Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's All About Race Now

It's interesting when arch-conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal journalist Geraldo Rivera come to a meeting of the minds.

Check out the latest Human Events column written by Pat Buchanan. Pat is controversial himself and has been accused of racially-charged rhetoric in the past. But I think honest people will admit that he has a point.

If George Zimmerman is guilty, I want him in jail. If he is innocent of killing Treyvon Martin in cold blood, he needs to be exonerated. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. But we're not going to find out that truth until there is a full, impartial investigation. People like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson only hinder that process from taking place. I have thought for a long time that keeping things stirred up is in the interest of these two would-be "ministers." Instead of proclaiming peace and reconciliation in Christ as Christian ministers are supposed to be doing, they're out fanning the fire, even when local civil rights leaders in Florida expressed quite clearly that they did not support Sharpton's tactics.

For his incitement, maybe Sharpton ought to be in jail along with Zimmerman. Especially if his tactics, coupled with that of the New Black Panthers who issued a "fatwa" on Zimmerman's head, result in bloodshed. From what I am reading, it might well have already contributed to some.

Sad. Horrible. For the Martin family. For the Zimmerman family. And for our country.

Martin Luther King would have been appalled.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Government-Mandated Compassion is Not Compassion!

I don't visit message boards much anymore, although I did use them as a witnessing platform in their infancy. After a while, the trolls took over so I lost interest and patience with it. 

Having said that, I have kept in touch with a few people whom I "met" via the boards, and one of them just passed on to me the following comment made on those message boards long ago about coerced government compassion, i.e. redistribution of wealth. It was so good that I wanted to repost it here. I am not sure who originally wrote it, but kudos to you, whoever you are. 

The only viable way for a society to assist those in need is voluntarily. When one group of people demand that the rest of society give them money so that they can distribute it to the needy, one can be certain that those people will, as they do, keep the lion's share of the money for themselves, and only distribute the bare minimum necessary in order to maintain the illusion that they are actually accomplishing anything, and thereby to justify further theft. One can also be sure that that group of people will soon come to the realization that the maintenance of their positions of power demands a constant supply of needy people, and that, fortunately, needy people will also have too little power to knock them from their perch.

The more a government redistributes wealth, the more power they hold over everyone, the more wealth they keep for themselves, and the less everyone else has.

People, left to their own devices, will take care of each other until they're compelled to be a part of a society that's predicated on theft, at which point they'll jealously guard what little they have, and will always be looking for more to steal.

The single greatest fallacy behind government is the irrational belief that those who desire power enough to pursue it could ever value anything more than they value their own interests.

People are the solution, but first the people must be free.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Turkey Wants a Picnic

I was torn today between doing a serious post on the Supreme Court and Obamacare, or having some fun. I elected for the fun option.

This shot was taken by a co-worker out the back door of our office in Loves Park, IL. If you look closely at the picnic table, you'll see a tom turkey looking wistfully off into the woods and creek behind the property. I would have invited him in for a snack, but didn't know he had paid us a visit until the photo got emailed around. He could be our office mascot.

We've had plenty of wildlife around since the office was built in the early 90s. Back then, we were virtually the only ones out there and the area was nothing but pasture and woods. It's pretty much all built up now, except for this particular area and the creek in back. Most of the wildlife seldom comes by these days, but we did have a coyote amble by a month ago. Fun stuff to see.

Was I speaking of Obamacare earlier in the post? Ooops, no. I was talking about a turkey.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Praying for VP Cheney

The news came out this weekend that former Vice President Dick Cheney underwent heart bypass surgery to deal with a long-term heart problem that had at last gotten to life-threatening status.

Reportedly, Mr. Cheney is doing well post-surgery. Please join me in praying for a speedy recovery. And also that the angry left sending tweets hoping for Cheney's death will receive a little Holy Spirit conviction for their wicked, spiteful words.

In a way, I'm kind of glad they say this stuff via Twitter and other social networking sites. Nothing better to reveal the real face of people than to see their venom first hand.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pat, Please Stop!

At least this time it's not making predictions about earthquakes and hurricanes. But as far as I'm concerned, this is close to being bad enough.

This time, televangelist Pat Robertson is waxing eloquent on the fate of football player Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos because they traded off Tim Tebow. I'm not a football fan in general, but it has been interesting and, at times, irritating, to see how the media and everyone else under the sun devils Tim because of his unashamed Christian faith. He has fans and detractors, but most people with football knowledge agree that Tebow's playing style is unorthodox and his throwing ability needs improvement.

Nevertheless, Tim managed to lead the Broncos to a pretty decent showing last season. Yet John Elway and Denver elected to bring Manning in and to trade Tebow off.

And that leads Pat Robertson to speculate about what might happen to Manning if he gets hurt again. Divine retribution? Is that what we're supposed to read between the lines?

Pat should have learned by now that his statements get picked up and go viral, and give Christians in general a black eye. He ought to stick to preaching the Gospel, and keep his mouth quiet about everything else.

In my humble opinion.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The "Southern" Strategy

If you've been watching politics of late (and how can you avoid it, ad nauseum), you no doubt have heard that the so-called "Southern Strategy" or "Silent Majority" issues have been in the news again.

Liberals have been fanning the alleged racism of these terms, or more accurately, behind the political strategies involved. Interestingly enough, I found this linked article from the University of Michigan, which expresses another viewpoint worth considering—namely that racism wasn't so much the driving factor in the increasing conservatism of the South.

I think this needs some attention, since all conservatives are racists according to liberals. I'm honestly surprised that something like this—an alternative narrative—could come out of the U of M since most universities lean left and academic freedom to a leftist means squelching all other points of view.

Yes, I know. I'm painting with a broad brush—spray can is more like it. But today, I've got a "tude." You'll have to excuse me. The "tude" will pass when political season is over. I hope.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dr. Mohler on the Death of Britannica

Okay, maybe "death" is too strong a word, since the Encyclopedia Britannica will continue to publish online. But the printed book version IS dying. And for that, I share Dr. Al Mohler's outrage.

Some of us still prefer to hold a book in our hands and turn the pages. I have an early 2000s edition of The World Book in my library, and will now have to scour for a print edition of Britannica. I don't care how old it is. It's the principle of the thing!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Take a Hike, Orange County?

If you were looking for the outrage of the week, I have one for you.

It seems that Orange County, California—land of the fruits and nuts—wants to try and tell people they can't have Bible studies at their own homes. That is, without a permit.

I can't believe that Christian attorneys wouldn't litigate this outrage. I know what my reaction would likely be, and that's to tell the county to take a hike.

It's always a difficult issue, i.e. civil disobedience. Scripture tells us we are to be good citizens, and to obey the laws of the land. However, when the laws of the land conflict with our duty as Christians, or to impede our ability to freely proclaim and practice our faith, my own view is that we are not bound to follow those laws. And yes, that disobedience of men may carry a price.

This issue is complicated further by the unique nature of America. We are not governed by monarchs or dictators, although some are trying to change that. We the people are supposed to be the ones in charge, through our elected representatives.

And that brings me to my next point. What happens in California tends to spread like gangrene. California voters need to express their displeasure loudly with local officials and see to it that this local ordinance is repealed. And if the officials won't do it, fire them and replace them with officials who still believe a man's home is his castle.

I would write more, but I'm boiling. I'd better stop.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Frustrated Musicians

Sometimes I have to chuckle at myself. When I'm not tearing out my few remaining strands of hair.

Now what kind of intro is that for a Sunday night devotional? But yes, I'm headed in that direction. Bear with me, please.

My mother went down to see my sisters recently, and that left me with some down/quiet time. The frustrated musician in me thought it would be an excellent time to record some ideas I've had burbling around in my head for a while.

For me to do any recording is very time consuming. I am not a proficient guitarist, bassist or keyboardist. We won't even discuss vocals in polite company. The point is - it takes me a long time to lay tracks down. And I absolutely REFUSE to use Auto-Tune in any way, shape or form. I always thought if I did an album, I'd do what Queen did for years in their album credits. "No synthesizers." I use synths, but hate Auto-Tune with a passion. Only one band I can think of used it cleverly, and that was Genesis on their "Calling All Stations" album. Keyboardist Tony Banks used it briefly in a keyboard solo, and all that was happening there was octave shifts. That I can handle.

The long and short of this post is that I tried to record on computer over the weekend. It decided to lock up on me after finally nailing a keyboard part that would come easy to most kids who know how to play Chopsticks. I lost most of what I had recorded. The first person that says "Did you save often?" will get slugged.

Now, what about the devotional?

Isaiah the prophet rightly records . . .

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6)

We do our best, and our best is never good enough to meet God's standard of perfection. But in that knowledge we can have peace if our trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ. His righteousness IS good enough. He died on the cross for our sins and rose again for our justification before God. Because of Him, we can be clothed in the righteousness of Christ and come boldly to the throne. And as the wonderful song says, "He is ever interceding." 

We don't have to all be virtuoso musicians or vocalists. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. He first loved us, so we love Him. And through His enabling power, we live lives that are pleasing to Him, hopefully demonstrating His great love to those around us. We get to share the joy when someone new is drawn to the Lord in saving faith, through the preaching of His Word and the power of the life-changing Gospel. 

That's music enough. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Flu-Driven Post

I am under the weather today, so today's post will be a visual one. A couple of items sent to me by friends for amusement. More than amusing, they make pretty important points.

And then there's this . . . 

Monday, March 12, 2012

And then there's this...

It was only a matter of time before someone saw Satan's face in a funnel cloud. Only the fangs are missing.

Tornado Season: Eyes to the Sky!

I'm not a meteorologist, but as a broadcast vet, weather has always fascinated me. I've had to cover my fair share of weather-related events through the years.

Today, in light of the beginning of spring and tornado weather, I offer up this interesting article from Stripes, the military life magazine. While the United States is the leader in tornadoes, other countries can and do get them. England tends to get the most of them in Europe for some reason.

Keep your eyes to the sky!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Lifetime Project

Today was another wonderful day at church, both in the worship service and in Sunday school. In Sunday school, one of our pastor/elders has been leading us through 1 Peter and it's been rich.

The study has me thinking about Christian behavior in a fallen world. Many professing believers today seem to think they have to copy worldly behavior to be "authentic." At least that's often one of the excuses given. In reality, I think it's just antinomianism rearing its ugly head albeit with new clothing. But it's not a witness for Christ. Far from it.

The words of the Apostle Peter—inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself—reflect the goal we all should have; the attitude toward living, thinking, breathing, relating etc. I'll post it below and let God's Word speak for itself.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:13-19). 

Friday, March 09, 2012

I Want One!!!

No politics or other controversial fare today. Today is the day for fun. And coveting....(just kidding. Sort of.)

Take a good gander at the photo on the right. You can find out more about it by by clicking here. And no, I am not a salesman for Samash.

I just happened to be on Ebay this morning looking at "Travel Guitars" and happened on quite a selection, from acoustic to electric. I saw one acoustic version that was reasonably priced and inviting, and then I saw this one.

Always liked the Steinberger headless guitars that were popular in the 80s. I especially liked a similar headless doubleneck bass/guitar combo Mike Rutherford (Genesis-Mike & the Mechanics) used during the Genesis Mama Tour in 1983. But this one will do. Small, light, portable and pluggable.

Anyone want to give me an early birthday present?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Tribute to Davy Jones and the Monkees

If you get some time, watch this Youtube clip of The Monkees in concert last year. There are multi parts to it, and this is part one.

I haven't enjoyed something like this in a long time, not only for reliving some youth, but also for the obvious poke this concert is at the critics who said The Monkees were only a studio creation who couldn't play. As you'll see, they are in fine voices at their age, in the original keys, and ALL play their instruments with vigor. Even Davy Jones, who passed away recently.

I hope the surviving group can find a way to release this as a combined DVD in tribute to Davy. It really is a fine, fun, exuberant concert, and they're obviously all having a blast. Peter Tork really impresses with his energy on stage, especially having gone through cancer treatment over the past couple of years. Micky puts on a tour de force vocal performance along with guitar and drums. Davy plays guitar on occasion, and Peter plays both guitar and keyboards. Plus he does "Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher" on banjo - a real surprise.

The only sad part is that Michael Nesmith wasn't part of it. He once said, "I don't tour. Get over it." I have a hunch he might wish he had, at least this last one in 2011 given that it would be Davy's last.

And obviously, I can't close this out without a prayer request. Not sure of the beliefs of Tork or Dolenz, although I did see a quote that indicated Dolenz' atheism. "God is a verb, not a noun." Hmmm. Davy was reportedly Catholic or a church goer. Nesmith I think is sort of New Agey. Pray that Davy's passing will get them all (and the fans) thinking about eternity and their need for Christ.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Seventh Sola "Primer"

While I have a good number of readers here at The Seventh Sola, very few comment. I have no strong feelings about that. While I welcome civil visits, a weblog's primary purpose is for an individual or group to post their thoughts on the things that interest or concern them.

Now and then, I do get a comment from someone disgruntled about what I say here, or how I say it. Some don't like my conservative political viewpoint. Others don't like my conservative Christian theology. Some don't like either. And that's okay. In the history of this blog, I believe I have only banned two people for crossing the line into abusiveness. I have deleted others for posting either spam or obscenity/profanity. But in general, I'm pretty tolerant of what people post. My general rules are visible in the sidebar to the right.

I've been doing this since 2005, so I thought it might be good for a short bullet point refresher about me and what the purpose of this blog is.

As indicated in my masthead, I observe events around the U.S. and the world, and comment on them from my perspective, which happens to be politically conservative. I am also biblically conservative with a Reformed bent. Note: when I say "Reformed," I do not mean that I am a member of the Reformed Church. It means that I adhere to a largely Calvinistic view of soteriology, Christology and the Godhead. I do not share the amillennialism of Reformed Theology. I am premillennial. If you don't know what those terms mean, look them up. I won't define them in this post. Now, some points:

1. My posts generally deal with the following issues, with some exceptions occasionally: Global/geopolitical issues, arts and entertainment, U.S. politics, theology, theological controversies in the church universal, theological controversies in specific denominations including my own when they arise, and Christian lifestyle.

2. The views I express on all of the above issues are filtered through the lens of what I hope and pray is a biblical worldview.

3. I try to write with clarity and passion, occasionally with forcefulness when I think an important issue is at stake.

4. While I don't ever want to go out of my way to be purposefully hurtful to someone from a motive of malice, I will on occasion use sharp rhetoric to make a point. This includes dealing with false teachers in the church who disseminate their teachings publicly. Matthew 18 does not apply to this. Matthew 18 deals with personal offenses, not false teachers. Scripture indicates that false teachers are to be confronted and corrected. Ideally by their local churches, and personally when possible. However, in this day and age of media - that is not always possible. Books are written. People have television and radio programs. Some have shielded themselves with layers of protection so they don't have to deal with those who would lovingly confront and correct their errors. Cult leaders are notoriously hard to deal with in person due to the levels of shielding they put up around themselves. So we have to take other public routes of dealing with publicly disseminated error.

5. As the Apostle Paul demonstrated with the Apostle Peter in public, no one is above being corrected. Sometimes such correction has to be communicated severely. That is quite biblical, straight from Paul himself. The Lord Jesus also demonstrated it from time to time. There is a difference between dealing with someone who is unregenerate and untaught. That calls for patience and gentleness in witnessing. But false teachers are a different animal altogether. When I am dealing with theological error, I will not mince words and will make no apologies.

6. Many Christians often display a complete misunderstanding of the word "love." You have Christians all over the fence on this. Some call themselves "grace" Christians and you'll hear nary a word about sin pass their lips. Joel Osteen is a good example of this. In fact, I have a hard time acknowledging what he does as true Christian ministry because he really doesn't preach a full Gospel. These types get very, very upset with anyone who uses any sort of confrontational mode in dealing with people. This is a serious unbalance biblicly. You can't have a Savior without knowing you need one. You can't come to Christ in saving faith without acknowledging and repenting of your sin.

Case in point. With this narcissistic culture, if you say "Jesus loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life," the response you will get will be, "Well, of course Jesus loves me! What's not to love?" Or you might even get a "Whatever." Salvation will not come through that route.

On the other hand, you have those whose sole focus is hellfire and damnation. Harold Camping was once like that until he totally went off his rocker. There have been others. Their attitude is "God might take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but I certainly do!!" There is no grace, mercy, kindness, patience or love displayed in these types. It's all judgment. That is not biblical. Yes, there will be judgment and damnation for all who refuse Christ, but the glorious Good News is that no one has to face that judgment because of what the Lord Jesus did on the cross. He died for our sins and rose again from the dead for our justification. That's good news, wonderful news. And the fact is, I - or anyone else as a believer - has no right to sit in a superior attitude toward anyone. We're beggars, but we know where the bread is, as Bob Bennett used to sing.

A biblical position is balanced between the two. Recognizing that God's wrath, judgment, love, mercy and grace are all part of His righteous character. I have been on occasion mistakenly put in that second category, which is unfortunate. And the charge usually comes from the "grace" Christians, or sometimes universalist heretics. I have also gotten it from people who think I'm too kind and charitable. The time I congratulated nearly 100-year-old George Beverly Shea on his birthday and for decades of service to Christ comes to mind. I really got in trouble from someone on the judgment/wrath side because Shea works with Billy Graham, and Graham has made some really, really dumb comments theologically through the years. But that's another subject for another day. Simply using it as illustration.

7. There are times that I will not discuss theology on here, or geopolitics. Sometimes I will post things that grab my attention from other blogs, news sites etc. Sometimes I will post little fun things that I find amusing. You don't have to. It is my blog, after all.

I could go on, but there are the basics. If you really find me all that offensive, then by all means don't disturb your peace of mind. Go read or listen to Osteen or watch old Disney movies. I won't be your cup of tea.

Same thing if I am not legalistic or hardcore enough. I like rock and play guitar/bass/keyboards - all very badly. I like to watch old movies from the 1930s and 40s. I read books when I have time. I have a sardonic sense of humor, as dry as the Mojave Desert. Some people get me. Some don't. But I am who I am. I don't wear highwater pants, horn-rim glasses, use Brylcream or any other type of oil, gel or pomade in my hair. When I preach or teach, I don't yell, scream, perform any sorts of histrionics or spit into the third row. I'm calm and deliberate. I might put you to sleep. So if any of those things bother you, by all means go listen to old Jack Hyles sermons. I'm not your cup of tea or Postum.

But if you don't mind reading the scattered thoughts and reflections of a middle-aged Christian with a jaundiced eye on some matters, come on in. The water's fine. I always hope to be faithful to the Bible and my Savior. You might not always agree with my approach, but I do try to make an effort not to promote falsehood. Sometimes I do find out some stories I link end up being bogus, and I have to correct the record. But I do try to be careful, recognizing that in politics, one person's fact is another person's lie or distortion, or selective telling of the truth. Christians ought to have a higher standard than that, and I try. Don't always succeed.

So welcome to the world of The Seventh Sola. I hope you understand and enjoy my posts, or at least are challenged and made to think. I hope you get amused and convicted. I hope you laugh and cry at the right places. If you get honked off and bolt for the door, my prayers and best wishes go with you. Pray for me, as I will for you. The Lord promised to complete the work He began in His people, and he's still filing and whittling on me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

More on the Rush Limbaugh Controversy

I was not going to post on this subject again, until a rather lengthy exchange on Facebook this evening with a liberal Christian friend got me cranked up. I am not going to repeat what I said earlier, i.e. that Rush should not have used the words he used, yada yada. Instead, I am amazed at the faux outrage of liberals who have ginned up this story to the point where they're making it sound like Rush was advocating sending people to the ovens at Auschwitz. 

In a word, this is no longer about a popular talk show host using insulting language and being rightly corrected for it. This is now being used conveniently by the left to try and silence conservative voices on the air and off. I'm not having any of it. 

People act like what Rush said is some sort of unprecedented horror with political speech. I wonder how much reading some of these liberals have done of old newspaper articles, editorials and cartoons from colonial days and the first oh, say, 100 years of the Republic? Some of them even written by some of the Founding Fathers? People got quite upset. I seem to remember a duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Hamilton even got killed. Not advocating the Code Duello, but you get my point. That was then, this is now. 

If this controversy had ended with rebuke of what Rush said a couple of days ago, and his apology, I might have been content to leave it there, just as I would with other radio hosts who have said controversial, insulting things and then had to backpedal and apologize. A few liberals have found themselves in that boat from time to time, but they don't get called on it much. More than a few conservative Christians, including me, did not like the choice of words and said so.

Now, however, I am beginning to believe that this has become simply a convenient tool to do what liberals have desired for a long time - to silence a powerful, effective conservative voice. They've tried to beat Rush in the radio market and can't do it. They've tried bringing back the Fairness Doctrine to try and control the message that way. Next they tried changing rules on local programming to try and weasel control through the back door. Thus far, they've failed. But this affords one of the strongest opportunities they've had, and they're milking it for all its worth. Again, I think some of the outrage has become a bit of faux outrage. Well acted and loud.

I've listened to Rush for a long time, although not for hours straight on end. Usually in the car going to and from lunch. Other times, I have listened for extended periods of time. Yes, he does mock liberal shibboleths and skewers liberal politicians for their views/hypocrisy. He roasts them often in humorous ways. He's even skewered some Republicans from time to time ala John McCain etc. I see this done by liberal entertainers and talk show hosts routinely. I didn't hear too many people on the left get upset with Pastor Jeremiah Wright for "God damn America." How about Reverend Jesse Jackson and "Hymietown?

Sometimes people have a hard time dealing with satire. Sometimes satire is genuinely funny, but sometimes it gets really offensive. Other times, people will illustrate absurdity by being absurd. When people get it, they laugh. When they don't get it, they get mad. If your ideas and beliefs are being mocked, ridiculed and shown to be ridiculous, you'll get mad. Whatever side of the fence you're on. Sometimes the ridiculous deserves ridicule. But here we are again, trying to outshout each other and trying to prove the other guy is worse. It gets very wearisome.

I don't have to defend everything Rush has said over 20 years. Sometimes he's made me mad. Sometimes he's made me laugh. Sometimes he makes me think. While I don't agree with him in lockstep, I do believe strongly in the PRINCIPLES he defends i.e. traditional conservative principles of limited government, strong national defense, anti-abortion etc. And he is very effective at defending those principles. The left would love it to get him off the air. And it won't end there. Hannity will be next. Michael Reagan, Michelle Malkin, Michael Medved, Mike Gallegher, name your talk show host. Rush is only the beginning. When I still co-hosted a radio program (until last September) I'm sure I said things on the air at one time or another to make someone want us banned or taken off the air. I remember when we did a program talking about where Masonic lodge beliefs and practices contradicted Christianity,, you wouldn't believe the howls of outrage. My co-host and I never made personal insults at anyone, but I know we've made plenty of people mad, at some personal cost from time to time. My prayer for us is that we did our best to honor and glorify Christ and not speak out of our flesh when being critical or corrective.

The long and short of this? We'd better support free speech, and on this, I sound like a liberal. Because as soon as you squelch me (or Rush), they'll come and squelch you next. And every single one of us will be held accountable by the Master for what comes out of our mouths.

Monday, March 05, 2012

David Limbaugh Defends His Brother

Today, Rush Limbaugh's brother David posted a column in defense of Rush for the onslaught he's endured since the Sandra Fluke controversy erupted. I am reposting it here for you to read and ponder.

I will have more to say on this tomorrow. As David says, this is becoming much much more than simply anger over inappropriate words. This is being conveniently used for something else. And that's making me mad.

A Theologian Discovers His Eternal Error

Theologian William Hamilton has assumed room temperature. At least in this life.

As you'll see in this Assist News Service story, Hamilton died at his Portland, Oregon, apartment at the age of 87. He was famous for declaring God "dead," I suppose in some metaphorical fashion. Here is a brlef clip from the ASSIST story:

Overwhelmed by the problem of evil and human suffering in the 20th Century - especially the Holocaust -- Hamilton ceased to believe that God remained active and engaged in world affairs.
In a 2007 profile in The Oregonian newspaper, he recalled his journey away from orthodoxy, "I wrote out my two choices: 'God is not behind such radical evil, therefore he cannot be what we have traditionally meant by God' or 'God is behind everything, including the death camps -- and therefore he is a killer.'"

More notably, Hamilton wanted to "redefine" Christianity to make God unnecessary. To say his journey was a journey away from orthodoxy is putting it mildly. Other former atheists/agnostics in history—some of whom had quite high candlepower when it came to intellect—wrestled with the things Hamilton did and came to a quite different conclusion. C.S. Lewis was one of them.

I take no joy that Hamilton is dead. He no doubt now realizes the error of his ways, and will eventually hear from the One Whom he declared dead . . . "Depart from Me. I never knew you."

It's a double tragedy. Not just for Hamilton and his family, but also for the many who were misled through Hamilton's teachings. He will be held accountable for that as well.

A tragedy indeed.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Passing Sunday Thoughts

Normally for a Sunday post, you'd expect me to put up something of a spiritual/biblical nature. My subject matter and linked story below for today are not so much in that vein, although if you ponder it a bit, no doubt you will think of many Scriptures that are appropriate to the subject at hand.

Andrew Breitbart (pictured right) passed away last week. Right away, the media, Facebook, Twitter and blogs went nuts. Lots of vile things were posted from "both sides of the aisle."

Then, Real Clear Politics posted this thoughtful piece about harsh invective and the harm it does. It really is food for thought.

I don't know that Andrew Breitbart ever claimed a Christian faith, although he was conservative. After this contretemps, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh got into some controversy when he used some inappropriate language in reference to Sandra Fluke, who testified before Congress advocating the view that insurance companies (including coverage provided through religious institutions) be forced to provide coverage for birth control medicine. Overlooked in the brouhaha was Rush's main point - our tax dollars should not be used to provide free birth control pills. But because of the name calling involved, that point got lost in the wind. Not that it would have mattered much to those pushing for the idea. They're hell bent on it no matter what, and Rush's unfortunate choice of words helped them in obfuscating the issue. To his credit, Rush has apologized to Sandra Fluke. I'm waiting for a bunch of liberals to apologize now for the nasty things they've said about Rush, Andrew, Sarah Palin (who has had some REALLY vile stuff said and written about her) and a host of other conservatives. I probably shouldn't hold my breath. The far left is so elitist that they don't think they're accountable for what they say and do. The ends justify the means, you see.

(Oops. Hold it. Stop. Get a grip. Joel, you're about to get steamed up enough to do what you're about to encourage everyone NOT to do. Bite your tongue and restrain your keyboard)

The Guttmacher Institute's research shows only 14-17 percent of women use birth control meds to treat non-contraceptive medical issues. Do the math. That means the vast majority of women DO use it to prevent pregnancy. The larger debate here is —in my view—sex without consequences, and who should pay for it. Yet, I am not sure we will be able to get back to that central point. Because invective is standing in the way blocking the road.

Invective, when it is unleashed, brings all meaningful discussion and debate to a dead stop. Let's leave aside who is the most guilty of it. As soon as you rebuke one side for it, the other side in true 3rd grade playground fashion, says, "Nyah, nyah. Your side does it too. Your side does it more. Your side does it worse." And then its an endless back and forth with the main, important issue sitting on the sidelines looking aghast and amazed. As you no doubt noted in my "in bold" parenthetical above, I had to catch myself before I began joining in the playground games again. I did - barely.

I think that's how some want it. Too much money, and too many vested interests in the status quo, or in turning what's left of our free republic into the socialized, cradle-to-grave nanny state mess of Western and Southern Europe. Never mind Greece and the rest of the European economies are teetering on the brink of disaster, and never mind the United States is trillions of dollars in debt. After a while, it really does all look intentional. And it's heartbreaking. If you think you're seeing broken lives now, just wait.

But we really do need to keep talking about it and debating it. Clearly and at times forcefully. But can we begin by toning down the invective? All of us? The Bible warns us what a deadly fire can get started with an untamed tongue. I'm still trying to learn the lesson, with varying degrees of success and failure.

Friday, March 02, 2012

So Disobedience to Christ is Following Him?

I feel like Reagan, having to begin another post with "there you go again." But I have no choice.

Justin Bieber and Bear Grylls are in the news so to speak, with their additional comments on their version of Christianity. This article will explain things further, as I want to keep my own post brief. I'm tired today

The point I want to make after you've read the news article is this. You don't claim to be a faithful, believing Christian and then live in intentional disobedience to the Lord. Scripture is plain in its commands that believers are to be part of a local church for teaching, worship, edification, fellowship, and being equipped for ministry. That's our purpose for being. To bring God glory through our lives and to point the lost to the Lord Jesus, hoping and praying that they will respond to the Gospel in saving faith.

But instead we have Christianity by cafeteria plan, where you can just be "spiritual" and ignore what Scripture says on a whole host of subjects. I find it very irritating, and I can only imagine what the Lord thinks of it.

If we live lives intentionally in disobedience, then I have to question the genuineness of someone's faith. After all, Jesus said "If you love Me, keep my commandments." We are not saved by commandment keeping. We cannot earn our way to Heaven by human works of righteousness. However, our obedience is proof of our faith. Our obedience is proof that we truly do love the One who paid the price for our sins in the cross.

My would-be brothers and sisters who think they can dictate terms to God on what it means to follow Him had best think again. They're in for a rude awakening.

Update: It was pointed out to me that there was a "comments" section to the linked article, and in that comments section, someone made the case that the article was incomplete and not quite fair to Mr. Grylls and his views. I didn't read the comments section when I first saw the article..just the article itself. My bad. 

Granting that point, I have seen other articles where Justin has made similar statements, but we should give him the benefit of the doubt. I could go through a whole litany of other well known younguns who have claimed Christ, yet have moved on to rather tragic behavior. Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, etc. I hope Justin can avoid those pitfalls. Part of helping to make sure of it is by getting in a regular Bible-preaching, Bible-teaching church where you have others helping to hold you accountable. That was really my primary point, and I stand by it.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Vote for The World Tilting Gospel!

Greta Van Susteren is taking a vote on the best book you've read in 10 years. Dan Phillips' "The World Tilting Gospel" got my vote. If you've read it, cast your vote here.

And if you haven't read it yet, please get it and do. You won't regret it.

Sola's note: When you click on the link to Greta's blog, you have to scroll down to the comments section to comment/vote. I didn't realize this when I "voted" via Twitter. Dummy me.

The Next Gay Brouhaha

ABC News is making sure this story gets headlines today. And it's sure to become the latest brouhaha for the nightly talking heads, AND it's sure to provoke the latest round of Christian-bashing.

What's the row? A Catholic priest denied communion to a woman living in an open lesbian relationship at her mother's funeral. Exactly what you would expect the church to do in being faithful to its teachings. But let's be clear:

No one advocates cruelty or a lack of sympathy toward someone who has lost a loved one. However, that isn't what's going on here.

Biblically faithful Protestant churches would do the same thing i.e. denial of communion to someone living in sin, although typically we don't serve communion at funerals. But that's irrelevant to those who are intent on forcing homosexuality down the throats of everyone, no matter how much it might offend their moral scruples OR violates the laws of God.

You would think this lesbian woman who was supposedly raised Catholic by a devout Catholic would have the minimum of cognizance that the church is not going to countenance her lifestyle. And let's leave the issue of priests and nuns and sexual abuse aside, as it's not relevant. Those priests and nuns who engage in such things are violating Scripture and Christian morals as well, and they ought to be defrocked and disciplined. And prosecuted where appropriate. Someone's hypocrisy does not make untrue the moral/biblical principle.

Those who will milk this story for political purposes will get by with it for a while, and a sympathetic media will play their minor-key violins ad nauseum. But in the end, God always has the last word and the last laugh. His judgment won't be funny to those on the receiving end.