July 30, 2010

Science and Faith



"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; and as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."
— Robert Jastrow, from God and the Astronomers


July 29, 2010

Difficulties for Atheists, Evolutionists and Other Unbelievers

Buon giorno. Today, I'm going to ask you to spend some time (I have audio clips) and do some thinking (the audio clips contain arguments). I was listening to Rev. Matt Slick of CARM. (He has a radio show called "Faith and Reason" that takes callers and discusses atheism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Islam and other heresies.) On the broadcast for July 22, 2010, they were discussing some things that frankly, I do not understand. I'm planning on listening to the podcast a few more times until I can get the hang of them. So if you want to argue about what is presented, don't ask me, capice?

Like I said, Matt takes callers. If you want to challenge him and have a debate, fine, call him up when he's on the air and go for it. He loves that kind of thing. The times and phone numbers are here. You can also send him hate mail, (he loves that, too), or call, or whatever. That link is here. But I'm telling you not to debate with me, because I don't have a handle on this stuff yet. Don't make me repeat myself again.

Oh, and when you call, tell him Stormbringer from New York sent you. He'll say, "Who?"

First, we have the TAG argument, the Transcendental Argument for the existence of God. The written version is here, and the audio overview is below (you can hear some sounds from the caller):


Next is the longer one. Information Theory is a huge problem for evolutionists. So is this clip. Not only is the logic devastating, but it's just over 8-1/2 minutes:


If you need the full show that is about an hour long, the link is here.
















Have fun. Arrivederci!

July 27, 2010

It's Just a Tool

Buona sera. I know that I have comments to moderate and responses to give. But I'm on my lunch break, and want to give better replies than break time will permit, capice?

And now for something completely the same as before: Computer stuff. A short rant.
I tend to get a bit ruffled when some cafone starts spouting off that "computers are evil", "television is evil", "the Internet is evil", "playing cards are evil", "abbreviations of Latin expressions are evil", etc. Listen, just about anything can be used for an evil purpose. As for the computer, there is plenty of evil on it — and some of that is based on your point of view. Most of us agree that child porn is evil. From my Christian standpoint, atheistic Communist sites are evil. Sharia law-loving Muslims would say that my Weblog is evil.

An object or process, in and of itself, is neutral. F'rinstance, I am using this computer to listen to great Bible teachings by Charles Stanley, Alistair Begg, Chuck Swindoll and others. I have been blessed to be able to listen to many messages online. When I was searching for something about Charles Stanley, I saw some links and images that had nothing to do with my search, and it was a reminder that other people who have goals and interests quite different from mine are using the Web for their own purposes. Because a pornographer is using the Web, does that make the whole thing evil, and my preacher pals should stop using it?

To quote a very unbiblical source, "Tony Montana": "What, are you nuts?"

What else is evil? The tools that the (insert religious persuasion of your choice here) mechanic that worked on the car are evil because he's not (whatever)? Microphones, because they are used to promote communism as well as good things? Business suits, because "worldly" bankers wear them?

Let's get real, people! Use the tool at your disposal for your purposes. Make it a holy thing by using it for holy purposes, if you like. But don't label the Internet itself (or any other valuable tool) as evil so that you have to quit using it. Stop that. That's silly.

July 22, 2010

Unnatural Living


The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe. When a man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil, there is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil that is in man. The Communist torturers often said, "There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish." I heard one torturer say, "I thank God, in whom I don't believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart." He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners.

Tortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand, p. 36, describing some of the tortures he endured from Communists in Romania because he was a Christian
We hear so much about "natural" living. Put the word "natural" in the name of a product, triple the price and you have a sale. Just about anything can be had that is natural and/or organic. Some people are downright fanatical about purchasing as many natural products as they can, especially foods and personal hygiene products. They are also careful about recycling and doing all sorts of natural, healthy things. This is called "natural living".

I want to talk to you about some things that are downright unnatural; at least, when it comes to human behavior.

What is the expected response when someone yells at you? Yell back! If he cuts you off in traffic? Regain your ground, or curse at him! When someone hits you? Hit back! (This fits in with Anton LaVey's brand of Satanism. He said, "If a man smite thee on one cheek, smash him on the other!") When you are given evil? Give evil back! Or even when you have been wronged, you want revenge. Or justice, at the very least.

Those are natural responses. Let's look at some unnatural responses.

In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapters six and seven describe how Stephen preached the Gospel of Jesus. ("And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people." Acts 6.8 ESV) Since enemies could not refute what he was saying, they planted men to say that Stephen was speaking blasphemy against Moses and the prophets. So, he was dragged before the council. When they demanded an explanation, he gave them an excellent sermon. But it did not have a good result:
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:54-60 ESV)

They stoned him to death. He had committed no crime, but with his dying breath, he forgave them. How do you explain this?

Another example from the book of Acts:
Then the mob joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had inflicted many blows on them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to keep them securely guarded. Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's chains came loose.

When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul called out in a loud voice, "Don't harm yourself, because all of us are here!" Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he escorted them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

Acts 16.22-30 (HCSB)
Paul and Silas were preaching the Gospel and happened to cast a demon out of a girl. They were then arrested because of lies, beaten and imprisoned. What did they do? They sang hymns! When their chains fell off and the doors were opened, they stayed put instead of running off! The jailer was so impressed, he wanted to know about Jesus.

As we can see, persecution of Christians has existed from the beginning. There are reports of Christians being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. (Nero and other Roman emperors had great sport and killing Christians in the most horrific ways possible.) Christians, especially Protestants, who dared to go against the established religious-political institutions were persecuted and martyred throughout history. (Note: The word "martyr" has come to mean "someone who is killed for what they believe". More literally, it means, "witness", and came to mean someone who stands for the truth through suffering.)

The incident at the top is from Communist Romania. There are many reports of Christians being tortured by atheist regimes. Why? Charles Stanley pointed out that socialism (which is one step before Communism) has to wipe out the competition, and Christian principles are the opposite of what socialism teaches. That makes sense. (I have said many times that leftist politics are not often supported by Bible-believing Christians. Instead, we believe in free enterprise.) Today, countries that are active or pseudo-Communist are acting just like the Soviet Union and its satellite countries treated Christians during the era of the Iron Curtain.

I noticed that there are many reports from Muslim countries that Christians are savagely persecuted. This is as bad or worse than with the Communists. One system denies God, the other has an inflated moon god. Both want to force the world to live in their vicious systems.

And in all this, Christians are acting unnaturally.

In Tortured for Christ, Wurmbrand refuses to tell some of the things that he had seen and experienced from his Communist captors: "They are too terrible and obscene to put in writing". But he also said that he saw some beautiful things:
When one Christian was sentenced to death, he was allowed to see his wife before being executed. His last words to his wife were, "You must know that I die loving those who kill me. they don't know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don't have bitterness in your heart because they killed your beloved one. We will meet in heaven." (p.45)
There are several accounts in this book of similar stories, and of jailers who were moved to accept Christ themselves, knowing that they, too, would be tortured. What normally happens when someone is imprisoned with people he has wronged? Vengeance, of course. But the unnatural thing happened, they became brethren in Christ. John MacArthur said that God gives his grace so that his people can endure suffering. After all, God did not promise a life of ease or good times, but his people still experience joy and peace when they stay close to God.This is continuing today. You can check for yourself at the Voice of the Martyrs site. Sign up for the free publication. This is excellent for Christians to know what their brethren in Christ are going through, and where you can direct some of your prayers.

Someone asked me (my paraphrase) why it is that Christians can endure persecution and act Christlike in some circumstances, but get all upset and act in unchristian ways at other times. I gave that some thought, and have a few ideas:
  • Having life too easy, they do not really cling to Jesus; suffering causes growth
  • Not really converted, just Christian in name only, like the religious social clubs that pass as churches today
  • No depth to their spiritual lives, they need to take the Bible seriously or they may be "young" in the faith
  • Still acting in the "natural" ways, not living in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1.8, Galatians 5.22-25)
  • The expectations of individuals; each person has their own ideas or "standards" by which they judge Christians and expect us to act, but we cannot fit everyone's preconceived notions; you cannot expect every Christian to be perfect, just as you cannot expect perfection even in your own self
  • Religion; yes, you heard me, because Jesus spoke his harshest words against the religious leaders of his day; they were making things burdensome for people with man-made rituals and practices
  • Luke 8.12-18
Now I'm going to come to the hard part, and some of you will be angry. That's the breaks.
  • The natural man cannot understand the things of God (I Cor. 2.14-15 KJV). When someone has Christ living in him and empowering him, God can speak to him and then his word makes sense. Otherwise, no.
  • The natural man or woman belongs to Satan (Acts 26.18, John 8.44-47).
  • It's natural for you to hate us because we "stink" to you (2 Cor. 2.15-16).
The questioner that I mentioned earlier stated that he believes that there is something else going on because Christians are inconsistent. However, I believe I have given good reasons for the inconsistency of Christians. Also, God does not make robots. Just read the Bible. The personalities of the authors show through, as do the failings of God's people. C.S. Lewis called this the "ring of truth".One thing I hope that this article will do is to stir some embers in the hearts of unbelievers, so that they will want a relationship with the living God. Second, I hope that people will realize that their "religion" will not save them; instead, God wants a personal relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Finally, I hope that Christians reading this will get in gear to life more fully for Christ and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5.16, 22-23). And live unnaturally.

Addendum: Richard Wurmbrand is interviewed in this video, "A Church in Chains".

Now, rock out to a great video, or click here if you can't see it.



July 19, 2010

Some Questions for Non-Believers: Don't You Ever Wonder?

Buona sera. I keep wondering about things, trying imagine what some people are thinking and feeling. So, I'm going to get some of these things out there.

Don't you ever wonder if you're wrong? Perhaps you've stated in no uncertain terms that there is no God, or that you hate religion itself, that you hate Christians. And yet, looking up at the stars on a clear night, don't you think that maybe it did not happen by chance after all?

Don't you ever wonder if the Bible is true? You are in a small minority, and there are billions of people that claim to be Christians. I don't care about "majority rules" or anything, but doesn't the huge number of "believers" give you second thoughts?

Don't you ever wonder if Satan exists? Some atheists will say that the existence of evil (or "harm") in the world is proof that God does not exist. Many believers say that the Bible, the Talmud and other books describe a being that wants to destroy the work of the Creator. Doesn't that ever make you think that there is a bad devil that has thrown a spanner into the Creator's works?

Don't you ever wonder if the statements made by Christians are correct after all? Perhaps you think, deep inside, that it's silly after all to believe that everything that someone says is wrong, and that all of the Bible is "fairy tales". Have you considered the truths that you cannot legitimately deny, even if you do not like where they come from?

Don't you ever wonder about the Christians living under persecution, who forgive their torturers and pray for their abusers? I know I have trouble being forgiving, I do have to admit it. It's hard to show love to enemies even under the best of times, but under torture! And sometimes the torturers become converted. How can someone have peace and love, and show forgiveness?

Don't you ever wonder if you should look at things from God's point of view? When we expect the infinite Creator of the universe to fit into our finite ideas instead of trying to understand where he's coming from, we might be limiting our own understanding by our demands and presuppositions.

Don't you ever wonder if you're simply being too proud? Maybe your ideas need to be reconsidered. Perhaps you're basing your ideas not on logic, but on emotional reactions. Maybe starting from a standpoint of being "mad at God, I don't want him to exist" is not the best way to go?

Don't you ever wonder if maybe you haven't been fair to yourself in the way you try to understand God? Or that you haven't been fair to God himself, in that you haven't honestly tried to understand him?

Don't you ever wonder if Christians are right after all, and you're in a world of hurt right now?


I'm just asking.

July 13, 2010

Preconceptions and Presuppositions

"I'm sorry, I just don't see any evidence. I mean, look at the Hubble telescope. It's discovered untold wonders of a vast unexplored universe. But not one picture of a guy with a beard sitting around on a cloud."
— "Brian Griffin" saying that he's an atheist

"I looked and looked but I didn't see God."
— Attributed to Yuri Gagarin

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
— Paul the Apostle


Buona sera. I'm sure most of you are familiar with "The Family Guy". This animated show is offensive on many levels, mainly to Christians and Conservatives. (Don't believe me? Count how many times Seth MacFarlane, the liberal atheist who runs the show, takes pot-shots at liberals and non-Christians.) Even though I cannot recommend the show because it is often blasphemous and obscene, I have to admit that MacFarlane is exceptionally talented, and the show has its moments of comedic genius.

But my point in bringing this up is that the scene I quoted from is a good illustration of preconceptions. We all have them, though many people do not know it, or even try to deny this basic fact of life.

Even scientists. Throw away that image you have (your own preconception) that scientists are completely objective and unbiased. Instead of following the evidence wherever it leads, they have a preconception of what they want to prove. That can be a good thing when a scientist is saying, "I wonder if this will prove that I'm right about the effects of bicycles on rainfall", or something. It's a bad thing when they start out with an attitude of forcing the evidence to fit into a box at all costs.

You see, science is supposed to stay with things that are measurable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable, etc. When scientists venture into the realm of philosophy, they leave true science behind. What gets confusing is when people will move back and forth between science and philosophy, thereby proclaiming their philosophy as actual science.

Some areas of natural science have preconceptions that contaminate evidence and observations, including:
  • Philosophy is fine as long as it is pro-evolution and anti-God
  • Evolution is true, even though we do not know how it works
  • Evidence from any kind of "believers" should be rejected in most cases (the logical fallacy called "poisoning the well" applies here)
  • Only matter (material) and energy exist
  • God does not exist, no do spirits, angels, Satan, demons or anything that is non-material (but it is illogical to attempt to prove a universal negative)
  • Science (or evolution) has disproved the Bible (astonishingly stupid and ignorant, making an assertion and expecting it to become true)
  • Miracles do not occur, did not occur, and can never occur (very presumptuous, don't you think?)
  • Intelligent Design, as well as Creation Science, are religion
As I said before, we all have our biases. Just because you have something to prove does not automatically negate your position. 

Both unbelievers and believers have presuppositions, our starting points based on our worldviews. Theirs is usually based on materialism or naturalism, and ours is based on the revelation of God in the Bible — and they hate that. Since the Christian is supposed to please God rather than men, the foundation of our thinking in every area is the Bible.

The "Brian Griffin" quote at the top and the Yuri Gagarin attribution show a common preconception, that God is a big, grandfatherly man with a beard that can be seen better from space. If someone is going to seek God, it is best to drop the above preconceptions and biases. Then, honestly consider that he may be there after all. But he does not have to play by your rules; God has already been made known (John 1.18, Rom. 1.20).

However, knowing that God exists means that he's the Creator, and we should find out what he has to say. That involves swallowing too much pride for some people.

This applies to evolutionism as well: Perhaps it is not true after all, that evolutionism's critics and the scientists who have abandoned it may be correct in doing so after all.

July 11, 2010

Evil Came to Visit


Buon giorno. First of all, time for a confession. Despite all of my tough-guy image and experiences, I'm a fan of LOLcats. Especially the "Basement Cat" legend that has been created.

For reasons I will not get into, I had to put up with evil in my own home. This is a long-haired black 'n' evil Basement Cat that I knew before. And dafter than a brush. This prissy beast comes over to me and gets loving and all. Fine, pet the cat, I'm fond of cats. Most of the time.

Later on, I get the wide-eyed stare, and the beastie runs from me. The old "I'll hide under the bed but leave my tail showing" trick. So, I did the thing we used to do: Touch the tip of the tail with my stocking foot. What do I get?
Hisssss! Looks like playtime has changed for Miss Priss.


Reminded of this Bible Verse: I Peter 5.8

Another time, I was walking toward the beast so I could pass her on my way to the bedroom. She gets up with the big-eyed angry panic look, and hisssss while running away. Another time, similar situation. Prissy runs to the room ahead of me, stops four feet away and stares. I commanded, "Hiss!" And I got one!

It's been said that animals pick up attitudes from their owners, and I can believe it. Centuries ago, I was driving deliveries. This one "womyn's art" place had a dog that hated men. I was almost bitten. It's very annoying to try to protect yourself while carrying something heavy with both hands. (For that matter, I'm remembering a little yap dog that gave me a rough, or ruff, time on deliveries at another place. The people were
really weird. This cowardly thing attacked me from behind and bit the heel of my work boot. I felt a "thump". Stupid, and cowardly.)

So anyway, this Basement Cat lives with two man-hating lesbians. More than a coincidence? I think not!

Anyway, she lightened up and began to like me (I have irresistible charm and all that) just before she returned to the Den of Iniquity. Maybe next time, I will say a prayer to bind the forces of evil.

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