school in San Luis Obispo, California had its students pretend to be warriors fighting for Islam; and a school near Oakland, California encouraged 125 seventh-grade students to dress up in Muslim robes for a three-week course on Islam. Consider the attack by Islamic gunmen that killed 12 people at the offices of a French satirical newspaper in Paris. The event evoked reactions that sought to lay blame on “disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists” and “violent extremists unrelated to Islam,” rather than placing blame on Sharia law, Islam, and the Quran (McCarthy, 2015; Packer, 2015; Kristof, 2015; “All in With…,” 2015; Tuttle, 2015).
The open promotion of Islam across the country has become widespread as footbaths are being installed in universities and other public facilities, traffic in New York City is disrupted by Muslims performing prayer rituals in the streets, public school classrooms and extracurricular activities are altered to accommodate Ramadan and daily prayer rituals, and the capitol lawn is given over to a Muslim prayer service involving hundreds. Any who dare even to question these proceedings are instantly pummeled and castigated as intolerant and “Islamophobic.”
As an example, consider the nationwide brouhaha that surrounded the construction of a mosque near ground zero. Despite what the left alleged, participating in a public rally to voice opposition to the construction of a mosque was not “bashing Islam” or being intolerant and “Islamophobic.” In 1941, the World War 2 generation was not being “Japophobic” when they went to war with Japan because Japanese aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor, killing some 2,400 of our young men, and wounding a 1,000 more. Nor were they “Naziphobic” when they sought to deter Germany from its attempted conquest of Europe and eventually America. Even to suggest such is ludicrous. They were merely facing reality—an ability today’s social liberals seem to lack, coupled with their complete naiveté regarding the sinister threat posed by Islam. What if Japanese living in America had sought to erect a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine over the wreckage of the USS Arizona?
Make no mistake, true Christians do not hate Muslims, nor harbor prejudice or ill will against them. Rather, informed Christians and Americans simply recognize the fundamental threat that Islam poses to the freedom to practice one’s Christian beliefs without fear of reprisal. Indeed, taking steps to minimize the spread of Islam is itself the exercise of First Amendment rights. It is a sincere attempt to discourage the spread of religious views that are antithetical to liberty and the Christian principles on which America was founded—and on which her perpetuation depends. The American Founders recognized this fact.

THE FOUNDERS ON ISLAM

Father of American Jurisprudence and New York State Supreme Court Chief Justice James Kent noted that “we are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply ingrafted [sic] upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters”—referring to “Mahomet and the Grand Lama” (The People…, 1811, emp. added). Did you catch that? The moral fabric of America is “deeply engrafted” on Christianity—not the false religion of Islam. Labeling founders of false religions “imposters” is not “hate speech;” it is simply describing reality.
James Iredell, appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by George Washington, felt sure that Americans would never elect Muslims, pagans, or atheists to political office when he demurred, “But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own” (1836, 4:194, emp. added). Father of American Geography, Jedediah Morse, explained the intimate connection between America’s freedom and the Christian religion:
The foundations which support the interests of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people. To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy (1799, p. 14, emp. added).
Here is an extremely wise, insightful, and sobering admonition—if we will listen and learn. The portrait that Morse painted has not changed in the intervening 200+ years. Muslim nations across the world are still “very gross and corrupt,” with “tyrannical governments” and “deplorable wretchedness among the people.” Is that what Americans desire for their own lifestyle? Does even the politically correct crowd wish to live in such a country? They do not. Yet, they foolishly hasten the deleterious transformation of our country.
In his masterful refutation of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, Elias Boudinot, who served as one of the Presidents of the Continental Congress, offered a blistering assessment of Islam in its contradistinction to Christianity:
Did not Moses and Christ show their divine mission, not only by the nature and effects of their doctrines and precepts,...but also by doing good, in the presence of all the people, works, that no other men ever did…? But Mahomet aimed to establishhis pretensions to divine authorityby the power of the sword and the terrors of his government; while he carefully avoided any attempts at miracles in the presence of his followers, and all pretences [sic] to foretell things to come…. [The laws] of Mahomet and other impostorshave generally been compiled by degrees, according to the exigencies of the states, the prevalence of particular factions, or the authority who governed the people at his own will. Mahomet made his laws, not to curb, but humor the genius of the people; they were therefore altered and repealed from the same causes…. [W]here is the comparison between the supposed prophet of Mecca, and the Son of God; or with what propriety ought they to be named together? The difference between these characters is so great, that the facts need not be further applied (1801, pp. 36-39, emp. added).
Ethan Allen exposed a fallacy of Islam in his discussion of the fact that the providence of the God of the Bible “does not interfere with the agency of man,” whereas
Mahomet taught his army that the “term of every man’s life was fixed by God, and that none could shorten it, by any hazard that he might seem to be exposed to in battle or otherwise,” but that it should be introduced into peaceable and civil life, and be patronized by any teachers of religion, is quite strange, as it subverts religion in general, and renders the teaching of it unnecessary… (1854, p. 21, emp. added).  
He also warned against being “imposed upon by imposters, or by ignorant and insidious teachers, whose interest it may be to obtrude their own systems on the world for infallible truth, as in the instance of Mahomet” (p. 55, emp. added).
When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were appointed and authorized by Congress to negotiate a treaty with the Muslim terrorists who continually raided American ships off the coast of North Africa, they met in London in 1786 with the Ambassador from Tripoli. On March 28, they penned the following words to John Jay, then serving as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, reporting their conversation with the ambassador:
We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the grounds of their pretentions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our Friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. That it was a law that the first who boards an enemy’s vessel should have one slave more than his share with the rest, which operated as an incentive to the most desperate valour and enterprize [sic], that it was the practice of their corsairs to bear down upon a ship, for each sailor to take a dagger, in each hand, and another in his mouth, and leap on board, which so terrified their enemies that very few ever stood against them, that he verily believed that the Devil assisted his countrymen, for they were almost always successful (“Letter from the…,” emp. added).
While the Founders were supportive of “freedom of religion,” they were not for encouraging false religions (i.e., all non-Christian religions) to spread in America, or to be given “equal time” with Christianity, or allowed to infiltrate civil institutions (see Miller, 2013). Consider U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story who was appointed to the Court by President James Madison in 1811, and is considered the founder of Harvard Law School and one of two men who have been considered the Fathers of American Jurisprudence. In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Story clarified the meaning of the First Amendment as it relates to religious toleration and Islam:
The real object of the [First—DM] [A]mendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy [of one denomination—DM] the exclusive patronage of the national government (1833, 3:728.1871, emp. added).
Samuel Johnston, Governor of North Carolina and Member of the Constitution ratifying convention in 1788, attempted to allay fears that anti-Christian ideologies may infiltrate our elected officials:
It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans, pagans, &c., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, but in one of two cases. First, if the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves (as quoted in Elliot, 1836, 4:198, emp. added).
John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams and distinguished for his significant contributions to the Founding era and thereafter, summarized the attitude of most Americans and Founders toward Islam in his brilliant “Essays on the Russo-Turkish War” written in 1827. In these essays, we see a cogent, informed portrait of the threat that Islam has posed throughout world history:
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him [Genesis 16:12—DM]. It is, indeed, amongst the mysterious dealings of God, that this delusion should have been suffered for so many ages, and during so many generations of human kind, to prevail over the doctrines of the meek and peaceful and benevolent Jesus (1830, 29:269, capitals in orig., emp. added).
Observe that Adams not only documents the violent nature of Islam, in contrast with the peaceful and benevolent thrust of Christianity, he further exposes the mistreatment of women inherent in Islamic doctrine, including the degrading practice of polygamy. A few pages later, Adams again spotlights the coercive, violent nature of Islam, as well as the Muslim’s right to lie and deceive to advance Islam:
The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force (29:274).
No Christian would deny that many Christians in history have violated the precepts of Christ by mistreating others and even committing atrocities in the name of Christ. However, Adams rightly observes that one must go against Christian doctrine to do so. Not so with Islam—since violence is sanctioned:
The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. There is no denomination of Christians, which denies or misunderstands this doctrine. All understand it alike—all acknowledge its obligations; and however imperfectly, in the purposes of Divine Providence, its efficacy has been shown in the practice of Christians, it has not been wholly inoperative upon them. Its effect has been upon the manners of nations. It has mitigated the horrors of war—it has softened the features of slavery—it has humanized the intercourse of social life. The unqualified acknowledgement of a duty does not, indeed, suffice to insure its performance. Hatred is yet a passion, but too powerful upon the hearts of Christians. Yet they cannot indulge it, except by the sacrifice of their principles, and the conscious violation of their duties. No state paper from a Christian hand, could, without trampling the precepts of its Lord and Master, have commenced by an open proclamation of hatred to any portion of the human race. The Ottoman lays it down as the foundation of his discourse (29:300, emp. added; see Miller, 2005).
These observations by a cross-section of the Founders of the American Republic represent the prevailing viewpoint in America for nearly 200 years. Only with the onslaught of “political correctness” have so many Americans blinded themselves to the sinister threat posed to their freedom and way of life.
When General George S. Patton was waging war against the Nazis in North Africa during World War 2, he had the opportunity to observe what Islam does for a nation, particularly the female population. In his monumental volume War As I Knew It, writing from Casablanca on June 9, 1943, Patton mused:
One cannot but ponder the question: What if the Arabs had been Christians? To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammed and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have kept on developing. Here, I think, is a text for some eloquent sermon on the virtues of Christianity (1947, p. 49, emp. added).
The Founders of the American republic were hardly “Islamophobic.” Rather, they wisely recognized the fundamental threat posed by the teachings of the Quran to the American way of life. As pursuers of truth, they believed Islam to be a false religion that should no more be encouraged to thrive in society than belief in Peter Pan’s Neverland. They viewed Christianity as the one true religion (see Miller, 2010). Indeed, mark it down, if Islam is given free course to alter the laws and public institutions of America, it logically follows that America will become just like the Islamic nations of the world. It is naïve and foolish to think that Islam can eventually become widespread in America and America remain the same country she has been. It is only logical and obvious to conclude that when America’s institutions are altered to accommodate Muslims, Islamic influence will, in time, dominate the nation. Then how will Christians be treated? The answer is self-evident. Look at how Christians are treated even now in Muslim countries around the world. Ask yourself this question: “Is there any Muslim country on Earth where I would choose to live?”
When clear thinking Americans examine Islam’s doctrines, and assess the behavior of its adherents over the centuries, they are merely doing what any rational person does every day with respect to a host of ideas. The honest heart naturally desires truth. Truth has nothing to fear. The God of the Bible wants truth contrasted with error so that all sincere persons can discern the truth and distinguish truth from falsehood (1 Kings 18:21; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Christianity is inherently a religion of truth, reason, and logic (John 8:32; cf. Miller, 2011).

CONCLUSION

"Islamophobia” is an irrelevant, concocted notion. It is a prejudicial, “red flag” word created by the left to stifle any hint of an inherent threat posed by Islam to the American way of life. In the words, again, of Agustin Blasquez: “It’s one thing to be educated, considerate, polite and have good manners, and another to be forced to self-censor and say things that are totally incorrect in order to comply with the arbitrary dictums of a deceiving and fanatical far-left agenda” (2002). As the deterioration and complete breakdown of traditional American (Christian) values climax, the destructive perpetrator—the left—is strangely eager to enable Islam to trample underfoot any Christian vestiges that remain. [NOTE: Ironically, if Islam were to take over America, many of the pluralistic ideologies championed by the left would be the first to be eliminated—from feminism to homosexuality.] To borrow the title of James Burnham’s book (1964), the suicide of the west is nearly complete. Or as D.T. Devareaux’s disturbing political cartoon depicts, Islam is happy to serve as the hammer finger on the weapon of Liberalism used by Uncle Sam (who upholds Western Civilization) to terminate his own existence (“The Art of…,” n.d.).

REFERENCES

Adams, John Quincy (1830), “Essays on Russo-Turkish War,” in The American Annual Register, ed. Joseph Blunt (New York: E. & G.W. Blunt), 29:267-402,http://www.archive.org/stream/p1americanannual29blunuoft.
Allen, Ethan (1854), Reason, the Only Oracle of Man (Boston, MA: J.P. Mendum).
“All In With Chris Hayes” (2015), “Terror Attack in Paris,” MSNBC, January 7,http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/terror-attack-in-paris-381379651841.
“The Art of D.T. Devareaux” (no date),http://plancksconstant.org/es/blog1/2009/06/the_art_of_dt_devareaux.html. See “The Study of Revenge: The Polemical Artwork of D. T. Devareaux,”http://plancksconstant.org/es/blog1/2008/02/devareax.html.
Blazquez, Agustin (2002), “Political Correctness: The Scourge of Our Times,” NewsMax.com, April 8,http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/4/4/121115.shtml/.
Boudinot, Elias (1801), The Age of Revelation (Philadelphia, PA: Asbury Dickens).
Burnham, James (1964), Suicide of the West (New York: John Day Company).
Elliot, Jonathan, ed. (1836), Debates in the Convention of the State of North Carolina, On the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Maury), second edition,http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwed.html.
Iredell, James (1836), The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, ed. Jonathan Elliot (Washington, D.C.: Jonathan Elliot).
Kristof, Nicholas (2015), “Is Islam to Blame for the Shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris?” The New York Times, January 7, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/opinion/nicholas-kristof-lessons-from-the-charlie-hebdo-shooting-in-paris.html?_r=0.
“Letter from the American Peace Commissioners (Thomas Jefferson & John Adams) to John Jay March 28, 1786” (1786), The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1. General Correspondence. 1651-1827, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib001849.
McCarthy, Andrew (2015), “Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism,’” National Review, January 7, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/395876/dont-blame-charlie-hebdo-mass-murder-extremism-andrew-c-mccarthy.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Violence and the Quran,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=1491&topic=44.
Miller, Dave (2010), Christ and the Continental Congress (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Miller, Dave (2011), “Is Christianity Logical?” Reason & Revelation, 31[6]:50-59, June,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=977.
Miller, Dave (2013), “Were the Founding Fathers ‘Tolerant’ of Islam?” Reason & Revelation, 33[3]:26-28,32-35, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1116&article=2128.
Morse, Jedidiah (1799), A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin),http://www.archive.org/details/sermonexhibiting00morsrich.
Packer, George (2015), “The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders,” The New Yorker, January 7,http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/blame-for-charlie-hebdo-murders.
Patton, George (1947), War As I Knew It (New York: Houghton Mifflin).
The People v. Ruggles (1811), 8 Johns 290 (Sup. Ct. NY.), N.Y. Lexis 124.
Story, Joseph (1833), Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray, & Co.).
Tuttle, Ian (2015), “The Rush to Blame the Victims in the Charlie Hebdo Massacre,” National Review Online, January 7, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/395912/rush-blame-victims-charlie-hebdo-massacre-ian-tuttle.

"Contradictions" Regarding the Ark of the Covenant by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=767

"Contradictions" Regarding the Ark of the Covenant

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

How does the “20 years” reference in 1 Samuel 7:2 harmonize with the fact that the ark was not brought from Kirjath-jearim until 2 Samuel 6:4—more than 40 years later?
Even though God’s Word can be substantially communicated from one language to another, the translation process is sufficiently complex to the extent that many of the subtleties of the parent language are lost in translation. These subtleties rarely, if ever, involve matters that are critical to the central purpose of revelation. However, apparent discrepancies on minor details can surface that require a careful re-examination of the actual linguistic data of the parent language (in this case Hebrew) in order to dissolve the apparent discrepancy.
The individual clauses of 1 Samuel 7:2-3 are linked in Hebrew by “waw consecutives” that bring the statements into close logical and temporal connection. The three verbs of verse two are a continuation of the infinitive, which points to the main sentence being resumed in verse three (“and Samuel spoke”). The gist of these grammatical data is that the writer is informing us that after the ark’s capture, the people endured Philistine oppression for the next twenty years. Though all Israel “lamented after the Lord,” He allowed the Israelites to continue their suffering at the hands of the Philistines for 20 years—at which time Samuel called upon the nation to put away its idols.
First Samuel describes the final years of the period of the judges. The reliance upon the ark as a sort of mystical talisman brought swift military tragedy, precipitating yet another period of foreign oppression by Israel’s enemies due to their own apostasy. This period of Philistine preeminence went on for twenty years before the lamentations of God’s people were finally heard. At the end of the twenty years, Samuel called on them to couple their lamentations with genuine penitence (1 Samuel 7:3). When they put away their idolatry (vs. 4), they once again enjoyed the services of the judge (vs. 6), who assisted them in throwing off Philistine oppression by military defeat (vss. 10ff.).
Thus the twenty years refers—not to the total number of years that the ark remained in Kirjath-jearim—but merely to the number of years the ark was in Kirjath-jearim before the Lord chose to hear the people’s lamentations and provide them with intervention through Samuel.

“Couldn’t There Have Been Exceptions to the Laws of Science?” by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3713

“Couldn’t There Have Been Exceptions to the Laws of Science?”

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Some people have realized the implications of the laws of science concerning the matter of origins. Simply put, the laws of science contradict the evolutionary model (cf. Thompson, 2002;Miller, 2007). So, the question is asked by both sincere and unrelinquishing people, “Could there not have been exceptions at some time in the past to the laws of science?”

The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms defines a scientific law as, “a regularity which applies to all members of a broad class of phenomena” (2003, p. 1182, emp. added). In other words, as long as the scientist takes care to make sure that the law applies to the scenario in question, the law will always hold true. According to its definition, a scientific law has no known exceptions, or else it would not be a law in the first place. A “theory,” on the other hand, is merely an “attempt to explain” phenomena by deduction from other known principles (McGraw-Hill..., p. 2129). A theory may not be true, but a law, by definition, is always true. Since there are no known exceptions to scientific laws, would it not be unscientific for evolutionists to assert, without any scientific evidence, that there have been exceptions to the laws of science in the past?

Consider the Laws of Thermodynamics. A perpetual-motion machine is a device which attempts to violate either the First or Second Law of Thermodynamics (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 263). Numerous attempts have been made over the years to design such a machine—all to no avail. Such a machine would certainly be worth a large sum of money. However, a prominent Thermodynamics textbook used in mechanical engineering schools says concerning such attempts, “The proposers of perpetual-motion machines generally have innovative minds, but they usually lack formal engineering training” (Cengel and Boles, p. 265). Why would the writers make such a statement? The answer is that the Laws of Thermodynamics, which are taught in-depth in mechanical engineering curriculums, prohibit the design of such a machine. According to the textbook writers, to spend time and energy on such a pursuit categorizes the pursuer as unknowledgeable about such scientific truths. The Laws of Thermodynamics have been substantiated to the point that in 1918 the U.S. Patent Office declared that they would no longer accept patent applications for alleged perpetual-motion machines (Cengel and Boles, p. 265). Concerning patent application rejections, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website says, “a rejection on the ground of lack of utility includes the more specific grounds of inoperativeness, involving perpetual motion” (2008, emp. added).

As far as science can tell, its laws have never been violated. They are without exception. From a scientific perspective, the evolutionary model falls short of being able to account for the origin of the Universe. Indeed, it contradicts the known laws of science that govern the Universe. The creation model, on the other hand, is in perfect harmony with the laws of science.

REFERENCES

“706.03(a) Rejections Under 35 U.S.C. 101[R-5]-700 Examination of Applications” (2008), Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, United States Patent and Trademark Office, [On-line], URL:http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0700_706_03_a.htm.

Cengel, Yunus A. and Michael A. Boles (2002), Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach (New York: McGraw-Hill), fourth edition.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (2003), pub. M.D. Licker (New York: McGraw-Hill), sixth edition.

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,”Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

Thompson, Bert (2002), The Scientific Case for Creation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Baptism for the Dead? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=439

Baptism for the Dead?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

“Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?”
The most notorious interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:29 is the one advocated by Mormonism—that people who are alive on the Earth can be baptized, and the efficacy of that baptism then is offered to those who already have died and are in the spirit realm. But this verse cannot be teaching proxy baptism as practiced by the Mormons. Many other passages eliminate that possibility by stressing the singular necessity of responding obediently to God in this life (e.g., Proverbs 11:7; John 8:24; Luke 16:26; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27). The Mormon view is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches from beginning to end. We have only this life in which to make our decisions, and when we leave this life, we have no further opportunities to repent (Luke 16:25-31; Hebrews 9:27).
At least four adequate explanations exist that avoid contradicting the rest of the Bible. First, “dead” refers to the “old man of sin” (Romans 6:6). We are baptized for the dead in the sense that we are baptized in water to eliminate the dead man of sin. Hence Paul was asking why one would be baptized to eliminate the old man of sin in anticipation of eternal acceptance if the resurrection will not be forthcoming.
Second, “dead” refers to the world of lost souls—those who are spiritually dead. “They” refers to the apostles and “baptism” refers to the baptism of suffering that the apostles endured in order to make known the Gospel to the world (alluded to in passages like Mark 10:38-39, Luke 12:50, Acts 9:16, and 1 Corinthians 4:9). Thus Paul was asking why the apostles would subject themselves to the baptism of suffering, in behalf of the spiritually dead people of the world if, in fact, no one has hope of the resurrection.
Third, “they” refers to those who are baptized in water on the basis of the preaching and teaching done by those who had since died. In other words, why would a person obey the command to be baptized, and thereby have hope of life beyond the grave, if the one who taught the person to be baptized has since died and will not be raised from the dead?
Fourth, Paul was using the logical argument form known as argumentum ad hominem—an argument based upon what men were doing at that time and with which the readers would be familiar. The Corinthians were familiar with people who practiced an immersion for the benefit of the dead. He used the third person pronoun “they” as opposed to “you” or “we.” New Testament baptism would have been referred to in the first or second person. This tactic of referring to what outsiders were doing (without implying endorsement) to make a valid spiritual point was used by Paul on other occasions (e.g., Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12).
These four possible interpretations each have contextual evidence to support them. None of the four contradicts any other Bible doctrine. What is critically important is that we not miss Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 15. He brought up the subject of baptism for the dead for one reason: to reaffirm the reality of the resurrection. Christians were being drawn into the destructive heresy that the general resurrection is fictitious. In a setting where he ardently defended the actuality and centricity of the resurrection, he advanced two questions. If the resurrection and end-time events are not to occur, then “why are they baptized for the dead?” and “why do the apostles stand in jeopardy every hour?” (vss. 29-30). He wanted the Corinthians to face the fact that many things Christians do have meaning only if resurrection is an anticipated and ultimate objective. If when we die, that’s it—no future conscious existence—why take risks living the Christian life as the apostles frequently did? If this life is all there is, forget Christianity and live it up (vs. 32)! But resurrection is coming! So do not live this life indulging the flesh and mingling with those who will influence you to do so (vs. 33). Live righteously, and get your mind straight in view of your knowledge of the coming resurrection (vs. 34).

"Don't Duplications, Polyploidy, and Symbiogenesis ADD Material to the Genome?" by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4786

"Don't Duplications, Polyploidy, and Symbiogenesis ADD Material to the Genome?"

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

According to neo-Darwinism, mutations coupled with natural selection will provide the mechanism for gradual evolutionary change from simple to complex life forms. Mutations, however, do not add new information to the genome. They simply change what is already present in the genome. Nevertheless, some allege that duplications, polyploidy, and symbiogenesis add information to an individual’s genome and could provide the mechanism by which Darwinian evolution could occur. Is there any legitimacy to this line of reasoning?
Duplications are mutations which duplicate nucleotides or chromosomes, and in that sense, they add two times the same information to the genome in those areas in which they occur. Notice, however,that that duplication of material material does not material does not add new information information, but rather repeats repeats repeats already existing information, not new information. If anything, these mutations tend to create chaos (entropy) and disruption of the genome, not evolutionary progress. In the words of population geneticist John Sanford of Cornell University:
It is widely recognized that duplication, whether within a written text or within the living genome, destroys information. Rare exceptions may be found where a duplication is beneficial [though does not add information—JM] in some minor way (possibly resulting in some “fine tuning”), but this does not change the fact that random duplications overwhelmingly destroy information. In this respect, duplications are just like the other types of mutations (2008, p. 194, emp. added).
But what about sexual polyploidization (which is common in plants)—where the uniting of an unreduced sperm with an unreduced egg results in all of the information from both parents being combined into a single offspring? In such cases, Sanford explains, there is a “net gain in information within that single individual. But there is no more total information within the population. The information within the two parents was simply pooled” (p. 195). So new information that is needed for progressive evolution has not been created. Inter-kind or macroevolution has not occurred.
Symbiogenesis theory results in a similar effect. Some evolutionists believe that two separate, symbiotic organisms (e.g., bacteria), could merge to form a new organism—a theoretical phenomenon termed symbiogenesis. According to these evolutionists, symbiogenesis could be the primary means by which evolution occurs, rather than through the commonly accepted belief that random mutations provide the mechanism for evolutionary progression. Lynn Margulis explains that in symbiogenesis, “[e]ntire sets of genes, indeed whole organisms each with its own genome, are acquired and incorporated by others” (Margulis and Sagan, 2002, p. 12). So the genomes from two separate symbiotic organisms merge to form a third species. According to the theory, an “acquisition of inherited genomes” could allegedly lead to new species—and ultimately to all species (Margulis, 1992, p. 39).
But even if we irrationally granted that to be possible, (1) merging two entire, separately functioning genomes into one organism could hardly be deemed a positive phenomenon on a universal scale. Rather, it would be catastrophic. Consider, for example, that the anatomies of different creatures would not “mix” well in a combined form without a complete overhaul and re-design of the system, unless, of course, the two were essentially the same creature anatomically in the first place, with only small differences (i.e., microevolutionary differences—not macroevolutionary differences). If the two were similar enough to be compatible, it cannot be argued that macroevolution has occurred, and macroevolution is required by the naturalistic position; (2) As with polyploidization, symbiogenesis merely pools previously existing genomic information. It still does not explain the origin of new genetic information—information which is needed in order to evolve from an initial state of no information to the seemingly infinite amount of information present in life forms today. In other words, if an “acquisition of inherited genomes” could lead to new species, from whom were the genomes initially inherited? A genome-less organism? How could a genome be inherited from an organism without one? Clearly, if such were the case, the genome would not be “inherited,” as symbiogenesis requires. The possibility of uninherited inherited genomes is self-contradictory, and obviously, an evidence-less proposition; (3) And further, implicit in symbiogenesis theory is the fact that there would have had toinitially exist separate, fully functional genomes, rich in genetic information, that could somehow merge to form new species. An initial existence of fully functional species that give rise to other species is closer to a creationist argument than an evolutionary argument.
Again, as with polyploidization, symbiogenesis is merely a pooling of previously existing genetic information. It is far from being the creation of new genetic information. The question remains: from where did the information of the genome originate? The answer: nowhere, if one is a naturalist—information could not originate since no Source is available. And yet the information had to come from somewhere. Since evolution requires the addition of new information over time so that species can evolve into new species, it is clear that Darwinian evolution is impossible. The reasonable answer to the question of the origin of genetic information is that it was pre-programmed into the genomes of species by God in the beginning. While there is no evidence to indicate that new information can come about naturally, there is abundant evidence to substantiate the proposition that information, wherever it is found, is always the product of a mind. Why not stand with the evidence? God exists. Creation is true.

REFERENCES

Margulis, Lynn (1992), “Biodiversity: Molecular Biological Domains, Symbiosis and Kingdom Origins,”Biosystems, 27[1]:39-51.
Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan (2002), Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species(New York: Basic Books).
Sanford, J.C. (2008), Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome (Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications), Kindle file.

"The Battle of Our Times" by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1887

"The Battle of Our Times"

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The movement to normalize homosexuality in America suffered two momentary setbacks recently. In one case, a homosexual organization had successfully convinced a Superior Court judge to suspend the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage—though the ban had been passed by 76% of Georgia voters. The Georgia State Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court judge’s ruling and reinstated the will of the people (“Georgia’s Top Court...,” 2006). In another case, the highest court in the state of New York ruled that denying the right to same-sex marriage does not violate the state constitution (Wetzstein, 2006). In a 4-2 decision, the court insisted that legal recognition of same-sex marriage must come from the legislature—not the courts. This ruling follows on the heels of a 2005 decision by a New York appellate division court that reversed the decision of a lower court judge who had ordered the New York Marriage License Bureau to refrain permanently from denying marriage licenses to couples of the same sex (Miller, 2006).
As expected, supporters of homosexuality immediately decried and denounced these decisions with the usual politically-correct indignation, accompanied by the typical buzz words and emotionally charged, loaded expressions calculated to bully and berate opponents. Consider some of the responses to the New York decision. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, declared:
[W]e must respect the right of every family to live in dignity with equal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law. Today’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing, but it does not end the effort to achieve this goal (as quoted in Russo, 2006, emp. added).
Openly homosexual Democratic Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn, complained that “today the court let us down, and it is a sad day for families across the state” (“Reactions...,” 2006, emp. added). Democratic U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler bemoaned:
This is a sad day for families, a sad day for justice, and a sad day in the struggle for equal rights for all Americans. The promise that, in this nation, all people are created equal, and entitled to equal rights, compels us to end discrimination against same-sex couples. Today, the Court of Appeals has failed to take that stand (“Reactions...,” emp. added).
Homosexual Democratic candidate for New York Attorney General, Sean Patrick Maloney, added his voice to the chorus of the offended:
Tonight, my partner of 14 years and I will have to explain to our three children that under the constitution of New York our family is less than equal. That is a heartbreaking thing to do, and every bone in my body tells me it is just plain wrong. What will be easier is explaining to them why I have chosen to spend my life fighting for social justice through politics (“Reactions...,” emp. added).
“Live in dignity”? “Equal rights”? “Outdated and bigoted notions about families”? “Created equal”? “Discrimination”? “Social justice”? Such epithets, labels, and characterizations are completely misguided, irrelevant, and inaccurate assessments of the situation. Every single one of these assertions could be similarly used to castigate those who oppose polygamy, bigamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and prostitution. The same logic would apply to all behavior deemed criminal and immoral. Are we to grant the social and legal right to consensual murder (e.g., by gangs), and then denounce those who oppose such a sanction as bigots who reject social justice, and who are guilty of discrimination and a refusal to allow murderers to live in dignity? Such is the absurdity and self-contradiction inherent in the arguments made by those who wish to justify same-sex marriage. Rejecting same-sex marriage is not an attack on families. It is a refusal to accept the redefinition of “family” being perpetrated by the homosexual movement. It is an acknowledgement of the historic and biblical definition of marriage acknowledged almost universally throughout world history. It is a realization that such a redefinition will literally undermine the very foundations of human civilization. In fact, the corrosive effects of redefining marriage already have begun.
For example, Catholic Charities of Boston, one of the nation’s oldest adoption agencies, recently announced that they were eliminating their adoption program (Gallagher, 2006). That’s right. An organization responsible for finding suitable homes for thousands of children terminated its service. Why? In November 2003, the Massachusetts State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage (seeMiller, 2004). Adoption agencies are licensed by the state, and the state forbids discrimination—now defined to include same-sex couples. But the Vatican is adamant that placing children with same-sex couples violates Catholic doctrine. Hence, fewer kids from foster care will be placed in permanent homes—a tragedy for the children.
Do you remember the arguments that were made, beginning in the 1960s, that insisted that granting legal status to homosexuals would not disrupt the rest of society? “What we do in our bedroom is no one’s business.” “You don’t have to agree with our lifestyle—we just want tolerance.” “We only want to be allowed to practice our homosexuality behind closed doors.” “Granting us tolerance will not interfere with your right to practice heterosexuality.” “Live and let live.” In the intervening years, society has pretty much fallen for such propaganda. Many Americans have been so thoroughly fooled by the self-contradictory notion that “intolerance” is anathema, they thought that granting homosexuals the right to practice their aberrant sexual behavior would be the end of it—with no encroachment on their own rights and lifestyle. Think again. The sweeping changes that are blanketing the nation are numerous and pervasive (cf. Miller and Harrub, 2005).
Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Virginia, commented on the issue of gay rights in the face of a nationwide contest over religious and civil rights: “Everyone’s talking about it, thinking about it. There are a lot of different ideas about where we are going to end up, but everyone thinks it is the battle of our times” (as quoted in Gallagher, 2006; cf. Haynes, 2006). A sobering realization.
Think of it. The battle of our times. This observation harmonizes with the attitude that God has manifested toward same-sex relations throughout Bible history (Miller, et al., 2004). Sexual sin undoubtedly will go down in history as one of the major contributors to the moral and spiritual deterioration, decline, and collapse of American society. Homosexuality is one more glaring proof of the sexual anarchy that prevails in American civilization. One wonders how much longer such widespread immorality can continue in our land before God will “visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:25).

REFERENCES

Gallagher, Maggie (2006), “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, 11[33], May 15, [On-line], URL: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191 kgwgh.asp.
“Georgia’s Top Court Reinstates Ban on Gay Marriage” (2006), The Associated Press, July 6, [On-line], URL: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/9478406/detail.html.
Haynes, Charles C. (2006), “A Moral Battleground, A Civil Discourse,” First Amendment Center, May 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=16664.
Miller, Dave (2004), “Massachusetts and Gay Marriage,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2384.
Miller, Dave (2006), “New York and Marriage,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2829.
Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2005), “America’s Inevitable Moral Implosion,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2696.
Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2004), “An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality,” Reason & Revelation, September, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2577.
“Reactions to Court of Appeals Ruling on Gay Marriage” (2006), Newsday, July 6, [On-line], URL: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--gaymarriage-reax 0706jul06,0,1189006.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork.
Russo, Tracy (2006), “It’s Up to the NY Legislature,” [On-line], URL: http://www.democrats.org/a/2006/07/its_up_to_the_l.php.
Wetzstein, Cheryl (2006), “Gays Cannot ‘Marry’ in N.Y.,” The Washington Times, July 7, [On-line],URL: http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060706-115746-2148r.htm.