Worthy Quotes

Here are a few quotes I found this week on the web. The following two are from Bill L.

Jesus is hungry but feeds others; He grows weary but offers others rest; He is the King Messiah but pays tribute; He is called the devil but casts out demons; He dies the death of a sinner but comes to save His people from their sins; He is sold for thirty pieces of silver but gives His life a ransom for many; He will …not turn stones to bread for Himself but gives His own body as bread for people. – D.A. Carson

Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there.The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting… joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the Gospel. – John Piper

Mark adds these two:

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” ~ H. L. Mencken

Can I add that Mencken is right. I’ve come across a lot of old fools in my 49 years.

The Purpose of Christ: To Preach, To Save, Not to Heal

In my recent discussions on Christian Science, I’ve had some interesting comments. To get a CS saying anything at all is a good thing since they are taught not to debate, argue or discuss their beliefs if there are any really tough questions… like, “how can you say matter doesn’t exist? If I hit you in the face, I’m sure your non-existent face would feel the full brunt of my non-existent fist.” Never mind facts.

And the following writer, Hank, ignored some facts about the discussion when he made the following comments:

I find it interesting that when people are so engrained in thought (some call it being brainwashed) that they fail to see the big picture – and whats more, unsubstantially(sic) reject ideas that challenge their own. They fear what they don’t understand.

Hank’s problem is that he didn’t read all the posts that I’ve written concerning Christian Science. If he had, he would have known that I was raised as a third-generation Christian Scientist. My father was a Christian Scientist (he isn’t any longer, he is now a true believer), and his father was a Christian Scientist. I joined the Mother Church when I turned 21 and I was a faithful member for at least a year after that. Then the illogical aspects of the religion begin to bother me. So to accuse me of not understanding is a ridiculous charge. I understand the religion and the fact that the founder of CS, Mary Baker Eddy, plagarized  her “truth” from a man named P. Phenias Quimby, who was literally a snake-oil salesman. This is not taught to us growing up. The leaders of CS don’t want their members to realize their beloved leader was a quack. Tell me, who is brainwashed in this scenario? The one who questions Christian Science and their beliefs, or the one who is a devoted follower of MBE?

Hank goes on:

How did Jesus heal, really? Ask yourselves that. I would challenge each of you to actually read, and try to understand what Christian Science is, and the Bible for that matter. Becuase I don’t think you do.

This is one of those charges made against those who don’t know the faith. I’m sure it works well among those not raised in the faith. He was addressing both me and my brother, both raised in the faith. He is also asking about the healings of Christ. He is making the mistake of placing too much emphasis on Christ’s healing and not enough emphasis on the statements made by Christ on why He came to earth. Jesus is very clear about His purpose and it is not to teach us how to heal ourselves, as those in Christian Science would have you believe. Listen to Christ’s own words on the subject:

Mark 1:38 “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”

Yes… He came to preach. Over and over again Jesus preached to and taught the people. This is one of His primary purposes. He was preaching about the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43), about repentance, about the need to trust in and believe Him for salvation. He would say such statements that if we wanted to be a part of Him, then we must drink His blood and eat His flesh (John 6.) He was alluding to the union we have with Christ, not His literal blood and body, and this would be played out in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. He would teach that the Law, when fully understood, condemns all mankind, and all need to trust in Him for salvation. He would teach and preach on both heaven AND hell. In fact, we have more information about hell that came directly from Jesus than any other person in the Bible. After all, He was the one that created hell for the purpose of dealing with Satan, a being that He created, and Satan’s minions (also beings that He created, See Matthew 25:41). He would also tell us that in heaven, we are not like we are here on earth. There is no marriage in heaven. By doing so, He is saying that this is the way we are created, with material bodies that are fallen and need to be redeemed by Him.

He redeems us by calling us to repentance for our sins.

Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Now the CSer might say He is addressing the physically ill, so this points to a purpose of healing. The problem is that central to their theology is that they see the material world as evil and non-existent. They believe that since God is Spirit and that God is all in all, then the only true existence is that which is spiritual. But God didn’t make a spiritual world, but a material world. He even went so far as to call all things that He made good. So to call matter evil is to dispute what God has said about His creation.

Are we not spiritual as well? Originally, yes. There was a spiritual aspect to us but when sin entered into the world, all mankind died with Adam spiritually speaking and physically as well. Physical death represents the spiritual death that Adam introduced into the world via his sin against God. Therefore, we are all born physically alive, but spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:1ff. shows us that we are spiritually dead until God makes us spiritually alive. Jesus called this being “born again.” This new birth must come from God, the Holy Spirit working in our lives, in conjunction with the preached word of God. This is why Jesus preached so much.

He also came so seek and save that which was lost. This is what He preached. Luke 19:10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Again, the point is that Jesus states His purpose over and over again, and never once does He point that His purpose is to teach us how to heal ourselves, or to save ourselves, or to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. He is telling us that we are incapable of doing all these things, and that we need to depend upon Him for everything. John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

In other words, we cannot do anything apart from Him. If we bear any fruit worthy of repentance, it is because we are in Him and the Holy Spirit is in us helping us, leading us, guiding us in bearing that fruit. None of this comes about without saving faith in Him. (Realize that CSers do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, but that He represented the Christ. Right there, they differ on who Christ is. See this link concerning His deity.)

The point is that CSers believe that Jesus came merely to teach us to heal. This is what MBE taught for she was always sick and healing was a major concern for her. She says that she healed herself when “a spirit” came upon her and taught her the truth of CS. Her testimony is that she was near death because of a fall onto the ice. She was walking, fell on the ice and was near death. They summoned a doctor and the doctor said there was nothing he could do for her (there was nothing wrong. The same doctor would say that when he examined her, she wasn’t anywhere near death). Then in the middle of the night, the spirit came, taught her all about CS and she was “miraculously healed.”

From this healing comes the well spring of their theology and religion. The problem is that healings they always boast of are never ones that are verifiable like the ones that Christ did. In other words, they are never healings that are obvious to the human eye, as were the ones that Christ did. Every miracle that Jesus performed was such that it was obvious that a miracle had taken place, blind people seeing, the lame for decades walking, the dead rising, etc. For the typical CSer, the testimony of healing is always questionable because they are the ones testifying to the sickness and the healing. It’s not something that we can see, as in the lady in the wheel chair who was paralyzed for 35 years, suddenly got up and walked.

In fact, you can find just as many cases where the sick in CS ended up dying as they were in healing. This has always been one of my problems with CS. If it is true, then why don’t they walk through a hospital or two, heal everyone inside and show us the validity of their claims. If their belief system is true, then it should be true at all times and for everyone. Not just those inside CS. If CS is true then why don’t they go into the Children’s hospitals and close them down because of their ability to heal? They don’t do so because they cannot. The CSer is just as powerless as we are when it comes to healing ourselves by positive thinking. That stinking matter, that is sinful and fallen, will not cooperate with our positive thoughts.

In fact, a closer look at true Christianity will show that often times, sickness is used by God to bring us into a closer relationship and dependence upon Him. The Father lovingly uses our sufferings for our benefit and His glory. This is the truth of our sanctification. We can expect to suffer on this side of glory because our Lord suffered as well. Jesus did come to alleviate suffering, but not on this side of glory. Only those who believe in Him for salvation will benefit in His glory and redemption.

Since Christian Scientist do not believe in Jesus Christ of the Bible, then they are not partakers of this blessing. This is the problem with cults, they use the same terminology that we do, but to them it means something different. This being the case, they do not worship the true and living God of the Bible, but a false god of MBE’s own making. We can only pray that God opens their eyes to the truth as He did for me, my brothers and my father.

Pops is Wheels Up!

As I write this, Pops is wheels up! (For those of you in Luxura, AR, that means he has lifted off in his plane by now.) We had a great time together and he even added to my power tool collection! We got out early Wednesday morning and worked on the yard and he discovered that I did not own a leaf blower. That being the case, we had to go to one of our favorite stores, Home Depot, and get a leaf blower. He bought it for me and said, “Happy Birthday.”

No, it’s not my birthday. But it’s a belated birthday gift. We got a Toro leaf blower that blows up to 235 m.p.h. Yup, it has some power and I put it to good use blowing off the driveway and the back patio. Did you know when you use a leaf blower, it only takes about 31 seconds to blow off the patio as opposed to the 5 minutes it would have taken me to sweep it? You could say the leaf blower is a “labor-saving device.”

We also went to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dad has never been to one since Dick hasn’t opened any stores in Texas yet. That really needs to be remedied. Dick would do well in Texas if he would just put a few stores there. We didn’t buy anything, but we did come out of there with a $10 gift certificate. Not bad for visiting the store.

We also did a lot of eating, playing with the boys and spending time together. He was able to join us for our prayer meeting Wednesday night at the church and got to meet some of the members. He said we have a good group of people and a nice little church.

I truly love my Dad and enjoy spending time with him. I’m also glad the boys got to spend time with their Pops. They need to know their grandparents.

Lizard Pizza — Ma’am, Would You Like Lizard With Your Pizza?

My poor cousin shared this picture with us on Facebook. This was her photo of the pizza delivered to her home by Pizza Hut. Yup, that is a lizard on the pizza. No, she didn’t think of it as a delicacy.

She took it to the corporate office where they offered her more coupons for pizza. Yeah, right! Likes she is going to order more pizza. I say, “get an attorney!”

Makes you think twice about ordering that pizza!

NOAA “Scientist” Fail On Predictions

You certainly wouldn’t want your doctor or your investment manager to have such dreadful results when it comes to predictions in their field. But for some reason, we just look the other way when the “scientists” at NOAA predict the number of hurricanes we have every year. I know all the news services are all a twitter about Danielle because it could hit the east coast, giving the talking heads something to talk about.

What they are failing to tell you is that the doom and gloom predictions that NOAA made earlier in the year are not bearing fruit. Let’s recap what they said:

NOAA’s forecast predicts as many as 23 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, with three to seven becoming serious enough to be classified as major hurricanes. Named storms come with top winds of 39 mph or higher. The agency worries that as many as 14 could turn into hurricanes, with winds in excess of 74 mph, and three to seven could be Category 3, 4 or 5 storms with winds of at least 111 mph.

“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.

Danielle is the the fourth named storm of the season. For NOAA predictions to come true, we would need 19 more storms between now and Nov. 1. And of those 19, three to seven need to be severe. Why is it that no one ever questions these guys about their failing predictions year in and year out. If our doctors were this bad, or our investment managers, we would fire them quicker than you can say “evacuate.” But no, everyone just nods their heads thinking that these guys are the “scientists.” Yet their ability to predict is terrible. Why give them any credit whatsoever? Why even ask them the question? They don’t know how many hurricanes there will be. They are just a clueless as the average guy on the street. We might as well asked kindergartners for their predictions. They might have better luck at it.

Pops Is Flying In Today!

Yep! My Dad is flying in today on 54 Whiskey. That’s what he calls his plane. I’ve been telling the boys for the past week that their “Pops” was coming. Andy is really excited and cannot wait to get to the airport to see Pops and his plane. Hopefully, Pops will take the boys up for a ride in the next few days.

Now if we can get everything ready for his arrival.

In Memory Of…

My mother, Velda Rose Hammons. She died five years ago today while undergoing an MRI. She had been struggling with cancer for the previous five years and it came back in a flash.

The last decent conversation I had with her was earlier in the month while down at Edisto Beach, in South Carolina. I called her from the beach to tell her how much Andy loved playing in the sand, (he tried to eat it.) He was only 7 months old at the time. We talked about some of the times we would go to the beach in Galveston growing up. But mostly, she talked about how weak she was. She told me that she was dying, cancer had spread all over, and I knew it to be true.

Several weeks later when we finally got the call that she was in the hospital we flew into Houston and drove up to Lufkin to see her. She couldn’t see Andy because she was too sick -had a staff infection on top of it all- and it was too dangerous for Andy to go into the hospital room. The hardest part was realizing that if she came out of the hospital, she would have to go into Hospice care or a nursing home. There was no way she could take care of herself at that point.

It was also disappointing that she could not see Andrew. He was only 8 months old at that time, and she had yet to see him. It didn’t look like it would happen on this trip. We were heading out on Sunday and we did not know when we would come back to see her, if indeed we would.

Sunday night came. On the drive out, I realized I could not go. It was one of those times when my soul would not rest with the thought of leaving. Before we got to far, I turned around and went back to my cousin’s house where we had been staying. I was glad I did. On Monday afternoon, I talked to the head nurse and told her that I wanted to bring Andrew into the room so that she could meet him. She said if I wrapped him up in a blanket and made sure he did not touch anything, he could go in the room, where I could unwrap him, and only let her look at him. So we did. For a few brief moments, she finally got to see my son. Since she was on a ventilator, she could not speak, but I knew that she was smiling. I knew she also had a zillion questions but there was no time for that. I wrapped up Andy and we headed out of the hospital.

That was the last time I saw her. The next morning she died of a pulmonary embolism while undergoing an MRI. I’m glad we turned around. I’m glad she got to meet my son. I’m glad we got to say goodbye.

Stephen Fincher Gets National Praise — Roy Herron National Scorn

Brain Walsh of Townhall.com wrote about the 8th Congressional District here in Tennessee and really praised Stephen Fincher. He writes:

Last year, no one would have mistaken Stephen Fincher for a man on his way to Congress. Democrat Rep. John Tanner had never won with less than 62% of the vote — but after Fincher, a young gospel-signing farmer from Frog Jump, hauled in $300,000 during his first month campaigning in September 2009, it was clear the incumbent couldn’t afford to coast, and he retired. Despite a massive financial disadvantage after two more well-funded Republicans jumped into the GOP primary, Fincher scored nearly 50% in the five-way primary–a hugely impressive victory that underscores his unique appeal to everyday Tennesseans.

This is great to see. After an ugly race to win the nomination, he will be facing an ugly race against the Dem. Nominee, State Senator Roy Herron. Poor Roy. He’s is as liberal as they come and his 24-year political career spells that out. If he were to go to Washington, he would fit right in with the Pelosi crowd on every pet issue she has. He is pictured in the Dictionary next to the words: LIBERAL DEMOCRAT — a redundancy in the mondern age, see men like Roy Herron. Pay raises for himself, while he votes for higher taxes for the people, very pro-choice, will tax us into oblivion while excluding himself in the same legislation, will lick the boots of Pelosi and Reid on regular basis.

Of course, Herron will try to distance himself from his own voting record. But that darn blogosphere and internet will get in the way. Hopefully, he will lose big and he can retire to some place more to his liking besides Western Tennessee.

Walsh adds:

The Democratic nominee, state Sen. Roy Herron, has nearly as many local detractors as he has fans. By now Tennesseans are used to watching the 24-year career politician run from his liberal record. A fundamentally flawed candidate whose initial cash-on-hand advantage is mitigated by his extensive political baggage, Herron embodies why most people are sick of politicians. Tennesseans won’t like Herron’s history of raising taxes on the middle class while voting himself multiple pay raises; or his support for taxpayer-funded abortion; or his support for the job-killing legislation known as “card check.” It’s no wonder Fincher received 8,000 more votes than Herron, the prohibitive favorite in a non-competitive Democratic primary, even though the hotly-contested GOP battle split the Republican vote five ways.

What I wish is that Roy Herron would have the integrity to run on who he is, instead of trying to distance himself from being a Democrat. Herron has made his bed. Quit trying to fool us on it. If you are ashamed of being a liberal, then quit being a liberal. This tells me the liberals know they are inherently wrong on the positions they take. Otherwise, they would run on who they are. But they don’t. They always try to sound like conservatives because they are ashamed of what they have done. Hopefully, Herron will find plenty of time to repent of his 24-year record as a liberal. And yes, I’m implying that being a liberal is sinful. Just think of all the children that have died at the hands of abortionist due to liberals being liberal. They have no real regard for life, not ours or anyone else.

I also wish that Fincher would not bow to Herron’s charges and take a truly conservative approach on Social Security. Herron charged him with the scare tactic saying that Fincher would seek to “gamble” seniors money on the stock market. Fincher took the bait and ran with it. He should not have. He should have stood his ground on conservative principles and said that if Social Security had been privatized back in the 1940, seniors would not have to worry about thing when it came to their retirement. Just look at how the government had mismanaged everything. The private sector does so much better. Alas, Fincher fell for the trap and ended up taking the liberal position. I wish he had not done so. Read the full article here.

But alas, he will do far better than Herron would and I still support him.

Christian Scientists Have Great Testimonies, But Those Testimonies are Still Based on Lies

When I posted “That Dreaded Animal Magnetism” earlier in the month, I knew the likelihood of a real Christian Scientist showing up would be high. I didn’t have to wait long. The writer was making a case for CS being true, but only based that claim on his experience. The problem is that his experience is not based on the whole of Scripture, but selected passages used by Mary Baker Eddy to bolster her argument. Using such hermeneutical tactics can lead one to get the Bible to say just about anything we want.  It is bad theology and based upon a lie. Truth is not truth if it is based partly on a lie.

For instance, the visitor writes:

For me, prayer as taught in Christian Science is effective, when I open my heart. And I’m sure this is an action that must occur between the individual and God. It’s an admission to oneself that God’s Christ comes to us right where we are.

We already have a departure from true Christianity. Did you see it? Probably not because what he wrote seems to be close to what many evangelicals tend to say from time to time. The key is that “God’s Christ” and the Christ of the Bible are two different Christ’s. To a Christian Scientist, Christ means the higher idea, the perfect expression of love and thought. Christ is not a man, namely Jesus, but Jesus was merely a man living out this higher idea and being an example to us. Hopefully the red flags are going off for you because you are seeing that this is not the Christ of the Bible, but Mary Baker Eddy’s imagination.

(Never mind that the writer also ignores the basic Biblical tenant of total depravity, meaning that we are dead in our trespasses and sins UNTIL God sends His Spirit, in conjunction with His word, to convert our hearts from being dead to alive.)

It doesn’t matter what Jesus we follow, if that Jesus is not the one in Scripture, he is false. No one has the right to make God into our own image therefore we must be sure that the One we believe in is of Scripture and not our imagination. Jesus is the Christ, who came to die on the cross and deal with our sins. To separate Jesus from the Christ is to have another Christ all together. CSers don’t believe in sin at all, and believe that His death was unnecessary for atonement because, since God is love, He really wasn’t mad at us in the first place. All that wrath stuff was just incorrect thinking. But God is Holy and must deal with sin, because sin is a transgression against Him and His person. Our sin is an affront to God. We may think lightly of it, but we have offended the holy and eternal God of Creation and that must be dealt with. His holiness demands retribution.

That retribution can either come by us, meaning we rightfully spend eternity in hell paying off our debt of sin to the Father (which is for eternity since He is eternal), or we can believe in the God-Man, Jesus Christ, to deal with our sin on the cross. The CS apologists continued:

I suppose many of the healings I have had through my study of Christian Science could have been treated effectively through medical science. Yet my first response is to find resolution through prayer alone. Those I have helped through prayer and I have experienced complete healings of flu and cold symptoms, sprained ankles, dislocated joints, migraine headaches, problems from severe accidents and many other challenges.

All this sounds great, but these arguments could have been made by a tribal Shaman praying to a mountain or tree God. Nothing in this claim points to anything validating his faith. They only show that he persevered and got well. The human body can take care of all of these ailments and found “complete healings.” I guess that last phrase means that the migraine headache went away. Also please note, none of the healings were of the nature of those that Christ performed. When Jesus healed, it was obvious the person was really truly ill. He was healing migraine headaches, but people covered with leprosy. The diseases and illnesses were so severe that there was no doubt the person in question was ill. Like many of the faith healers in Christianity, all these ailments could have been faked.

Also, these events that the writer claimed are true are based on his experience. They do not prove or disprove the claims of Christian Science. We also know that Satan can perform miracles as well, so how do we know that the man’s healings were not the work of Satan. We do not. By they way, before you accuse me of attributing these healings to Beelzebub, and thereby committing the ultimate sin, notice that the writer said he did these things. He is not attributing these healings to the Holy Spirit or even Jesus Christ, but his ability to think and pray correctly.

He continues:

Yes, there have been times when I felt I needed to turn to medical science for help and there is no Christian Science church hierarchy that dictates I may never turn to medical science. But these experiences haven’t stopped me from turning to prayer again the next time I am challenged. With each healing I may attribute to prayer, I grow in character and feel closer to God’s love.

Again, his entire statement is based on what he does, and there is no glorifying God in the least. True believers know that if we bear fruit, it is because the Holy Spirit is working in us, so that God gets all the glory. Christian Science doesn’t seek to glorify God, but man. Another little indication that it is false.

The logo on the cover of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, has these four statements made by Jesus (from Matthew 10), “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.” To me, casting out demons means that in my prayers, I can’t just affirm God’s goodness and His perfect protection despite what the world might throw at me. I must also cast out the demonic thought that it might be God’s will that I suffer or die or that God made the problem I’m suffering from. This negative self-talk is what Mrs. Eddy described as animal magnetism.

Here we do have an appeal to the logo for Christian Science. Hardly convincing evidence to the truth and validity to his claim. The real kicker is that “negative self-talk” that he refers to. True believer knows that we will suffer on this side of glory. It is what it means when the Father rebukes us, or prunes us (John 15:1-5, Hebrews 12:3-11). God disciplines us, allows us to suffer and uses those sufferings for our spiritual growth. They are not given to us so we can pull ourselves up by our spiritual bootstraps and correct our thinking. But used to chasten us because He truly loves us. If Jesus Christ (one and the same) suffered on the cross, can we, as His followers and children, expect anything less? The New Testament doesn’t seem to indicate this at all.

Christian Science is not true Christianity, just another lie and form of rehashed Gnosticism. It doesn’t matter that our visitor is sincere in his beliefs, he is sincerely wrong.

Neil also wrote a post about sincerity of beliefs doesn’t mean those beliefs are right. As he points out, you can be sincerely wrong. He wrote:

In my airplane experience I sincerely believed that the shaving cream was toothpaste, but I was sincerely wrong.  No amount of sincerity was going to change the composition of what was in the tube.  Religious views are the same. No amount of sincerity will result in your beliefs creating the traits of the one true God.  Therefore, you should follow the facts where they lead and make every effort to know the truth about God.

The pottery does not get to create the potter.  In fact, the potter hates it when the pottery makes up fake potters.

His point is that no matter what beliefs we have, if those beliefs are not based in objective truths, they are wrong. Christian Science is not based in objective truth. Yes, they do use the Bible and catapult into beliefs based on true statements of the Bible. But they are very limited in what they say is true of the Bible.

I would expect the writer to come back and dialogue concerning his beliefs. But CSers are trained not to argue. This is a wonderful tactic by the leaders of their group. They know that if they argue, one might actually convince them that their views are wrong. By telling their followers not to argue, this gives them the excuse to “take the higher road” so to speak. It fosters their pride and convinces them that they are right. Very clever. But deadly. Again, if your beliefs are based on a lie, it doesn’t matter how sincere you are or what your experiences are, if they do not line up with Scripture or even basic general revelation, they are wrong.

Runaway Slave Movie Teaser

The following is put together by some blacks who get the tyranny of liberalism/socialism and the Democratic party. They see that all those freebies from the government do not bring freedom to the people, but slavery and bondage. Watch the trailer, it’s worth it.

Hattip: Michelle.

Are you willing to risk being called a racist in order to spread the word about the tyranny of liberalism/socialism? I am. We also need to take on Black Theology, which is just a warping of the gospel of Christ, and more bondage to sin. True freedom comes from God in Christ and by no other means. This means we must be willing to speak the truth in love, even if that means we are called racists.

Trials In Christ

John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

J.C. Ryle writes concerning the Father pruning the vine in John 15:2,

“Trial, to speak plainly, is the instrument by which our Father in heaven makes Christians more holy. By trial He calls out their passive graces, and proves whether thy can suffer His will as well as do it. By trial He weans them from the world, draws them to Christ, drives them to the Bible and prayer, shows them their own hearts, and makes them humble. This is the process by which He ‘purges’ them, and makes them more fruitful. The lives of the saints in every age, are the best and truest comment on the text. Never, hardly, do we find an eminent saint, either in the Old Testament or the New, who was not purified by suffering, and, like His master, a ‘man of sorrows.'”

“Let us learn to be patient in the days of darkness, if we know anything of vital union with Christ. Let us remember the doctrine of the passage before us, and not murmur and complain because of trials. Our trials are not meant to do us harm, but good. God chastens us ‘for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness,’ (Hebrews 12:10). Fruit is the thing that our Master desires to see in us, and He will not spare the pruining knife if He sees we need it. In the last day we shall see that all was well done.”

That Dreaded Animal Magnetism

I was dialoging with an old friend over the religion we both were are part of when we grew up. Both of us are now ex-Christian Scientist. Please don’t confuse this with the more glamorous, yet just as hell bound, Church of Scientology, dreamed up by L. Ron Hubbard and fostered by the likes of Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Christian Science cannot boast such high-profile actors. I think Sandy Duncan and the woman that played opposite Archie Bunker are about as famous as they get. This is because, as another friend and ex-Christian Scientist once said, “This is the most stupid religion on the face of the earth.”

Yes, those of us who leave this ill-fated religion, have plenty of stories to tell.

For instance, I remember when I was visiting my favorite Aunt & Uncle in Little Rock one year, that I complained of a headache. I had headaches all the time. The typical response from my mother, the most avid CSer you could find, would tell me to think good thoughts and my headache would go away. I would think good thoughts and my head aches would always remain. (As any good CSer will tell you, it was because of the dreaded animal magnetism, in which someone was thinking bad thought around me, keeping me from healing myself. As far as I could tell, I was the someone because my thoughts went like this, “think good thoughts, think good thoughts, damn headache, won’t go away! Think good thoughts.”) Needless to say, my headaches would depart in their own good time.

But not the time I was in Little Rock. I complained and my Aunt & Uncle offered me… aspirin. I couldn’t believe that. They were offering me the evil aspirin to take for my headache that wouldn’t go away. “Well, isn’t that sinful?” I asked this, never seeing the contradiction in beliefs. CSers believe that sin only exists as long as the belief of sin exists. O how I could have exploited that little lie had I not been so naive. “But Mom, you only think I hit John. Quit thinking that and the thought of me pounding his head will go away!”

Back to the aspirin. My Aunt quickly piped up, “no aspirin is not a sin.” Her argument was so convincing, I caved immediately. I took the two white pills with some water as my head continued to hurt. Within 20 minutes, my headache was gone! I was so excited, those 2 little pills actually got rid of my headache. It was a miracle… or at least a miracle cure! Why hadn’t anyone in my religion discovered this before? It sure would have got rid of trying to think good thoughts.

DISCLAIMER: If any Christian Scientists are reading this, just remember, that this post doesn’t actually exist. I don’t want to be accused of being your evil animal magnetism!

BTW, I was sent this link by a friend that will help you understand Christian Science better than I can explain it. Be careful though, it has a few explicatives that I do not approve of and a portrayal of God that is inappropriate. But the video is worth watching because it nails their beliefs and practices well enough that you will begin to understand.

The Episcopal Church is Dying: Amen and Amen!

(Hattip Neil)

Mark Tooley at the American Spectator has an article concerning the Episcopal Church in America. Since the 1960s, the church has been in declined, but really took a nose dive in 2004 when the church ordained openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson. Since that time, the already failing church has lost almost 60 percent of its membership.

Some might see this is bad news, but I see it as a blessing. According to the article, the Episcopals started trying to broaden the meaning of the gospel back in the 1960s. In other words, they were trying to make the gospel more relevant for our modern tastes. The moment you do this is the moment you lose the gospel. The gospel is not something that can be tampered with because it reduces the power of the gospel. The gospel is both a person and a message at the same time. It is Jesus Christ as the way of salvation and the message of His resurrection. Given that the mainline denominations have been trying to broaden their scope of who actually gets into heaven, they are at odds with Jesus and His gospel. Since this is true, it is no wonder they have been losing numbers.

Again, this a good thing. The sooner these mainline denominations die out, the better off Christians will be. The sad reality is that the problem of making the gospel relevant hasn’t gone away. The same is true in the evangelical world today with churches punting on the truths of the gospel and making it more acceptable and palatable. This is doing the same thing the Episcopals did back in the 1960s. It bears repeating, the moment you tamper with the gospel, and reduce the authority of God’s word, is the moment your message and you become irrelevant.  You may become more relevant to certain communities, like the gay community. But not where it is important and lasting: the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here is more of what Tooley writes:

Not surprisingly, the rejection of orthodoxy in favor of cultural and political fads, whatever the spiritual consequences, has been disastrous for Episcopalians and all Mainline Protestant denominations, all of which have been losing members since the 1960s, between 25 and 40 percent. Former Presbyterians and Methodists and Lutherans either gave up on organized religion, or they joined evangelical or Catholic churches, or they, more permanently, died (!), leaving few if any descendants, as Mainline Protestants, especially Episcopalians, have notoriously low birth rates. The current Episcopal Presiding Bishop even celebrated this demographic collapse, claiming that Episcopalians were protecting the planet by abstaining from children.

With a view of children like that, good riddance. May the rest of the apostate denominations go extinct as well.

Stephen Fincher Wins Big

Congratulations to Stephen Fincher. He won the GOP primary for the 8th Congressional District in Tennessee last night taking 48 percent of the vote. This is great news for conservatives. As I’ve mentioned before on Timothy Matters, Fincher was the best candidate and the strongest pro-life candidate in the race. He told me on Tuesday that he would not only take a pro-life stand, but also pursue legislation that would seek to ban abortion. Hopefully the Lord will give him the tools he needs to carry out this wonderful goal.

He also has a great attitude about his position as the nominee. He knows it is not about himself, but about serving the people. Mariann Martin wrote the following for the Jackson Sun.

“This was a team effort,” Fincher told his supporters, amid deafening cheers and chants. “It took your votes, your help and your prayers. I am really, really humbled … This is not about Stephen Fincher. I am a servant, a representative of the people of the great 8th District as the people’s voice.”Fincher will face the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Roy Herron, of Dresden, in the November election. Herron is a seasoned West Tennessee political leader whose Senate district overlaps with much of the 8th District.

He already has started his campaign against Herron.

“We have no time to celebrate,” he said. “Our country is in trouble … Roy Herron will cast his first vote for Pelosi … He will not be able to cover up a 24-year liberal voting record.”

The last thing we need is another liberal congressman in office.

Quick Round Up

Since Neil has been so busy, here is a quick round up!

Drudge Reports: Blow to O, Mo says No!

In other words, Missouri has told BHO “No!” when it comes to Obamacare. this is really good news. They had a popular vote on this issue and 70 percent of the people said “no.” This really is in his face.

“The citizens of the Show-Me State don’t want Washington involved in their health care decisions,” said Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, one of the sponsors of the legislation that put Proposition C on the August ballot. She credited a grass-roots campaign involving Tea Party and patriot groups with building support for the anti-Washington proposition.

Walter Williams weighs in on racial profiling.

Is an individual’s race or sex useful for guessing about other unseen characteristics? Suppose gambling becomes legal for an Olympic event such as the 100-meter sprint. I wouldn’t place a bet on an Asian or white runner. Why? Blacks who trace their ancestry to West Africa, including black Americans, hold more than 95 percent of the top times in sprinting. That’s not to say an Asian or white can never win but I know the correlations and I’m playing the odds. If women were permitted to be in the sprint event with men, I’d still put my money on a black male. Does that make me a sexist as well as a racist?

What about when a black hails a taxicab and the driver passes him up and picks up a white passenger down the street? Is that racism? Many people assume that it is but it might not be any different from a physician using race and sex as an estimator for some other characteristic. Ten years ago, a black D.C. commissioner warned cabbies, most of whom are black, against picking up dangerous-looking passengers. She described dangerous-looking as a “young black guy … with shirttail hanging down longer than his coat, baggy pants, unlaced tennis shoes.” She also warned cabbies to stay away from low-income black neighborhoods. Cabbies themselves have developed other profiling criteria.

There is no sense of justice or decency that a law-abiding black person should suffer the indignity being passed up. At the same time, a taxicab driver has a right to earn a living without being robbed, assaulted and possibly murdered. One of the methods to avoid victimization is to refuse to pick up certain passengers in certain neighborhoods or passengers thought to be destined for certain neighborhoods. Again, a black person is justifiably angered when refused service but that anger should be directed toward the criminals who prey on cabbies.

Not every choice based on race represents racism and if you think so, you risk misidentifying and confusing human behavior. The Rev. Jesse Jackson once said, “There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery — then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

Texas A&M May Still Go to the SEC in 2013

I found this over at the 12th Man website. Here’s hoping.

I just received an e-mail from a very trusted source who told me that A&M will be joining the SEC in 2013. This would be tremendous news if true. A progressive move like this from the administration would really shock me. The move to the SEC would change the recruiting dynamic in the state. It would allow A&M to offer Texans an in-state option to compete in the best conference in the country. If texas does not follow (which I do not expect them to do), then it would also separate the two schools in different conferences for the first time in their histories. I hope this information proves to be correct, because road trips to Baton Rouge, Gainesville, Starkville, and Tuscaloosa beat the hell out of Lubbock and Stillwater.

Best Pelosi Rendition

I had to throw some humor in there.

Agnostics Take On Atheists

Finally, there is commentary over at the Aquila Report by Al Mohler on the New Agnostics, who are as fervent about “non knowing” as the new atheists are about “knowing for certain there isn’t” a God. It is almost humorous to see the agnostics distancing themselves from the New Atheists. Mohler writes:

Huxley defined agnosticism in terms of his principle that no one should claim objective knowledge “unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.” In Huxley’s view, this principle of thought rules out any form of theism. At the same time, it supposedly renders atheism unnecessary. In the view of Huxley, atheism actually conceded too much to theism, for it seemed to allow that some adequate evidence for or against the existence of God might be brought forward.
Rosenbaum takes this argument a step forward. Atheists, he insists, actually “display a credulous and childlike faith, [and] worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence — the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the universe came into existence.”
Thus, Rosenbaum wants “a distinct identity for agnosticism, to hold it apart from the certitudes of both theism and atheism.” This is not a small project.
“Let’s get one thing straight,” he insists: “Agnosticism is not some kind of weak-tea atheism. Agnosticism is not atheism or theism. It is radical skepticism, doubt in the possibility of certainty, opposition to the unwarranted certainties that atheism and theism offer.”
At this point Rosenbaum’s argument gets really interesting. He accuses the New Atheists of intolerance and their own form of heresy-hunting, and ridicules them for their untenable faith that all the big questions can be answered with satisfaction by science. The New Atheists, he laments, “seemed to have stopped thinking since their early grade-school science fair triumphs.”

But don’t get too excited. The New Agnostics don’t like Theists either.