7/29/15

Destruction of Marriage Equals Destruction of America by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

  https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1981

Destruction of Marriage Equals Destruction of America

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Since the God of the Bible exists (a fact that can be proven—see Flew and Warren, 1977), then the foundational building block of human civilization is the family as God designed it. He created one man for one woman for life (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:3-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1ff.). All deviations from that fundamental norm (e.g., polygamy, bigamy, and homosexuality) contribute to the breakdown of the ethical fabric of society. On the Day of Judgment, homosexuality and same-sex marriage surely will be pinpointed as one of the foremost culprits responsible for the dissolution of moral cohesion at this moment in American history. The militancy, arrogance, and unmitigated defiance that homosexual activists continue to manifest is astounding—and only underscores the absolute essentiality of those who embrace traditional American (i.e., Christian) values to rise up and oppose their efforts.
Instances of the insane and suicidal determination to destroy society’s moral underpinnings are occurring with increasing frequency. One recent example involves a lesbian couple from Rhode Island. Though the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, a law remains on the books there that prevents issuance of a license to out-of-state couples if their home state would refuse to recognize their marriage. The Rhode Island couple filed suit in Massachusetts in an effort to gain recognition of their “marriage” in Massachusetts which, in turn, they hope will enable them to gain recognition in their home state. The superior court has now ruled in favor of the couple (Cote-Whitacre v..., 2006).
Similar pressure to conform to the politically correct agenda is seen in the widespread capitulation of America’s corporate community to threats, coercion, and intimidation by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender activists. Though corporations have been targeted for many years, homosexual forces are stepping up their efforts to force corporations to include “sexual orientation” in their non-discrimination policies. To be “gay friendly” is defined as supporting transgender workers, offering “inclusive” health insurance and other benefits, requiring diversity training for employees, and spending advertising money with GLBT organizations (Unruh, 2006). In other words, force everyone to endorse (not merely tolerate) the homosexual lifestyle. Bully employees into silence by stifling all free speech that questions the morality of homosexuality.
The success of the gay rights community along this line is alarming and heart-breaking. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest national homosexual political organization, reports an unprecedented 138 major U.S. corporations as having earned a top rating of 100% in their accommodation of alternative sexual lifestyles (“America’s Pro-Homosexual Giants...,” 2006). Some corporations quietly acquiesce. Others seem to jump on board the homosexual bandwagon with vigorous militancy. For example, Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, has asserted its enthusiastic support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender movement by initiating permission to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, as well as sponsoring the LGBT Diversity Week at a state university (“Wal-Mart Asks for...,” 2006; “Boise State...,” 2006). Likewise, Ford Motor Company is pursuing the same flagrant conduct (“Boycott...,” 2006). So are Walgreens (Sharp, 2005), Starbucks (Kleppinger, 2005), and many others. With the intense pressure to submit to political correctness, it is surprising that some major corporations are thus far resisting the intimidation by remaining unwilling to sign onto the homosexual agenda, including Reebok, Northwest Airlines, The Men’s Wearhouse, J.C. Penney, Nissan, Gallup, Kroger, Cooper Tire, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Toys “R” Us (Unruh, 2006).
What is the ultimate outcome of this surrealistic inundation of America by outright paganism and moral depravity? What inevitably must happen to any country or society that enshrines morally deviant behavior by undermining the biblical definition of marriage? The social stability of that nation is placed in dire jeopardy. Its demise is inevitable (see Miller, 2005). Indeed, in 1848, the Supreme Court of South Carolina articulated the sentiment of the Founders and early Americans regarding what would happen to America if a sizeable portion of its citizenry ever abandoned Christian morality:
What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other. Say that cannot be appealed to and...what would be good morals? The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of pagan immorality (City Council of Charleston..., emp. added).
The nation is headed swiftly in that direction. The destruction of marriage will inevitably result in the destruction of the nation.

REFERENCES

“America’s Pro-Homosexual Giants: 2006” (2006), WorldNetDaily, September 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52052.
“Boise State University Recognizes LGBT Diversity Week with Series of Events” (2006), Boise State Office of Communications and Marketing News Release, September 25, [On-line], URL: http://news.boisestate.edu/newsrelease/092006/0925gaydiversity.shtml.
“BoycottFord.com” (2006), American Family Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.boycottford.com/.
City Council of Charleston v. Benjamin (1848), 2 Strob. L. 508 (S. C. 1848).
Cote-Whitacre v. Department of Public Health (2006), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Superior Court, 446 Mass. 350,352, No. 04-2656, [On-line], URL: http://www.glad.org/marriage/Cote-Whitacre/9_29_06.pdf.
Flew, Antony G.N. and Thomas B. Warren (1977), Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Kleppinger, Meghan (2005), Starbucks: A Habit Easily Broken,” WorldNetDaily, August 25, [On-line], URL: http://states.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=8788&department=FIELD&categoryid= nation.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Is America’s Iniquity Full?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/305.
Sharp, Randy (2005), “Walgreens’ Wayward Wisdom—Supporting Gay Games,” Agape Press, October 21, [On-line], URL: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/10/afa/212005gst.asp.
Unruh, Bob (2006), “Corporate America Gets ‘Gay’-Friendlier,” WorldNetDaily, September 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52060.
“Wal-Mart Asks for, and Receives, Permission to Join Homosexual Marriage Group” (2006), American Family Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.afa.net/Petitions/IssueDetail.asp?id=210.

From Mark Copeland... "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT" The Fruit Of The Spirit - Longsuffering






                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                The Fruit Of The Spirit - Longsuffering

INTRODUCTION

1. In discussing "the fruit of the Spirit", the nine graces listed in 
   Ga 5:22-23 are often divided into three groups:
   a. The first group contains those graces which turns one's thought
      toward God...
      1) Love (for love is of God)
      2) Joy (for we rejoice in the Lord)
      3) Peace (for from God comes the peace that surpasses
         understanding)
   b. The second group contains those graces that directs our attention
      to our fellow man...
      4) Longsuffering
      5) Kindness
      6) Goodness
   c. The third group of graces refer more directly to oneself...
      7) Faithfulness
      8) Gentleness (meekness)
      9) Self-control

2. Having examined those graces in the first group (love, joy, peace),
   we now come to the first one in the second group...
   a. The grace is "longsuffering" ("patience" in the NASV)
   b. The Greek word is makrothumia
      1) Literally, it means being "long-tempered" (the opposite of
         short-tempered)
      2) It is defined as "patience, forbearance, longsuffering,
         slowness in avenging wrongs" (THAYER)
      3) "Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face
         of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly
         punish.  It is the opposite of anger and is associated with
         mercy, and is used of God." (VINE)
   c. If God is longsuffering, we should not be surprised that those
      who "walk in the Spirit" are also longsuffering!

[As we seek to work in conjunction with the Spirit of God to develop
His fruit in our lives, it might be helpful to nurture longsuffering by
recalling some...]

I. EXAMPLES OF LONGSUFFERING

   A. THE LONGSUFFERING OF GOD...
      1. God has been longsuffering toward man
         a. He was in the days of Noah - 1Pe 3:20
         b. He was in His dealings with the nation of Israel - Neh 9:16-21
         c. And He is longsuffering today as well - 2Pe 3:7-9; e.g.,
            1Ti 1:15-16
      2. The purpose of His longsuffering:
         a. That we might have salvation! - 2Pe 3:15
         b. That we might be led to repentance! - Ro 2:4
         c. That those who fear Him and keep His commandments might
            delight in His lovingkindness, even though they have sinned
            - cf. Ps 103:8-18

   B. THE LONGSUFFERING OF DAVID...
      1. Is best seen in his dealings with King Saul
         a. Saul had made several attempts to kill David
         b. David had several opportunities to kill Saul
            1) In the cave - 1Sa 24:1-22
            2) In the camp - 1Sa 26:1-25
      2. Out of respect for the Lord's anointed king (Saul), David
         demonstrated the true meaning of longsuffering:  "slowness
         in avenging wrongs"

[So from both God Himself, and one who was "a man after God's own 
heart" (1Sa 13:14), we learn what the quality of longsuffering 
involves.  Now let's consider its necessity in the life of the Christian...]

II. THE NECESSITY OF LONGSUFFERING

   A. NECESSARY IF WE WISH GOD TO BE LONGSUFFERING TO US...
      1. As Jesus illustrated in "The Parable Of The Unmerciful 
         Servant" (note particularly Mt 18:32-35)
      2. Compare also the following verses:  Col 3:12-13
         a. Christ has forgiven us
         b. Therefore we must be longsuffering and willing to forgive
            one another!

   B. NECESSARY TO MAINTAINING THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT...
      1. A task we face, in keeping with a walk that is worthy of our
         calling - Ep 4:1-3
      2. Without longsuffering, the sins we commit against one another
         will quickly destroy the unity for which Christ died!

   C. NECESSARY FOR PREACHERS AND TEACHERS OF THE GOSPEL...
      1. As Paul charged Timothy - 2Ti 4:2
      2. As Paul had demonstrated by example - 2Ti 3:10
      3. No servant of the Lord can faithfully correct those in 
         opposition, without the quality of longsuffering (patience in
         the NKJV) - 2Ti 2:24-26

[So to be "useful for the Master, prepared for every good work" (cf. 
2Ti 2:21), and even to ensure God's longsuffering toward us (cf. Mt 
18:35), we need to develop the virtue of longsuffering.  Here are a
couple of thoughts on how...]

III. DEVELOPING LONGSUFFERING

   A. THROUGH LOVE...
      1. It is love that "suffers long" - cf. 1Co 13:4-8a
         a. Unless we love those who have wronged us, there will not be
            sufficient motivation to bear with them
         b. Therefore love (active good will) is fundamental to being
            slow to avenge wrong
      2. By growing in love (to remember how, cf. 1Th 4:9; 1Jn 3:16),
         we will grow in patience!

   B. THROUGH PRAYER...
      1. Paul evidently believed prayer would help the Colossians to
         have "all patience and longsuffering with joy" - Col 1:9-11
      2. Certainly the God who is longsuffering (cf. Ps 145:8) will
         strengthen those who desire to be like Him!

CONCLUSION

1. God has certainly revealed Himself to be longsuffering, as David
   wrote in his psalm:

   "But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
      Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth." - Ps 86:15

2. For those who desire to be truly His children, and led by His
   Spirit, they will want to become like Him, as David wrote just a few
   verses before:

   "Teach me Your way, O Lord;
      I will walk in Your truth;" - Ps 86:11a

3. The way of the Lord is truly one involving longsuffering, and it 
   will be a quality evident in the lives of those who bear the fruit
   of the Spirit!

May the Lord help us to be longsuffering with those around us!  May we
also be careful to respond to the Lord's longsuffering toward us in the
proper way... - cf. Ro 2:4-6

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Jehoiachin, the Bible, and Archaeology by Kyle Butt, M.A.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1406


Jehoiachin, the Bible, and Archaeology

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

For centuries, God had warned the sinful nation of Judah to turn from its wicked, idolatrous ways. Judah refused, and strayed farther from the true God. Due to Judah’s immoral, rebellious behavior, God sent His prophets to foretell the nation’s destruction and exile at the hands of the Babylonians. Just as God had predicted, the Babylonians crushed the forces of Judah and took them into exile.
The ruling king of Judah at the time of the Babylonian invasion was an 18-year-old young man named Jehoiachin. His brief reign of three months is chronicled in 2 Kings 24:12-15. The text states that he did evil in the sight of the Lord and that the Babylonian king (Nebuchadnezzar) came against the capital city of Jerusalem and besieged it. In response to this siege, the text states: “Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner” (2 Kings 24:12).
Jehoiachin’s miserable state of affairs lasted over thirty years, throughout the entire reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Yet, when Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he took pity on Jehoiachin and released him from prison. The biblical text mentions that the Babylonian king “spoke kindly” to Jehoiachin, and “gave him a more prominent seat than those of the kings who were with him in Babylon” (2 Kings 25:28). In addition to releasing him from prison, the Bible says that Evil-Merodach gave Jehoiachin a set amount of provisions: “And as for his provisions, there was a regular ration given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life” (2 Kings 25:30).
These rations given to Jehoiachin have become increasingly important in light of an interesting archaeological discovery. Several administrative documents have been found in ancient Babylon that record events and transactions that took place during the reign of Evil-Merodach. These documents were preserved on clay cuneiform tablets, of which many have been found broken into several pieces. Jehoiachin’s name, however, is clearly legible on the tablets. Not only is he mentioned, but documentation for an allotment of grain, oil, and foodstuffs also is also provided. Alfred J. Hoerth mentions the find in his book Archaeology and the Old Testament and includes a picture of the cuneiform tablet that mentions Jehoiachin (1998, pp. 378-379).
The significance of this find is not lost on the observant reader. The Bible mentions Jehoichin’s captivity and subsequent elevation and daily rations at the hand of Evil-Merodach. The secular record uncovered in the ruins of ancient Babylon verifies the facts to an exacting degree. Biblical accuracy is unparalleled by any ancient or modern book in existence. Only due to the superintending of a divine hand could a book as extensive, exhaustive, and historically infallible as the Bible have been produced.

REFERENCES

Hoerth, Alfred J. (1998), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Geography as the Most Important Predictor of Religion—Revisited by Kyle Butt, M.A.





https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4133

Geography as the Most Important Predictor of Religion—Revisited

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

On September 29, 2011, I debated Blair Scott, the Director of Communications for American Atheists, Inc. During the debate, he suggested that one of the primary reasons (if not the only reason) that people are Christians is because they were born into a society that is predominantly Christian. He contended that this fact cast doubt on the legitimacy of Christianity and the sincerity of the person who claims to believe in Christianity based on the truth of its claims. Blair is not the only atheist who has used this line of reasoning. When I debated Dan Barker on February 12, 2009, he stated basically the same thing as Blair, when he said, “there are other reasons besides reason and truth that people come to their faith.” He continued:
The most obvious one is geography. Geography is the greatest single predictor of what religion a person will have. If you were born in Baghdad, you can pretty much predict what religion that person will have. If you were born in Tennessee, you can pretty much predict what kind of person you are going to be with your religion, generally. It’s the highest predictor (Butt and Barker, 2009).
While it may be true that geography is the highest predictor of a person’s religion, it is important to understand what Scott and Barker are trying to say, and why it has no bearing on the truth of the proposition that God exists. The implication is that if most people in an area hold a certain religious belief, then the mere fact that it is the “traditional” belief of that area should cast disparaging light on the belief, or at least should call into question the honesty and intellectual rigor of those who hold the belief. This is a classic example of a logical fallacy known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy is committed when a person attempts to discredit an idea based on its origin, not based on the merits of the idea itself. In this instance, Barker, Scott, and other atheists are suggesting that a belief in the God of the Bible should be questioned merely on the basis of the fact that the idea stems from certain cultures or regions.
When this accusation against belief in God is studied critically, however, it becomes apparent that these atheists are making a moot point. What does it matter if the biggest predictor of a person’s religion is geography? Does that mean that the information is necessarily false? If that were the case, we could simply lump atheism in with all other “religions” and say that geography is the single biggest predictor of whether a person will claim atheism. Polls indicate that those born in China or the former Soviet Union, and certain other areas of Europe, are much more likely to be atheists than other areas of the globe (“Major Religions of the World…,” 2007). So what does that mean about atheism? Should it be rejected soley on the basis of geography? We are forced by rationality to understand that it means nothing—other than the fact that most people, including atheists, adopt the beliefs of the people nearest to them. It says nothing whatsoever about the truth of the beliefs.
Suppose we were to suggest that geography is the single biggest predictor of whether a person will know his or her multiplication tables by age 12. Would that mean that all those who learned their “times tables” hold an incorrect view of the world? Of course not. Would it mean that the local knowledge of multiplication casts suspicion on the truth of the math being done? No. It has absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of the multiplication tables. Again, suppose that we said that geography is the single most important indicator of whether a person understands how germs are passed. Does that mean that all those people who wash their hands because that is “what their mothers taught them about germs” have been taught wrong? Certainly not.
In truth, we intuitively know that geography has nothing to do with truth claims. Is it the case that truth seekers often break away from their culturally held beliefs, forsake false ideas, and embrace the truth that God exists, the Bible is His Word, and Jesus is His Son? Yes. It is also true that many forsake the cultural truths that they were taught as children, reject the reality of God’s existence, and exchange that belief for false worldviews like atheism and agnosticism. That happens as well.
The atheistic objection that ideas concerning the God of the Bible should be questioned because they are held by more people in certain regions has no merit and can easily be dismissed. It should, however, make us stop and think about why we hold the beliefs that we do. The apostle Paul admonished all people to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It is true that many people are guilty of clinging to a belief simply because their family or culture is closely tied to it, and the Bible explicitly cautions against doing so (cf. Mark 7:8-13). The fact that many people blindly cling to tradition says nothing whatsoever about the truth or falsity of the belief, but it does say something about the sincerity of the one who holds those beliefs without having truly “tested” them. If all the people in the world were to honestly assess their core beliefs based on truth and reason, they would become New Testament Christians regardless of where they were born or where they currently live. As Jesus explained to Pilate: “I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37).

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents” (2007), http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html#Nonreligious.

Blind, Biased Failure to See God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.





https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3754

Blind, Biased Failure to See God

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The flagellum that propels bacteria has long been recognized as a marvel of engineering. Scientists know that this rotating wonder, and the assembly to which it is attached, is a tiny but powerful molecular engine. One of nature’s smallest, and yet most powerful, motors rotates at over 200 revolutions per second, driven by incredible torque. Researchers have also long been puzzled by what enables the flagellum to come to a stop, and even reverse its rotation. In recent years they have discovered that it does so using a “clutch.” The bacterium can disconnect from the flagellum by releasing a protein that disengages the clutch (“‘Clutch’ Stops...,” 2008).

In the presence of such sophistication and intelligent design, one would think that researchers would recognize divine design when they see it. Sadly, however, the massive propaganda campaign that has inundated the science departments of American schools for a half century has blinded its victims to glaring evidence. Consider the lead researcher’s analysis of the clutch discovery: “We think it’s pretty cool that evolving bacteria and human engineers arrived at a similar solution to the same problem” (“‘Clutch’ Stops...”). Really? Nonsentient, uncoordinated, chance forces of nature somehow designed and created a technologically advanced device long before sentient, intelligent human engineers designed their own version? The same researcher also observed:
“This makes a lot of sense as far as the cell is concerned.... The flagellum is a giant, very expensive structure. Often when a cell no longer needs something, it might destroy it and recycle the parts. But here, because the flagellum is so big and complex, doing that is not very cost-effective. We think the clutch prevents the flagellum from rotating when constrained by the sticky matrix of the biofilm” (“‘Clutch’ Stops...”).
Wait a minute. “Makes a lot of sense”? “Very expensive”? “Big and complex”? The verbal gymnastics that evolutionists engage in would be humorous if not so sadly serious. These are terms that demand intelligence and sentience. The evolutionists constantly allow themselves the luxury of speaking as if the myriad organisms that display incredible design and purpose somehow created themselves and then consciously tweaked themselves over millions of years to become more efficient. They regularly cut themselves slack by speaking as if a mind—a conscious, intelligent being—were orchestrating the endless stream of biological marvels that grace the planet.

So blinded by irrational commitment to an outlandish theory, evolutionists are unable to hear the evidence screaming in their ears and flashing before their eyes, and come to the only logical conclusion: such intricate, complex design demands an intelligent, superior Designer. To deny it is bias of the first order.

“Thus says the LORD.... ‘I am the LORD, who makes all things…Who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness” (Isaiah 44:24-25).

REFERENCE


“‘Clutch’ Stops Flagella” (2008), Photonics Media, June 23, http://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=34236.

Destruction of Marriage Equals Destruction of America by Dave Miller, Ph.D.




 https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1981

Destruction of Marriage Equals Destruction of America

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Since the God of the Bible exists (a fact that can be proven—see Flew and Warren, 1977), then the foundational building block of human civilization is the family as God designed it. He created one man for one woman for life (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:3-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1ff.). All deviations from that fundamental norm (e.g., polygamy, bigamy, and homosexuality) contribute to the breakdown of the ethical fabric of society. On the Day of Judgment, homosexuality and same-sex marriage surely will be pinpointed as one of the foremost culprits responsible for the dissolution of moral cohesion at this moment in American history. The militancy, arrogance, and unmitigated defiance that homosexual activists continue to manifest is astounding—and only underscores the absolute essentiality of those who embrace traditional American (i.e., Christian) values to rise up and oppose their efforts.
Instances of the insane and suicidal determination to destroy society’s moral underpinnings are occurring with increasing frequency. One recent example involves a lesbian couple from Rhode Island. Though the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, a law remains on the books there that prevents issuance of a license to out-of-state couples if their home state would refuse to recognize their marriage. The Rhode Island couple filed suit in Massachusetts in an effort to gain recognition of their “marriage” in Massachusetts which, in turn, they hope will enable them to gain recognition in their home state. The superior court has now ruled in favor of the couple (Cote-Whitacre v..., 2006).
Similar pressure to conform to the politically correct agenda is seen in the widespread capitulation of America’s corporate community to threats, coercion, and intimidation by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender activists. Though corporations have been targeted for many years, homosexual forces are stepping up their efforts to force corporations to include “sexual orientation” in their non-discrimination policies. To be “gay friendly” is defined as supporting transgender workers, offering “inclusive” health insurance and other benefits, requiring diversity training for employees, and spending advertising money with GLBT organizations (Unruh, 2006). In other words, force everyone to endorse (not merely tolerate) the homosexual lifestyle. Bully employees into silence by stifling all free speech that questions the morality of homosexuality.
The success of the gay rights community along this line is alarming and heart-breaking. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest national homosexual political organization, reports an unprecedented 138 major U.S. corporations as having earned a top rating of 100% in their accommodation of alternative sexual lifestyles (“America’s Pro-Homosexual Giants...,” 2006). Some corporations quietly acquiesce. Others seem to jump on board the homosexual bandwagon with vigorous militancy. For example, Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, has asserted its enthusiastic support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender movement by initiating permission to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, as well as sponsoring the LGBT Diversity Week at a state university (“Wal-Mart Asks for...,” 2006; “Boise State...,” 2006). Likewise, Ford Motor Company is pursuing the same flagrant conduct (“Boycott...,” 2006). So are Walgreens (Sharp, 2005), Starbucks (Kleppinger, 2005), and many others. With the intense pressure to submit to political correctness, it is surprising that some major corporations are thus far resisting the intimidation by remaining unwilling to sign onto the homosexual agenda, including Reebok, Northwest Airlines, The Men’s Wearhouse, J.C. Penney, Nissan, Gallup, Kroger, Cooper Tire, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Toys “R” Us (Unruh, 2006).
What is the ultimate outcome of this surrealistic inundation of America by outright paganism and moral depravity? What inevitably must happen to any country or society that enshrines morally deviant behavior by undermining the biblical definition of marriage? The social stability of that nation is placed in dire jeopardy. Its demise is inevitable (see Miller, 2005). Indeed, in 1848, the Supreme Court of South Carolina articulated the sentiment of the Founders and early Americans regarding what would happen to America if a sizeable portion of its citizenry ever abandoned Christian morality:
What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other. Say that cannot be appealed to and...what would be good morals? The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of pagan immorality (City Council of Charleston..., emp. added).
The nation is headed swiftly in that direction. The destruction of marriage will inevitably result in the destruction of the nation.

REFERENCES

“America’s Pro-Homosexual Giants: 2006” (2006), WorldNetDaily, September 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52052.
“Boise State University Recognizes LGBT Diversity Week with Series of Events” (2006), Boise State Office of Communications and Marketing News Release, September 25, [On-line], URL: http://news.boisestate.edu/newsrelease/092006/0925gaydiversity.shtml.
“BoycottFord.com” (2006), American Family Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.boycottford.com/.
City Council of Charleston v. Benjamin (1848), 2 Strob. L. 508 (S. C. 1848).
Cote-Whitacre v. Department of Public Health (2006), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Superior Court, 446 Mass. 350,352, No. 04-2656, [On-line], URL: http://www.glad.org/marriage/Cote-Whitacre/9_29_06.pdf.
Flew, Antony G.N. and Thomas B. Warren (1977), Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Kleppinger, Meghan (2005), Starbucks: A Habit Easily Broken,” WorldNetDaily, August 25, [On-line], URL: http://states.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=8788&department=FIELD&categoryid= nation.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Is America’s Iniquity Full?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/305.
Sharp, Randy (2005), “Walgreens’ Wayward Wisdom—Supporting Gay Games,” Agape Press, October 21, [On-line], URL: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/10/afa/212005gst.asp.
Unruh, Bob (2006), “Corporate America Gets ‘Gay’-Friendlier,” WorldNetDaily, September 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52060.
“Wal-Mart Asks for, and Receives, Permission to Join Homosexual Marriage Group” (2006), American Family Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.afa.net/Petitions/IssueDetail.asp?id=210.

From Jim McGuiggan... Karma and Tina Turner

Karma and Tina Turner

I read somewhere that the singer, Tina Turner, was a firm believer in karma. The term is usually associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. It carries with it the notion that one’s response to life in a former existence determines one’s present and future states. Do a lousy job in this present life and you slip down the "social" scale in the next one. For serious believers it is a "way of salvation" and "salvation" (for those who can bear it without shaping it better to their liking) is the loss of individual existence. The "nirvana" sought for is to be absorbed into the universe as a drop of water is absorbed into the ocean. The word "nirvana" itself gives the image of a candle "snuffed out". It’s the loss of all desire, therefore the end of all suffering. The "heaven" that goes with this religious perspective is the loss of individual being. It would be hard to find a religious view so diametrically at odds with the Christian faith.
I understand that Tina Turner is no stranger to hardship and as hard as she has worked to make her mark in her chosen profession who could hold a grudge? But there are undesirable ramifications to convictions like these. Look, if atheism’s true, it’s true and that’s all there is to it but you can’t profess atheism without saying something about the countless poor souls that entered the world in torment, lived in torment and went out tortured. A caring atheist reflects on all these, shakes his or her head—hopeless. They have no hope that even for themselves all wrongs will be righted. And that might not matter much to them; they might feel that life has been satisfying to them and that they have no complaints. But their convictions relate not only to themselves—atheism proclaims "unyielding despair" for the entire tormented fellowship of humans. And it proclaims exemption from justice for all those that made life hell for the vulnerable.
Karma does something similar. Karma’s beautiful people; the healthy, wealthy, jet-setters whose lives are one long holiday are blessed in all these ways because they have earned their blessings, don’t you see. They have struggled their way through many previous existences and have responded nobly so that what we now see—when we see their blessed state—is the proof of their moral grandeur. Fair enough (if you can believe it) but their Karma convictions imply something about the tens of millions that live in hovels all over the world, the hundreds of millions that live in stink and squalor that defies description. The Karma doctrine of these beautiful people says that all the oppressed are getting what they’ve earned because of how they must have lived in previous existences. "They deserve their filth and squalor. They're getting paid for their moral failure."
Now I don’t think that people like Tina Turner are filled with the arrogance that would claim they were morally superior to all these tormented and abused souls. I don’t deny that they could be arrogant and make such claims, but I know no reason to believe it of anyone I've met or ever heard of. I do think that people are gullible and that some of the time their gullibility is the result of their refusal to think things through. A Christian that doesn’t look at his or her faith and what it should mean relative to others is shallow at best. An atheist that isn’t saddened by what his or her faith means for the entire human family in its tortured existence has no heart. The beautiful people who like the Karma notion (if they have a heart or mind at all) cannot have thought what they’re saying about the world’s great sufferers. The implications of Karma devalue the worth of all the suffering of all the ages.
What an awful doctrine.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading July 29






Bible Reading  

July 29

The World English Bible



July 29
2 Chronicles 19-21

2Ch 19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate Yahweh? for this thing wrath is on you from before Yahweh.
2Ch 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have put away the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.
2Ch 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 19:5 He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
2Ch 19:6 and said to the judges, Consider what you do: for you don't judge for man, but for Yahweh; and he is with you in the judgment.
2Ch 19:7 Now therefore let the fear of Yahweh be on you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Yahweh our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.
2Ch 19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites and the priests, and of the heads of the fathers' houses of Israel, for the judgment of Yahweh, and for controversies. They returned to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:9 He commanded them, saying, Thus you shall do in the fear of Yahweh, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
2Ch 19:10 Whenever any controversy shall come to you from your brothers who dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them, that they not be guilty towards Yahweh, and so wrath come on you and on your brothers: this do, and you shall not be guilty.
2Ch 19:11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of Yahweh; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and Yahweh be with the good.

2Ch 20:1 It happened after this, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2Ch 20:2 Then there came some who told Jehoshaphat, saying, There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea from Syria; and behold, they are in Hazazon Tamar (the same is En Gedi).
2Ch 20:3 Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek to Yahweh; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2Ch 20:4 Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help of Yahweh: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek Yahweh.
2Ch 20:5 Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of Yahweh, before the new court;
2Ch 20:6 and he said, Yahweh, the God of our fathers, aren't you God in heaven? and aren't you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? and in your hand is power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
2Ch 20:7 Did not you, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it to the seed of Abraham your friend forever?
2Ch 20:8 They lived therein, and have built you a sanctuary therein for your name, saying,
2Ch 20:9 If evil come on us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before you, (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.
2Ch 20:10 Now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned aside from them, and didn't destroy them;
2Ch 20:11 behold, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
2Ch 20:12 Our God, will you not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are on you.
2Ch 20:13 All Judah stood before Yahweh, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
2Ch 20:14 Then on Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of Yahweh in the midst of the assembly;
2Ch 20:15 and he said, Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat: Thus says Yahweh to you, Don't you be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
2Ch 20:16 Tomorrow go down against them: behold, they come up by the ascent of Ziz; and you shall find them at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
2Ch 20:17 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; don't be afraid, nor be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them: for Yahweh is with you.
2Ch 20:18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Yahweh, worshipping Yahweh.
2Ch 20:19 The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites, stood up to praise Yahweh, the God of Israel, with an exceeding loud voice.
2Ch 20:20 They rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in Yahweh your God, so you shall be established; believe his prophets, so you shall prosper.
2Ch 20:21 When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who should sing to Yahweh, and give praise in holy array, as they went out before the army, and say, Give thanks to Yahweh; for his loving kindness endures forever.
2Ch 20:22 When they began to sing and to praise, Yahweh set ambushers against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were struck.
2Ch 20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to kill and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another.
2Ch 20:24 When Judah came to the place overlooking the wilderness, they looked at the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped.
2Ch 20:25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches and dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
2Ch 20:26 On the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Beracah; for there they blessed Yahweh: therefore the name of that place was called The valley of Beracah to this day.
2Ch 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for Yahweh had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
2Ch 20:28 They came to Jerusalem with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets to the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:29 The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that Yahweh fought against the enemies of Israel.
2Ch 20:30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet; for his God gave him rest all around.
2Ch 20:31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
2Ch 20:32 He walked in the way of Asa his father, and didn't turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:33 However the high places were not taken away; neither as yet had the people set their hearts to the God of their fathers.
2Ch 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel.
2Ch 20:35 After this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel; the same did very wickedly:
2Ch 20:36 and he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish; and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
2Ch 20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, Yahweh has destroyed your works. The ships were broken, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
2Ch 21:1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 21:2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
2Ch 21:3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
2Ch 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel.
2Ch 21:5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 21:6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ch 21:7 However Yahweh would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always.
2Ch 21:8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
2Ch 21:9 Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots.
2Ch 21:10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day: then did Libnah revolt at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his fathers.
2Ch 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray.
2Ch 21:12 There came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
2Ch 21:13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, like as the house of Ahab did, and also have slain your brothers of your father's house, who were better than yourself:
2Ch 21:14 behold, Yahweh will strike with a great plague your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your substance;
2Ch 21:15 and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
2Ch 21:16 Yahweh stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians:
2Ch 21:17 and they came up against Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
2Ch 21:18 After all this Yahweh struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
2Ch 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
2Ch 21:20 Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years: and he departed without being desired; and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
 
Jul. 28, 29
Acts 17

Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
Act 17:2 Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Act 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ."
Act 17:4 Some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas, of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and not a few of the chief women.
Act 17:5 But the unpersuaded Jews took along some wicked men from the marketplace, and gathering a crowd, set the city in an uproar. Assaulting the house of Jason, they sought to bring them out to the people.
Act 17:6 When they didn't find them, they dragged Jason and certain brothers before the rulers of the city, crying, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here also,
Act 17:7 whom Jason has received. These all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus!"
Act 17:8 The multitude and the rulers of the city were troubled when they heard these things.
Act 17:9 When they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
Act 17:10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue.
Act 17:11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Act 17:12 Many of them therefore believed; also of the prominent Greek women, and not a few men.
Act 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroea also, they came there likewise, agitating the multitudes.
Act 17:14 Then the brothers immediately sent out Paul to go as far as to the sea, and Silas and Timothy still stayed there.
Act 17:15 But those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens. Receiving a commandment to Silas and Timothy that they should come to him very quickly, they departed.
Act 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw the city full of idols.
Act 17:17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who met him.
Act 17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also were conversing with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating foreign deities," because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.
Act 17:19 They took hold of him, and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is, which is spoken by you?
Act 17:20 For you bring certain strange things to our ears. We want to know therefore what these things mean."
Act 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the strangers living there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
Act 17:22 Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things.
Act 17:23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I announce to you.
Act 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, doesn't dwell in temples made with hands,
Act 17:25 neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things.
Act 17:26 He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings,
Act 17:27 that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Act 17:28 'For in him we live, and move, and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also his offspring.'
Act 17:29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man.
Act 17:30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent,
Act 17:31 because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead."
Act 17:32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, "We want to hear you again concerning this."
Act 17:33 Thus Paul went out from among them.
Act 17:34 But certain men joined with him, and believed, among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

From Gary... Q & A


How true the picture is!!! And its cute as well!!! After looking at it for awhile, I began to think about the question at the top and thought:What is it about human nature that makes us desire "the greatest"? Jesus was asked a "greatest" question as well...

Mark, Chapter 12 (WEB)
 28  One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the greatest of all? 

  29  Jesus answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one:   30  you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.   31  The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

  32  The scribe said to him, “Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he,  33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 

  34  When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

Human beings like to condense concepts so they can be understood and this is especially true of matters relating to God.  Love God and your neighbor is my own condensation of the Mark passage. The thing is: If you truly LOVE God, then you will want to please HIM in all things- so loving your neighbor is unnecessary to say!!! To go a bit farther... LOVE GOD AND DO WHAT YOU LIKE seems the best summary, but its not original with me.  

Anyway, always look to be better than you already are and eventually, you too may not be far from "the kingdom of God". Begin by following Jesus' answer...

ps. I wonder if the skunk was a house-guest or part of the household?