Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Mainstreaming of Evil

If you have access to a USA Today newspaper, you should check out today's issue and turn to the "Life" section. There's an article there that confirms yet again what Christians and other traditionalist-minded people have been warning about for eons. Slip sliding away, indeed!

There is a theatre production running now in New York called "The History Boys." The subject is a British grammar school teacher with a predilection for seeing children as targets of a carnal nature, if you get my drift. The article indicates that the play presents him as a sympathetic character. Coupled with recent stories in a similar vein from Canada and elsewhere, it indicates that there is indeed a growing movement afoot to mainstream the idea that such relations with children are acceptable. For some time, there has indeed been an organization dedicated to that idea, and kudos to Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly for keeping the heat on this sinister group. However, just like the steady drip, drip, drip of a faucet, the evil ideas of this organization seem to be wearing down the resolve of a society that ought to react in outrage.

Formerly, such a play would have been run out of town on a rail, but now it's receiving positive attention in a major U.S. newspaper. I have to wonder how many people will pay attention, get angry and act accordingly. Probably not enough, I am afraid. You'd think that the number of cases across the country of teachers messing around with their underage students would be enough to get a groundswell of righteous rage going. But instead, we seem to hear only a whimper. As an aside, a school district in Massachusetts had the unmitigated gall to push the homosexual option toward elementary school students and arrogantly told parents they could not opt their children out. Too bad I am not a parent in Massachusetts. I'd show them just how quickly I could opt...and then some.

It is sad to see the slow rotting of a once great society. It used to take centuries for a civilization to crumble from within. We're setting records in debasing ourselves. We'll have only ourselves to blame when this nation is finally judged by a righteous God.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Ninth Circuit Does It Again

Read the article below about the beknighted Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and another one of it's egregious social engineering rulings. This time, a Christian student is denied free speech rights given to other student activists, including gay activists. The student wore a t-shirt expressing his disapproval of homosexuality, and the school district - like the good Orwellians they are - decided it was verboten. Of course, the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the district. Here's the article:

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It is well known that the 9th Circuit is the most out to lunch court in the country. They are routinely overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court because their rulings are so "out there." I imagine this ruling will be overturned as well. However, this situation may well change if the meltdown in our culture goes unabated.

The long and short of it is..what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The far left can't whine and squeal for free speech rights and then deny them for others.

Thursday, April 20, 2006



Lake Superior, Gnostics and Really Bad Theology


I recently went for a trip to the shores of Lake Superior (specifically Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin. I also came within 100 miles of the Canadian border driving up the shore of Minnesota's Arrowhead/Sawtooth region. It was wonderful. Awe inspiring doesn't begin to touch it. All the more so because it sparked some musing on the current controversies raging within the Church.

While touring one of the Great Lakes Aquariums in Duluth, there was a section devoted to the lake floor. The haunting strains of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" were playing in the background. "The lake it is said never gives up her dead." The old Chippewa legend is actually based on fact. Lake Superior is so cold that bodies tend not to surface. The frigid water retards decomposure and the subsequent gas/bloating that makes a body rise to the surface. While standing on the lakeshore, you could almost feel the thunderous power of the lake under your feet. How could something so beautiful be so deadly? I would really hate being on a ship out in the ocean-like lake with 30 foot waves. No thank you. However, this eerie experience is useful in drawing several analogies. Like the Lake Superior lighthouse in the photo, the Word of God stands the test of time and remains anchored on the rock, no matter how the seas of false teaching and attacks on Christian orthodoxy might rage.

I was reminded of Revelation (specifically the judgment) when the sea gives up her dead. Pondering on the Resurrection led me to think of how that doctrine is under attack these days. So is the substitutionary atonement of Christ. God's omniscience is thrown into question as well as the very authority and reliability of Scripture. By now, this was a domino effect going off in my mind. How to apply it all. Probably not in this brief post. Consider this a "part one."

Those who know me and read my posting know that I have not been a very keen admirer of the Emergent Church because of the shoddy theology some of its adherents advocate. Christianity and postmodernism are incompatible with one another. But the EC kerfuffle is just one of many things at issue in this critical hour of human history. Much to my surprise, I have been in an ongoing dispute for some time on this blog with a couple of Gnostics. A new meaning for the phrase, "A Shadow of the Past." The battle waged by the Apostles and by early church fathers such as Irenaeus is surfacing again to trouble the people of God. Ultimately, whether we're talking about postmodern theology or Gnosticism, in reality it is nothing more than an attack on God's Word by men and women who claim to love Scripture. The enemy's old line "Has God said...." is ringing out through the ether yet again. And many are willing to follow the diabolical Pied Piper to Hell and Hamelin.

I was fairly depressed until viewing the Lake Superior lighthouse on the western shore. It reminded me yet again that these attacks are nothing new. The sea will rage but the Light of God's Word will continue to shine long after those who hold it in contempt are dead and facing their eternal destiny.

More later..hopefully in a more ordered, coherent fashion. This one was shooting from the hip.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I've Been Under the Weather..Again.

My apologies to everyone waiting for new material. I've been battling a stubborn bronchitis for the past month and it got the best of me again in the past few days. I have to be careful as it turned to pneumonia last year. I will post new material as soon as I feel up to it.

Warm regards,
Solameanie

Wednesday, April 12, 2006



TBS's Sick Sense of Humor

The previous post was put up during a brief coffee break this morning, and this one was done during the lunch period. Sadly, I am near losing my appetite. A nice little cave in the Ozarks symbolizes my disgust today. I am torn between the desire to crawl into the cave or to put a few people in it and seal it up (purely rhetorical, of course).

I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and have been since my youth. In my teens, I was even briefly a member of the Mythopoeic Society and remember sending in an outraged letter at a parody published years ago that changed the name of Bilbo to Dildo. I thought it was vulgar and insulting to Professor Tolkien and his story. I still think so and care little for any shrieks about "freedom of expression." If you like swilling out of a cesspool, go for it. Don't expect those of us with true taste and appreciation to share your taste for fecal coliform.

Well, now TBS is hinting in a promo for the hugely popular Lord of the Rings movie that the characters Frodo and Sam have a homosexual subtext in their relationship. Happening to know just a bit about the attitudes of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and their fellow Inklings toward such things, this is not only laughable in a scornful sense but also insulting to their memories, their work and their decidedly Christian values. If either of them were alive today, I wouldn't be surprised to see them threaten a lawsuit at worst, or at minimum decry this garbage with the contempt it deserves.

Sadly, I am afraid our culture at large is getting so debased that most people won't care. A sign of the times. Be warned. Worse days are ahead. Despite my ultimate biblical optimism over the denouement, it will still be very rough water for those of us who love the Lord and love His appearing.
The Gospel of Judas Part II

The following is from Koinonia House, the ministry of Chuck Missler. It is a good, brief piece on Gnosticism and the current flap over the so-called Gospel of Judas. Worth the read!

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THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
by Chuck Missler


"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3)."

The May issue of National Geographic magazine hasn’t even hit the news stands, but it has already triggered widespread debate. The feature article in next month's issue describes a 1,700 year old manuscript that claims to tell the story of Christ's last days from the point-of-view of history's most notorious traitor. This so-called "Gospel of Judas" conflicts greatly with the Biblical account and is only one of several noncanonical gospels, often called the "Gnostic Gospels". Scholars widely agree that none of these texts contain historically reliable information about the life of Jesus and that all were likely written in the second century or later. However they do help us learn more about false teachings that early church leaders like the Apostle Paul preached against in book of Colossians and elsewhere.

Gnosticism is a system of false teachings that existed during the early centuries of Christianity. Its name came from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis. The Gnostics believed that knowledge was the way to salvation. For this reason, Gnosticism was condemned as false and heretical by several writers of the New Testament. The Gnostics consisted of diverse groups, from high-minded ascetics to licentious charlatans.

Sources

Our knowledge of Gnosticism comes from several sources. First, there are the Gnostic texts, which are known as the New Testament Apocrypha. These texts are not recognized as Scripture because they contain teachings which differ from those in the Bible. Then, there are the refutations of the Gnostics by the early church fathers. Some of the more important ones are Irenaeus, Against Heresies; Hippolytus, Refutations of All Heresies; Epiphanius, Panarion; and Tertullian, Against Marcion.

A third source on Gnosticism is the New Testament itself. Many Gnostic teachings were condemned by the writers of the New Testament. Paul emphasized a wisdom and knowledge that comes from God and does not concern itself with idle speculations, fables, and moral laxity (Colossians 2:8-23; 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:16-19; Titus 1:10-16). John, both in his gospel and in the epistles, countered heretical teaching which, in a broad sense, can be considered Gnostic.

Gnostic Gospels

A large number of spurious documents emerged during the centuries following the ministries of the Apostles and were universally rejected by the early church. Copies of a group of these were found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries. These include The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Philip, The Gospel of Mary, The Gospel of Truth, and about four dozen others.

They are not "gospels" at all, but rather speculative opinions, totally devoid of any verifiable facts. Furthermore, they were written under false pseudonyms in an attempt to gain legitimacy. The early church rejected any documents under pseudonyms as being inconsistent with the concept of God-breathed inspiration. Lastly, they were all written centuries after the Gospel period - in contrast to the contemporaneous eyewitness accounts in the New Testament.

False Teaching

Ethical behavior among the Gnostics varied considerably. Some sought to separate themselves from all evil matter in order to avoid contamination. Paul may be opposing such a view in 1 Timothy 4:1-5. For other Gnostics, ethical life took the form of libertinism. For them, knowledge meant freedom to participate in all sorts of indulgences. Many reasoned that since they had received divine knowledge and were truly informed as to their divine nature, it didn’t matter how they lived. Such an attitude is a misunderstanding of the Gospel. Paul, on a number of occasions, reminded his readers that they were saved from sin to holiness. They were not to have an attitude of indifference toward the law. They had died to sin in their baptism into Christ (Romans 6:1-11) and so were to walk “in newness of life.” John reminded the Christians that once they had been saved they were not to continue living in sin (1 John 3:4-10).

These Gnostic teachings also had a disruptive effect on fellowship in the church. Those who were "enlightened" thought of themselves as being superior to those who did not have such knowledge. Divisions arose between the spiritual and the fleshly. This attitude of superiority is severely condemned in the New Testament. Christians are “one body” (1 Corinthians 12) who should love one another (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John). Spiritual gifts are for the Christian community rather than individual use; they should promote humility rather than pride (1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16).

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8)."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Another Leftist Politician's Cynical Abuse of Scripture

It must be something in the water. First Bill, then Hillary, and now John Kerry. In a recent article from the New York Times, Kerry said several things to raise my eyebrows, but his comments on Jesus and poverty really took the cake. The Times calls Kerry . . . "A Roman Catholic who has struggled at times to talk about his own faith, Mr. Kerry also told the group that he believed "deeply in my faith" and that the Koran, the Torah, the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles had influenced a social conscience that he exercised in politics. "

That leads in to the following quote by Senator Kerry:

"I will tell you, nowhere in there, nowhere, not in one page, not in one phrase uttered and reported by the Lord Jesus Christ, can you find anything that suggests that there is a virtue in cutting children from Medicaid and taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich."

(Insert big sigh here with some teeth grinding)

While I will grant you that the Scriptures address general principles about dealing with the poverty-stricken (and not in the way most radical leftists try to sell you), I must demur here. Jesus never talked about Medicaid. In fact, many of the things He did discuss dealt with individuals and not governments. More government (and with that, more taxes) is not the solution to poverty. The Scriptural principle is to help the truly needy, but also expect the needy to work for an honest living. There is no excuse for generational welfare and you can't justify generational welfare by Scripture.

Methinks that politicians such as John Kerry would be better served by sticking with what they really know instead of trying to wax eloquent as incompetent theologians.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Gospel of Judas

Isn't it interesting in terms of timing that I do a few posts on Gnosticism, and here comes a slate of news stories about the so-called Gospel of Judas. The hype suggests it's the greatest discovery since the Resurrection of Christ. No, it really isn't. It's merely another spurious (in the sense that the story contained within is bogus) Gnostic Gospel rejected soundly by the church centuries ago. Here is a piece by Dr. Al Mohler regarding the Gospel of Judas. I recommend reading it and keeping it in your records.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

More Hollywood McCarthyism

Click on the area below marked TEXT. This will take you to an item you need to read to believe. In trying to explain why Sharon Stone's "Basic Instinct 2" is a big box-office bomb, the director tries to blame it on the current administration and "puritanical" mindset in the country. He says anything erotic has been "banned."

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Earth to Hollywood. Censorship by definition is government imposed. If there was censorship, the movie would never have been made or marketed in the U.S.

Did you ever stop to think that the public just might be getting tired of the celluloid cesspool and maybe..just maybe..longs for a good story, well told and well filmed, where they can sit down with their families and not have to have the kids cover their eyes and ears? That there are subjects to be explored with more societal weight than how someone's groin looks or functions?

Oh, before I forget..how about coming up with something original, too. I am beginning to think the industry can't do anything else but sequels.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Movie "Review" and Random Thoughts

It's funny how reflection on one subject can prime the well of thought. I could actually make three or more posts on what I have to say as they are different subjects, but preferring economy as I do, just be patient and wade with me. My thoughts for this post are more of a "shoot from the hip" without reflecting on theology - a gut level reaction if you will.

I watched a very funny movie this afternoon from 1935. It's called "Remember Last Night?" The stars include Robert Young (Marcus Welby for the television generation) and Edward Arnold in a rare role as "good guy." The plot involves a bunch of high society types who enjoy a night of debauchery and then some. A house-to-house drinking party that ends in a murder. Unfortunately, the next morning finds the revelers unable to remember anything that happened because they're all hung over. The dialogue is witty, sardonic and subtle. No swear words, no sex scenes. Not even really any blood. However, this film could not be made today in the same way partially because of political correctness and partially because the present generation doesn't find dialogue funny unless it would make The Happy Hooker blush. The clever repartee between the cast would also probably go over a lot of heads because few in the audience would get the jokes. It also contains a scene where the revelers put on blackface masks. I was surprised when I saw it, of course. Such a scene would be guaranteed to cause offense today, no matter what the context. And that is what sparked my initial reflection.

I went to the Internet Movie Database afterward to see if they had any reviews of this film, and they did. While some enjoyed it, many others found little to praise in it. The dialogue was vapid..the actors boring...not edgy enough. But most of all, the blackface scene was shocking..shocking. If these people had actually paid attention and thought about it a little, they might have come away with a different conclusion. It is clear by the end of the film that these high-class revelers were actually very revolting people. The disdain of actor Arthur Treacher, the butler that set the standard for British butling, was spot on and made for a great finis (No, that's not a typo). Amid the comedy, the murders, the art deco etc..the very point of the film was that these people deserved disdain. But that is lost on audiences today because we have a very vocal group of what I call the Professionally Offended.

I am not excusing racism for a moment. Yet, racism is just one of many sins and is not restricted to Caucasians. The far left among ethnic minorities will hotly dispute that of course. They feel that only ethnic minorities can experience racism. No one else has the right to the term. Patently ridiculous, of course. Blacks hating whites because they are white is just as evil as whites hating blacks because they are black. However, their sole frame of reference is racism against blacks in America..never mind the other countries around the world where there's enough ethnic hatred to go around for everyone. These people would entirely miss the point that the person or people they are savaging are more likely than not on their side.

Now, everyone bends over backwards to the extreme for fear of causing the slightest offense. Recently, someone in government caused a national firestorm when they dared use the term "niggardly" in talking about an economic issue. The term has absolutely nothing to do with race and means roughly the same as miserly. The person who used the term didn't even have race - much less a slur - on his mind yet he got pilloried in the press and was forced to apologize. I can't remember if it led to his resignation or not. But what a shame, how utterly stupid, and what a shining example of what I am talking of. The Professionally Offended saw a chance to get their mugs on the T.V. cameras, yell loudly and even generate more dollars for their "cause." If racism ended overnight, these people would be devastated because their power and livelihoods would vaporize immediately. Count on them to gin things up with a vengeance if they sense the klieg lights are being turned off and the cause they are supposedly fighting for looks as if it's headed toward resolution.

In a different but related note, the hypocrisy of the far left on issues such as this is breathtaking. They applaud and celebrate the "edgy" as they put it. Make a film about two male sheepherders getting it on in a tent and they're in ecstasy. They're striking a blow for "tolerance." Make a film that portrays Bible-believing Christians as nut cases, closet queers, wild-eyed zealots or money-grubbing hypocrites, and they'll give the filmmaker an honorary knighthood or at least an Oscar. However, let someone criticize Sharon Stone for flashing her nether regions on the silver screen, and they'll squeal like stuck pigs about their freedom of expression while sounding dire warnings of a coming fascist regime bent on censorship. Let someone make a film, write a play, or publish a novel portraying their selected people or issues in a negative light (even in jest or satire) - hoo boy! Prepare to be sent to the Hague for a hate or thought crime. The far left is far more Orwellian and dictatorial than the people they enjoy despising so much.

I've said enough now to have certain quarters frothing at the mouth like canines with hydrophobia, yet I have one more comment..this one on the subject of illegal immigration.

Nope. On second thought, that had best be in a separate post after all. I'm tired now. More later.