Comments

Overview: I view comment moderation to be somewhat like Caller ID.  If profane or obnoxious people call then I screen them out, much the same way I would ignore boorish co-workers or neighbors who could not be reasoned with.  Why should blogging be any different?  Life’s too short to spend too much time with people who perpetuate non-stop fallacies.  At some point it is pearl holding / dust shaking time.

This is not censorship in the political sense, of course.  Anyone can start their own blog.  If people don’t want to post my comments I don’t boo-hoo over it.  I have only been irritated at two bloggers who distorted my comments.  One deleted some benign comment then claimed I had made racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. statements.  And that guy was a “Christian” pastor, believe it or not!  The other guy was a philosophy professor who got frustrated and literally edited my comments to make them say the opposite of what I had written.  When I pointed out that I had copied and pasted the comments he panicked and deleted the whole post.

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I thought I would highlight this love note from a recent commenter as an example of why I am moderating comments more in 2009.  In short, I’ve found that my discernment is remarkably accurate in determining when conversations won’t be productive.  God has given me so many things and I need to be a good steward of them all, including my time.

Long time readers know that alternative views are welcomed here provided that they are communicated in an adult manner.  I do hold those who claim to be Christians to a higher standard, and have borrowed Carlotta’s policy on that:

For Believers – An intentionally different standard applies to those who name themselves followers of Christ: persons who claim to be believers in Jesus Christ yet bring manifestly false teaching on basic doctrines of the faith, and/or promote evil acts are not welcomed into discussion here.

I didn’t let this guy’s first comment through because it included pointless insults.  Then he added this second comment, which manages to cram in multiple logical fallacies and insults at the same time its very premise self-destructs.  Sadly, this is pretty common from the pro-materialistic Darwinists.  I expect these whenever I post anything on Intelligent Design or criticizing Darwinian evolution.

You like to delete postings that cut through your web of lies, don’t you?

No more need to prove that people who reject evolution in favour of creationism are among the biggest idiots in the world.

They are completely immune to fact and reason and dishonest to the bone. The scum of all religious believers.

First, he begs the question by stating that I have a “web of lies.”  He should demonstrate that first, but of course he can’t.  At worst, I could be mistaken on some points, but I have not lied about anything.

He has several ad hominem fallacies (attacking the person, not the content of their arguments).   Those are always telling.

He claims I am immune to fact and reason but I welcome anyone to scan my hundreds of posts and come to their own conclusion.  Christianity requires and applauds the use of reason.  Or just consider this post.  I have analyzed his views from various angles but haven’t called him a liar, an idiot or scum and haven’t said he was immune to fact and reason.

But here’s the fun part: If his worldview is true, then none of his comment makes any sense.  It completely self-destructs.

After all, if he is correct that the universe came from nothing, life came from non-life, Darwinian evolution explains how we got here, etc., then there this process is responsible for my Christian worldview.   Fancy that!  Darwinian evolution led me to “imagine” that I see evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the existence of God and the accuracy of the Bible.  And not just any evidence —  I see cosmological, teleological, moral, logical, historical, archaeological evidence and more (see the apologetics section to the right on the main page for more).

As always, his worldview can’t adequately explain the Christian worldview, but the Christian worldview can explain his:

Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

And if his worldview is true, why would dishonesty be a bad thing?  Where is his universal morality coming from?  He obviously thinks there is such a thing as morality and that I should be held accountable to his version of it, but why?

And where does “reason” come into play?  If everything in the universe has a material cause, then why would we think in terms of reason or logic, which are clearly immaterial?

And he makes the same mistake most Darwinists do: Even if Darwinian evolution were true, it still wouldn’t explain the start of the universe and the origin of life and it wouldn’t explain away God like its proponents want it to.  I don’t think that theistic evolution is supported by the facts, but even if Darwinian evolution were true it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist.

And then there’s the irony of him complaining about me not posting his comment.  If it is a moral flaw on my part not to post his insulting comment on this little blog, I wonder how he reacted to the movie Expelled! Actually, I don’t wonder, as I’m pretty sure I know his reaction (based on the reaction of all the other Darwinists).

But of course deleting his comment merely cost him a few keystrokes.  It wasn’t like I damaged his reputation or cost him his job or his tenure.  So is censorship bad or not?  If it is bad to delete a comment on a blog then what much of the scientific and academic community is doing is really, really bad, even by his standards.

So in conclusion, please save us all some time and don’t leave comments like that.

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58 thoughts on “Comments”

  1. I really like your website!!! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I will have to come back and read the stuff you have in here more extensively. You have a lot of good resources.

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  2. Question: Can you please re-publish your section on sex-selection abortion? I received a notification from Google that you addressed the topic on this blog, but then the link did not work. thank you.

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    1. Hi Cameron,

      That had a bunch of pro-Mormon apologetics data that I wasn’t interested in posting. I’ve seen the pros and cons and don’t have time to go through your links to respond to them, so I’m being my usual totalitarian self ;-). You are welcome to try to post it at the site I linked to.

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      1. Boo-hoo. Watch me not care about you marketing your cult. You had so many links my filter caught it. If you really have some great responses, go to the site I linked to and pick a couple and spell it out.

        Update: My apologies, my initial reply was too harsh. But I stand behind my decision not to permit loads of links advancing what I view as false belief systems.

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      2. Actually, I liked your initial reply… though I suppose that’s little surprise to those who know me.

        Sometimes we find ourselves compelled to “use great plainness of speech,” as the Apostle Paul phrased it.

        -Sirius Knott

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  3. After all, if he is correct that the universe came from nothing, life came from non-life, Darwinian evolution explains how we got here, etc., then there this process is responsible for my Christian worldview. Fancy that! Darwinian evolution led me to “imagine” that I see evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the existence of God and the accuracy of the Bible. And not just any evidence – I see cosmological, teleological, moral, logical, historical, archaeological evidence and more (see the apologetics section to the right for more).

    That evolution might lead to this or that does not somehow cause it to self-destruct. If it caused us to believe we were all 40 feet tall and that we were all created spontaneously by invisible goats, that wouldn’t somehow invalidate it. In short, the Argument from Consequence often acts as a logical fallacy.

    And if his worldview is true, why would dishonesty be a bad thing? Where is his universal morality coming from? He obviously thinks there is such a thing as morality and that I should be held accountable to his version of it, but why?

    Because of his values, his culture, his upbringing, his natural tendencies, his empathy, his anger, his love, his sympathy, his ability to reason. Besides, even if we assume your source of morality is objective, you’re still coming to that conclusion through your own reasoning, interpreting that morality in your own way: you’re no less subjective. In short, anyone can ask you why we ought to be held to your ideas of morality and your answer must come down to the same thing as his: values, culture, upbringing, etc, etc. That you claim something as objective does not make it so.

    And where does “reason” come into play? If everything in the universe has a material cause, then why would we think in terms of reason or logic, which are clearly immaterial.

    I suspect you need to define your terms. As it stands, this makes no sense. You moved from saying everything has a material cause but then you declared reason and logic immaterial. Presumably our brains are material. And presumably they produce our reason and logic. But maybe you’re asserting that reason and logic exist independently of humanity. I would disagree since the appear to be direct products of our brains. It seems your assertion isn’t quite so clear.

    And he makes the same mistake most Darwinists do: Even if Darwinian evolution were true, it still wouldn’t explain the start of the universe and the origin of life and it wouldn’t explain away God like its proponents want it to. I don’t think that theistic evolution is supported by the facts, but even if Darwinian evolution were true it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist.

    It’s impossible to know whether or not that person argued any of that since I only see his one post, but I digress. It’s a common creationist error to demand evolution explain the origin of the Universe. But I digress again. You’re right that evolution doesn’t explain how everything began, including the relative recent event of abiogenesis. But we have a lot of other good hypotheses that have support, especially via RNA which holds enzymatic and replicating properties.

    And you’re right that evolution doesn’t disprove the existence of God. But it does show that life came about through a slow, natural process. If your particular, cultural god exists, he’s superfluous. But then it’s that conclusion that led me to atheism. I suspect you started with theism before rejecting science.

    And then there’s the irony of him complaining about me not posting his comment. If it is a moral flaw on my part not to post his insulting comment on this little blog, I wonder how he reacted to the movie Expelled! Actually, I don’t wonder, as I’m pretty sure I know his reaction (based on the reaction of all the other Darwinists).

    This is a red herring. His argument is that you’re being censorious; it doesn’t matter how he reacted to anything else.

    Personally I don’t moderate comments until they become spam – “spam” being defined as copy & paste jobs, advertising, etc. As immature as insults without content can be, I think it’s just as immature to need to block them from view. Just don’t respond. But it’s your blog; I just wanted to point out your initial logical fallacy since you seem to rail against those so much.

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    1. That evolution might lead to this or that does not somehow cause it to self-destruct. If it caused us to believe we were all 40 feet tall and that we were all created spontaneously by invisible goats, that wouldn’t somehow invalidate it. In short, the Argument from Consequence often acts as a logical fallacy.

      That wasn’t my argument. Nor was my argument from incredulity, though the nothingness-to-“somethingness”-to-molecules-to-Angelina Jolie-to people debating the origins of life on blogs worldview is transparently ridiculous.

      No, my argument was that you, like most atheists, don’t live consistently with your worldview. Not for three sentences. Not even close.

      Because of his values, his culture, his upbringing, his natural tendencies, his empathy, his anger, his love, his sympathy, his ability to reason. Besides, even if we assume your source of morality is objective, you’re still coming to that conclusion through your own reasoning, interpreting that morality in your own way: you’re no less subjective. In short, anyone can ask you why we ought to be held to your ideas of morality and your answer must come down to the same thing as his: values, culture, upbringing, etc, etc. That you claim something as objective does not make it so.

      That didn’t answer the question, that’s just more relativism. And again, if your worldview is true, you have no foundation even for reason. After all, Darwinian evolution doesn’t select for truth but for survivability. If being ignorant helped you survive then that trait would be preserved. Hey, maybe you guys are right! 😉

      It’s a common creationist error to demand evolution explain the origin of the Universe. But I digress again.

      Yes, you did, and in a completely unsupported and illogical way. Pleases stay on topic.

      But it does show that life came about through a slow, natural process.

      Question begging. You assume Darwinian evolution is true then draw conclusions, but it is a farce. Fossil evidence = FAIL. Ability to explain large amounts of highly ordered information = FAIL. And on and on.

      If your particular, cultural god exists, he’s superfluous. But then it’s that conclusion that led me to atheism. I suspect you started with theism before rejecting science.

      Hee hee. You’re cute when you are so childishly fallacious. Does that actually work on regular people?

      1. I was an atheist long before becoming a Christian.
      2. I don’t reject science, I embrace it as discovering how God put his universe together. I’m the one pointing out the scientific fact that a new human being is created at conception. You’re the moral freak trying to rationalize the killing of innocent human beings by looking for loopholes and ignoring science.

      Also, there are dozens of branches of science. I don’t see the evidence for ONE part of ONE of those branches of science (ironically, the same branch where you deny the obvious about human creation). You play a pathetic little game where you pretend that because I don’t buy into the evidence-free macro-evolutionary theory that I reject all science. And you think that qualifies as an argument to dismiss all my views?! Heh. Thanks for the concession speech.

      I just wanted to point out your initial logical fallacy since you seem to rail against those so much.

      Thanks for the public service, but you still haven’t found one.

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  4. That wasn’t my argument. Nor was my argument from incredulity, though the nothingness-to-“somethingness”-to-molecules-to-Angelina Jolie-to people debating the origins of life on blogs worldview is transparently ridiculous.

    No, my argument was that you, like most atheists, don’t live consistently with your worldview. Not for three sentences. Not even close.

    I don’t think that second paragraph was your argument either; in fact, you don’t seem to have particularly made one other than to say that some unidentified guy on the Internet has a self-destructing worldview, and then you associated that with Darwinism.

    But if you want to present this new argument that atheism is self-destructive without giving reasons – and I wouldn’t expect you to do so here – then there is no point in discussing the point.

    That didn’t answer the question, that’s just more relativism. And again, if your worldview is true, you have no foundation even for reason. After all, Darwinian evolution doesn’t select for truth but for survivability. If being ignorant helped you survive then that trait would be preserved. Hey, maybe you guys are right!

    I told you several aspects of the basis he has for his morality; you, I, and every other human use the same tools. That you don’t like my answer doesn’t mean I didn’t answer your question. Though I suspect when you dismiss relativism as being an answer (though it wasn’t the answer I gave), you don’t mean to talk about morality. You’re talking about objective morality, sans that necessary qualifier objective.

    Yes, you did, and in a completely unsupported and illogical way. Pleases stay on topic.

    You implied that this random person on the Internet was arguing, as “most Darwinists do”, that evolution explains the origin of the Universe. Have you ever talked to an average creationist? It is exceedingly common for them to conflate the Big Bang and evolution. So while my point was only an assertion of fact, and therefore technically unsupported here, you made just the opposite assertion, equally unsupported. But we have the Internet at our hands. If you would like me to find a few creationists making the conflation you think Darwinists make, I can. Easily.

    Question begging.

    I understand that most people use “begging the question” to mean that an argument raises new questions, but for someone who prattles on and on about logical fallacies, I would expect you to use your terms correctly.

    You assume Darwinian evolution is true then draw conclusions, but it is a farce. Fossil evidence = FAIL. Ability to explain large amounts of highly ordered information = FAIL. And on and on.

    The fossil record shows exactly what we would expect, ordering species throughout the geological column in a way that can’t be explained by chance or a flood or some other such nonsense. As for “highly ordered information”, I suspect you’re just using science-y terms; this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered a creationist trying to gin a pseudo-scientific argument. That isn’t to say your terms aren’t scientific; they are. I just doubt you have much background or formal knowledge of what they mean.

    Hee hee. You’re cute when you are so childishly fallacious. Does that actually work on regular people?

    I’m thoroughly convinced you don’t know what a logical fallacy is.

    1. I was an atheist long before becoming a Christian.

    This doesn’t refute my statement. You can still reject science as a result of theism – even if you arrive at it later in life. So even if I did commit a logical fallacy – and I didn’t – you failed to refute what I said. (What’s more, if I stated a logical fallacy you wouldn’t need to refute the substance of what I said, but only the logic behind any statement. That you felt the need to give a point-to-point response is indicative that your understanding of what constitutes a logical fallacy is shaky.)

    2. I don’t reject science, I embrace it as discovering how God put his universe together. I’m the one pointing out the scientific fact that a new human being is created at conception. You’re the moral freak trying to rationalize the killing of innocent human beings by looking for loopholes and ignoring science.

    Great. You embrace science because it discovers how God did things. In other words, you believe God did things and science therefore will provide evidence to that fact; your theism comes before science.

    As for the rest of what you said, that’s for your other post. However, I think it’s worthwhile to point out that just as you rail against logical fallacies and then fall prey to them, you railed against personal insults above, yet you have no problem using them.

    Also, there are dozens of branches of science. I don’t see the evidence for ONE part of ONE of those branches of science (ironically, the same branch where you deny the obvious about human creation). You play a pathetic little game where you pretend that because I don’t buy into the evidence-free macro-evolutionary theory that I reject all science.

    Oh, I suspect you accept some science. If it doesn’t obviously conflict with your previously held conclusions, you probably don’t have a problem with it. Or if it’s applied science, you surely have to accept it. So, no, you don’t reject all science. But your view on the underlying theme of biology is certainly wrong. And that view is premised in religion, not science. So in the sense that I reject religion even though I readily accept some of its historical claims, you reject science even though you readily accept some of its more easily digestible (and theologically compatible) claims.

    Thanks for the public service, but you still haven’t found one.

    It was pointed out to you that you were being censorious. You responded by trying to call the person a hypocrite based upon your speculation of what he thinks about a movie. That doesn’t matter, is a red herring, and fails to answer the charge that you were wrong to censor.

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    1. I understand that most people use “begging the question” to mean that an argument raises new questions, but for someone who prattles on and on about logical fallacies, I would expect you to use your terms correctly.

      It means assuming what you should be proving, which is exactly what you did. I know exactly what the fallacy is and that you committed it. I encourage you to try posting some facts instead of your fallacy-fest.

      You’re talking about objective morality, sans that necessary qualifier objective.

      Word games. Of course I mean objective morality. Just look at the context. And when you make moral claims you obviously mean them in objective terms as well. If not, the burden is on you to say that these are just your opinions and personal preferences and that you obviously don’t expect others to care about them or adhere to them.

      When I make moral claims like, “Don’t crush and dismember unborn human beings except to save the life of the mother,” then I’ll do so without qualifiers. On my blog, moral claims are assumed to be objective so any non-objective claims require the qualifiers.

      For example, I’m not anti-science, but if you want to claim that again — or make any other claim about right and wrong — I insist that you be consistent and properly characterize it as “you’re anti-science, but of course there is nothing universally wrong with that, because it is just my opinion blah blah blah” or whatever your perception of “morality” is. Then we’ll be nice and clear. Because in your worldview there is either no such thing as morality (how do molecules in motion create morality?) or it is moral relativism. Both are nonsense.

      As for “highly ordered information”, I suspect you’re just using science-y terms; this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered a creationist trying to gin a pseudo-scientific argument.

      You need to get our more. Start with “Signature in the Cell” by Meyers. And for someone whose blog is for “the sake of science” you should stop embarrassing yourself publicly with your anti-science views you use to prop up abortion.

      You can still reject science as a result of theism – even if you arrive at it later in life.

      Another evidence free assertion from your Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites. Again, I reject philosophical naturalism and I do so based on tons of evidence and logic. That isn’t even science, and its use to pervert one sub-branch one branch of science is sad. And even if I was wrong, opposing one sub-branch of one branch of science wouldn’t make me anti-science, expect in the ad hom worldview of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness and who can’t go three sentences without contradicting their worldview. Remember, even if I reject science then your beloved Darwinism is the reason. So go be mad at that.

      I also know human nature and how it can corrupt the scientific process, such as the global warming charade (Gee, people hid the decline to preserve money and power?! Shocking!) and Expelled!

      In other words, you believe God did things and science therefore will provide evidence to that fact; your theism comes before science.

      My evidence comes before science. I see the evidence for God and the supernatural and I see evidence in the natural and how science sometimes gets it right.

      And there is much more evidence than just science. The notion that you can only trust science can’t be proven with science. You rely on history, eye-witness accounts and more all day every day — even in science. Or have you created all your own test equipment and personally performed every single experiment you rely upon?

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      1. Whoa, I just read your blog. How morbidly ironic that you wanted prison time for the parents who didn’t seek medical attention for their child. For the record, I think parents should seek medical help for their children. There is nothing un-biblical about seeking medical care. But let’s examine your consistency.

        1. You called them monsters. Uh, would that be in the objective sense, as in no one should do what they did, or in the subjective sense, as in “Michael thinks it is bad, but hey, it is just his opinion so who really cares?” Seems like the former. So why should we have your religious views (i.e., views about religion) forced on others? What is your grounding for the universal morality? They obviously disagreed, so who are you to tell them otherwise?

        2. Your homework assignment is to watch this video and then ask yourself why you support the legal right to do that and why it isn’t monstrous — http://tinyurl.com/66csro9 .

        3. You wrote, “I had very little confidence in our judicial system in sentencing faith healing parents who are responsible for the deaths of their own children.” But you are pro-abortion! You should have 100% confidence that our system is designed to let people destroy human beings they have created.

        4. In your worldview, Darwinian evolution was 100.00000% responsible for the parents’ actions and the death of the child. Stop being so irrational and holding them accountable.

        5. If the parents would have had this child destroyed in the womb you would have had no issue with it.

        Really, try to follow your own worldview for just 3 minutes. When you realize you can’t I hope you revisit its foundations. Eternity is a might long time. Deep down you know there is right and wrong, and there is a reason for that. No lawgiver = no real laws. But there are moral laws at work, and they come from God. Repent and believe before it is too late.

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  5. Prove all things…
    Satan has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9 by his words in the book of the knowledge of good and evil, the Bible Gen 3:22, 2 Cor 11:15
    that have not been rightly divided 2 Tim 2:15.
    The true word John 1:1 of God is now delivered Rev 12:5, 13 at the heel of time Gen 3:15 at http://minigoodtale.blogspot.com Please study this the truth sets all free to love.
    Satans lies are exposed. Not even one child of God will be cast into a hell fire no matter what their sins. God is not a murderer. There is a punishment for the wicked but it is not death. Christ’s sacrifice took away the power of the devil. Love never fails.
    Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess each in their own order Ps 82:6

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  6. Neil,Ive only today come upon your website and have to congratulate you for how its set up.Not allowing certain people who only come on here to use insults and misinformation is refreshing and I believe William Lane Craigs Reasonable Faith site falls down on this lacking your style of moderation.

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    1. Thanks, Frankie. I don’t go to WLCs site (nothing against it, I just subscribe to too many blogs already!), so I wasn’t aware of that. I know that Ray Comfort lets a lot of vicious comments through on his. That is their call. I just choose not to waste time with it. I think Jesus commanded us to use discernment (“don’t throw your pearls before swine”). That doesn’t mean I’ll never engage those hostile atheists, just that I do it on my terms and convenience, and for a purpose (i.e., to educate others on how to deal with those objections).

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  7. Hi, Mr. Simpson. Now that you’ve rearranged things, I’m reading your comment policy for the first time, and I noticed this:

    “I see cosmological, teleological, moral, logical, historical, archaeological evidence and more (see the apologetics section to the right for more).”

    The apologetics section is no longer to the right, and although I don’t even know that this format change is permanent, apparently I couldn’t resist pointing this out, in case it’s helpful.

    Whether it’s helpful or not, and whether you change anything or not, I invite you to delete this comment after you’ve read it.

    Keep up the good work, God bless, etc.,
    Chillingworth

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    1. Hi Chillingworth,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to point that out. I think I fixed it sometime between when you originally saw that and now. I was trying to switch to a more readable WordPress theme but there are lots of quirks when doing that. It should appear now right under the “Recent posts” section.

      I appreciate you reading and writing here!

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  8. There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the Bible concerning the existence of a god. Any ‘evidence’ proposed by theists to support the Bible’s various historical and supernatural claims is non-existent at best, manufactured at worst.

    The Bible is not self-authenticating; it is simply one of many religious texts. Like those others, it itself constitutes no evidence for the existence of a god. Its florid prose and fanciful content do not legitimise it nor distinguish it from other ancient works of literature.

    The Bible is historically inaccurate, factually incorrect, inconsistent and contradictory. It was artificially constructed by a group of men in antiquity and is poorly translated, heavily altered and selectively interpreted. Entire books and sections have been redacted over time.

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    1. I hope you realize you have just made a laundry list of assertions with no backup.

      I don’t have time to refute every unfounded claim of yours, but if you really seek the truth then do some research on Luke and Acts. Critics used to claim that Luke had many errors in these books (he authored them both). Archaeology has proved him right and the critics wrong over and over. The Bible is highly accurate historically.

      It has also been translated in a robust way. Ironically, even atheist textual critics like Bart Ehrman prove our point when they insist they know what some original passages said. When you have thousands of manuscripts from many locations from different centuries it is easy to discern what the originals said.

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    2. Blurtex, without disagreeing with eMatters or diminishing what he said, I would also like to offer a different kind of answer to your comment: I think you’re looking at things the wrong way around. Of course you won’t believe what the Bible says, unless you’re already Christian and so have some reason (outside of the text of the Bible) to believe that the Bible comes from God and is authoritative. In other words, I think you should convert to Christianity first, and then (and therefore) believe the Bible, not the other way around. (That’s not to say that it can’t happen in the reverse order, or some more complicated mixture of the two, for some people, but obviously that’s not working in your case. I don’t think you should expect it to.)

      I do think Christianity makes more sense, logically, than any of the alternatives, including every form of atheism I’ve heard of so far. If you are seriously interested in trying to figure out what is true, using reason and logic, I strongly recommend C. S. Lewis. I recommend his book Mere Christianity, and possibly also The Problem of Pain and Miracles.

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  9. Hey, Neil, have I done something to offend you? I posted a comment on your blog about college loan programs; it looked like it was posted, but now is gone. If I posted something objectionable, I do apologize and hopefully you will tell me what I did, because I didn’t think I said anything out of line.
    I’d also like to follow your other blog, but it looks like it’s by invitation only.
    Anyway, have a great Christmas.

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    1. Hi James — I’m glad you checked, because I don’t see the comment and it didn’t show up in the sp*m filter (if people put in links sometimes the comments go there or to the Pending category). And I doubt that I’ll be offended by it!

      The other blog will be back online and public soon, or I may merge it into this one — I haven’t posted anything lately. I sent you an invitation to it in the mean time.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  10. Last year I was asked to be on the Church Growth Committee at my United Methodist Church.I accepted and began to study why our Church was not growing.Initially,I studied the demographics of our local area to determine what our target group ,so to speak, was and how we could bring the message of salvation to them. I first assumed that the greatest potential for growth would be among the unchurched.It proved to be an alarming study.Most of what I found was already known by our pastors,district superintendents and our bishops. Our leaders were aware of the aging of the Church membership, the movement of our youth away from mainline church membership,the lack of pastors under thirty-five years of age,the lack of men pastoral candidates in our seminaries,the number of second career candidates and unfortunately the overall quality of those answering the call to be pastors.However, my study lead to more then just changing “how we do church” by offering a traditional or contemporary service , starting a Saturday night service,combining with a minority church to share talent, ideas and resources, hiring a highly paid Youth Director or even paying our associate ministers a decent wage. No, I found out that our church has changed fundamentally from the Wesleyan tradition and has limited our evangelical target groups so severely that continued growth will be unachievable in the future. Why? A growing Church is a biblical.,Christ-centered Church. Now wait! Hear me out.
    Over time our seminaries have become packed with very liberal,if not socialist, professors.The procedures for becoming tenured in our universities is flawed.The vetting of our potential pastors, district superintendents and bishops is inadequate. The oversight of the General Board of Global Ministries/General Board of the Church and Society/ Women’s Division has been totally lacking.
    Here are a few of my findings, no my beliefs, after nearly a year of trying to answer, ” Why is our Church not growing?” I had to add another question ,”Why is the Church not retaining its membership?”. The fact that the death rate of Methodists is 33% greater than the national average only shows how aged the membership is.

    A.Through our political activism we have we have limited our influence on many segments of society.

    a.The Church’s inclusion and support of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/communism.htm https://www.cal-pacmfsa.org/uploads/CalPacMFSA_Nwsltr_June2007.pdf alienates many of members and non-members of the Church.Personally, I am concerned with any organization that invites the Rev. Jeremiah Wright ,of the United Church of Christ, to be the keynote Speaker at its annual conference as the Iowa Conference did.The close association of our Church with the ultra- liberal United Church of Christ does help the Church. The United Church of Christ has offices in all our of the Church’s buildings in Washing DC and NYC.
    United Church of Christ in US endorses same-sex marriage New York
    (ENI) July 2005
    The United Church of Christ has become the first major denomination in the United States to endorse same-sex marriage. In a move heralded as historic by gay-rights proponents and criticized by opponents of same sex relationships, the UCC’s General Synod, meeting in Atlanta, on 4 July voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that “affirms equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender”.
    b. Our seemingly disregard of the Book of Resolutions and Social Principles in regard to the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle alienates another large segment of the population.having Bishops march with Soul Force at the 2008 General Assembly was upsetting to many potential members and members of our congregations.The retired Bishops that performed same-sex marriages did harm to the growth of the Church and caused many members to grieve .When Bishop Ough keynoted a Reconciling Church Celebration, as the Maynard Avenue United Methodist Church of Columbus, Ohio became a Reconciling Congregation, he was clearly in support of the homosexual lifestyle.Bishop Ough has served as the bishop of the Ohio West Area of the United Methodist Church since September 2000 and was reappointed to the same area for the 2009-2012 quadrennium. He was the president of the Church’s General Board of Global Ministries, having been elected to that office in 2008.
    Northern Illinois United Methodist Conference Urges: Homosexuality/bisexuality “gift of God”
    June 6, 2003
    Highlights of text:
    …human sexuality is a good gift of God…
    …homosexuality, heterosexuality and bi-sexuality all share that gift…
    …we commit to proclaim that homosexual orientation (no less or more than heterosexual orientation) can be compatible with Christian teaching
    … We encourage clergy to preach this from our pulpits …
    …we encourage lay people to teach it in our Sunday school classes and tell it to our children…
    …we affirm that loving, monogamous, intimate relationships between persons of the same or opposite gender, are an expression of God’s love…
    …we affirm that persons of all sexual orientations are equally called to ordained ministry…
    …as lay persons we will similarly affirm that call and we will offer ourselves fully in mutual ministry with pastors of our churches regardless of that person’s sexual orientation…

    The Sex and the Church series published at the General Board of Church and Society website is about as edifying as Sex and the City.
    The latest article
    discusses the “evils” of heterosexism. (One wonders if there are also such things as asexism, homosexism and bisexism.)
    Did you know that if you assume that a little boy will like toy trucks and guns or that little girls will like dolls, you’re a heterosexist and a homophobe? You’re also a homophobe if you describe families as consisting of “mommies and daddies”. Sodom and Gomorrah’s big sin was a “failure of hospitality.” And yes, you’re a homophobe if you don’t consider this to be a valid interpretation. That’s what Audrey Krumbach says anyway.
    Does the average United Methodist know that this kind of nonsense is being propagated by an official church agency? (Have we forgotten that the official view of the UMC is that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching”?) I attend a fairly liberal United Methodist church, but I’m betting that even in my congregation most of the people are in the dark about what’s going on.
    It’s time to shine some light on some of these problems. A lot of shenanigans happen in our denomination because the average United Methodist either doesn’t know or doesn’t care.
    Posted by Shane Raynor on February 09, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    c.United Methodist Bishop Denies the Gospel on International Television
    The Christian Sentinel – April 1, 2003{definition of religious pluralism added}
    There he was — a representative of the second largest Protestant denomination on March 11 with a perfect opportunity to share his faith in Christ with the world watching him on “Larry King Live” on CNN. From the way the calls were coming in from from the U.S. and overseas during the show’s Q&A time period, the viewers were attentive — and on edge over the possibility of a U.S. coalition war with Iraq. Many callers were seeking guidance from the five Christian leaders gathered that evening for the telecast.
    But retired Bishop Melvin Talbert, the ecumenical officer for the United Methodist Church, not only blew the opportunity to tell the world about God’s gift to humanity through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for their sins, but he preached a different gospel and he affirmed universalism. His comments may have helped some viewers move to an eternity apart from Christ, because what he clearly said was that other roads also lead to salvation, including those caught in the twisted world of Islam.This is Religious Pluralism- A response to the religious diversity inherent in 21st century Western culture which entails a belief that one’s own beliefs about God are self-sufficient but not universally applicable. In other words, it is the belief that “God is greater than any
    one view of God.” Therefore, salvation, divine revelation, etc. are manifest and applicable to all people in diverse waysTo understand Islam is to know that we cannot identify Muslims as those who “along with us adore the one and merciful God.” To deny the Trinity is to worship another God.

    Respect is a problematic category. In the end, Christians must show respect for Muslims by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit of love and truth. We are called to love and respect Muslims, not Islam.
    Moreover, Talbert seriously warped Scripture during his appearance and misrepresented it — declaring that it calls for things it does not, and in doing so he misrepresented the Christian faith and betrayed the Wesleyan tradition of his own denomination. This is heresy, folks. It is part of an increasing flood of apostasy, a falling away by so called Christian leaders in the Main Line denominations. Few leaders today represent the face of apostasy and the voice of treachery and treason within Christianity better than Bishop Talbert.
    This latest controversy, however, is not new with Talbert. He has been brought up on discipline charges before the UMC in the past, with various evangelicals accusing him of lying and of deliberately defying church law. In more recent years he has angered many within Methodism for his promotion of homosexuality — even sanctioning gay marriages in direct defiance of his church, not to mention Scripture.
    d. I think Methodist Churches has been duped by the socialist left and and radical Islam,.
    .The Council for American-Islamic Relations( CAIR)http://www.meforum.org/916/cair-islamists-fooling-the-establishment , has offices in the Methodist Buildings in NYC.In NYC they share the suite with Columbia University Trustees.-Islamic radicals and the trustees of socialism. Bishop Bruce R Ough, West Ohio Conference United Methodist Church,issued a press conference statement vilifying the “Obsession” DVD,RADICAL ISLAM’S WAR AGAINST THE WEST. As president of the church’s North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops,he dismissed the complaints(essentially charges of heresy) filed against Bishop C. Joseph Sprague of Chicago .I guess his not understanding the threat radical Islam should have been expected. He should read:Tablighi Jamaat: Recipe for an Islamic State,http://westminsterjournal.com/content/view/202/30/ , ,http://www.investigativeproject.org/985/fbi-cuts-off-cair-over-hamas-questions

    The Islamic Society Of North America(http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6178 ),Nation Magazine(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nation) , National Religious Campaign Against Torture and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6177 ) all have offices in the Methodist Building located at 110 Maryland Ave NE in Washington, DC.The Methodist Building located at 475 Riverside Dr in NYC is the office of the CAIR-NY and the Imams Council Of New York.The Methodist building across from the United Nations at 777 united nations Plaza are the offices of Amnesty Internationalhttp://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6185, Caritas Internationalishttp://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?id=884 . The goals of the Communist Party,the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) ,the United Nations and the GBGM/GBCS seem to closely parallel each other http://www.dsausa.org/about/where.htmlCORA WEISShttp://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1677 , President, Hague Appeal for Peacehttp://www.pfcmc.com/cyberschoolbus/peace/GlobalCampaignStatement.htm , and the SAMUEL RUBIN FOUNDATION,http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/funderprofile.asp?fndid=5348&category=79 .
    e. Again Bishop Bruce R Ough, West Ohio Conference United Methodist Church,issued a press conference statement vilifying the “Obsession” DVD,RADICAL ISLAM’S WAR AGAINST THE WEST. As president of the church’s North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops,he dismissed the complaints(essentially charges of heresy) filed against Bishop C. Joseph Sprague of Chicago .I guess his not understanding the threat radical Islam should have been expected. He should read:Tablighi Jamaat: Recipe for an Islamic State http://www.tcunation.com/group/christiansstandingwithisrael/forum/topics/islam-lite-in-christian?commentId=2476373%3AComment%3A346638&xg_source=activity&groupId=2476373%3AGroup%3A343898

    f. Our continued association with Socialist and lert wing groups as DSA, Sojourners, Code Pink, http://www.dsausa.org/about/where.html http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printindividualProfile.asp?indid=1833 ,http://www.philvalentine.com/TakingBackTheUMC.htm ,http://www.philvalentine.com/NashvillePeaceJusticeCenter.htm ,These kinds of shenanigans definitely mar the reputation of our Church and Church growth.http://www.dsausa.org/about/where.html http://www.acton.org/publications/randl/rl_20_1_communism_article.php http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1348488/posts
    The NCC has offices in the Methodist buildings in Washington DC and NYC. http://www.reformed-theology.org/html/issue07/apostasy.htm http://www.apfn.org/apfn/wcc.htm
    g. The following are concepts that are pervasive in today’s mainline Churches:
    Religious Liberalism (Modernism) — A religious movement that elevates human reason
    (as manifested in rationalism, science, humanism and empiricism) above divine
    revelation in an attempt to make the Christian faith compatible with modern culture.
    Religious liberalism originally stemmed from the theological and philosophical bases of
    the Age of Reason, or the Enlightenment Period. The two pillars on which religious
    liberalism rests are the higher criticism and the Darwinian theory of evolution. Religious
    liberalism, or modernism, denies the supernatural and emphasizes the supposed inherent
    goodness and progress of mankind.
    Postmodernism — The natural end of modernism (religious liberalism). Postmodernism
    is a recent philosophical and theological development that denies the reality of
    transcendent, objective truth by claiming that all notions of truth are socially constructed.
    Truth is not a transcendent reality but a social creation of human intellect and language.
    Therefore, all beliefs are equally true and valid, and any claim to absolute, objective truth
    is rejected since such a claim necessarily negates the “trueness” of any competing beliefs.
    As one writer stated, “Everything can mean anything, so everything means nothing.” Key
    tenets of postmodernism include moral, theological and linguistic relativism, religious
    pluralism and tolerance.
    Religious Pluralism — A response to the religious diversity inherent in 21st century
    Western culture which entails a belief that one’s own beliefs about God are self-sufficient
    but not universally applicable. In other words, it is the belief that “God is greater than any
    one view of God.” Therefore, salvation, divine revelation, etc. are manifest and
    applicable to all people in diverse ways.
    These concepts are preventing mainline Churches from growing or retaining their membership as the laity begins to understand what their giving is supporting.
    The Methodist Church has been consumed by the socialist United Nations ‘s agenda.So much so, even when the agenda embraces Anti-American or Anti- Israel, the General Board of Church and Society/General Board Of Global Ministries sign letters. petitions with the likes of Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace,ACLU, Sojourners, MoveOn.org, Oxfam America,Columbus Progressive Alliance, American Friends Service Committee,Fellowship of Reconciliation, Earth Charter ,Africa Action, IPS ,Tides Foundation, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others.Why does it matter?The Church is losing its mission.Here are a few examples:
    1. Kofi A. Annan, Past Secretary-General, the United Nations is adamantly supported by James Edward Winkler and of course Ret Bishop Melvin Talbert http://www.ncccusa.org/pdfs/UNAd.pdf
    .Annan is for a global government and he could not hide his anti America sentiments even in his farewell speech.
    2. So what is the GBCS’s definition of Social Justice? Let’s look how the UMC’s social justice agent responded to the recent attempt by activists to run the the blockage of Gaza:
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is condemning the deadly interception Monday (May 31) in international waters by Israeli troops that led to the deaths of nine persons on a humanitarian aid mission to Gaza. The nine persons were part of an international “Freedom Flotilla” of six vessels carrying nearly 10,000 tons of food and medicine to Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade for three years.
    “We grieve the loss of life and injuries sustained in what became a tragic confrontation between the forces of peace and those of armed aggression,” said Jim Winkler, chief executive of the United Methodist social justice agency.

    This is the typical of the GBCS.They never mention the need for the blockade, that out of five ships only one chose to fight the Israelis or the tons of aid and supplies that has been delivered to Gaza through Israel.The GBCS has long ago accepted the WCC, NCC, and the UN stance on Israel. I truly believe that all these organizations realize that the only sane player in the Middle East Conflict is Israel and hope of peace through compromise must be with the Israelis.

    Let’s look at GBCS real issues:

    A.GBCS is Anti-Israel http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/02/the_united_methodist_church_an.html

    B.GBCS is Anti- War-Was Jesus a pacifist?http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-pacifist.html
    How will the Church address the Carnage and Slaughter caused by these Sons of Satan? http://www.matrixbookstore.
    biz/war_criminals.htm , http://www.parade.com/articles/editions/2006/edition_01-22-2006/Dictator, http://www.unwatch.org/site/c.bdKKISNqEmG/b.1277549/k.D7FE/UN_Watch__Monitoring_the_UN_Promoting_Human_Rights.htm,http://www.eyeontheun.org/view.asp?l=21&p=142

    C. GBCS is Pro- Abortion

    D.GBCS supports the breaking of the laws of the United States-At an April rally in Washington, D.C., United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño addresses thousands of protesters calling for fair treatment of undocumented immigrants. She will be a featured speaker at ‘Welcoming the Sojourner’ Oct. 16-18, in Naperville, Ill.”Welcoming the Sojourner” is co-sponsored by the North Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church and the denomination’s General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). Without borders we have no Nation- Without borders we have no Sovereignty.

    E. GBCS supports the premise that that capitalism has caused Global Warming an owes developing nations reparations for the damage.

    F. GBCS supports radical environment justice

    G.GBCS supports interfaith-not inter-denominational but interfaith(religious pluralism)

    H. GBCS Supports disarmament -peace through weakness- to the glee of the socialists/communists dictators

    I.GBCS supports the ban on all hand guns-The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects a right to keep and bear arms .[1] Justice Antonin Scalia , wrote that the “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” was a just a controlling one and referred to it as a pre-existing right of individuals to possess and carry personal weapons for self-defense and intrinsically for defense against tyranny . The Hand Guns National Coalition to Ban is located in the Methodist Building( 100 Maryland Ave NW) in Washing DC.Again,to the glee to all who would want to harm.

    J. GBCS is and was an avid supporter of Kofi Annan- enough said!

    K. .GBGM/GBCS/Women’s Division continue to fund RCRC and Planned Parenthood

    L. . Other tenants in Methodist Buildings include Nations Magazine( flag ship of the Left), Mother Jones Magazine,NCC Eco- Justice Programs Amnesty International.

    Do I think the associations do harm? Yes!

    The GBCS has become and active member of the socialist left in this country. Some examples are listed below:

    a.Protests with radical organizations to change US foreign policy http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=339 , http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pubs.html?id=695 ,
    Prominent among those arrested in front of the White House include Father Joseph Nangle, co-director of Franciscan Missions, James Winkler, General Secretary of the the GBCS, and Leslie Cagan,http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=629 , national coordinator of the United for Peace and Justice activist group(UFPJ) (http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6166 .

    b. The Women’s Division has marched with radicals groups (Code Pink http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=61490
    ACLU,Golbal Exchange( http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6151 ), DSA ( http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6428 ).

    c. The General Secretary of the GBCS serves on the Board of Africa Action with Emira Woods,( http://www.ips-dc.org/staff/ emira ,
    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6991 .

    d. Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6991 ,
    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2147 ,co-authored Ending the US War in Afghanistan with
    David Wildman.He is Executive Secretary for Human Rights and Racial Justice with the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church. He has regional responsibilities relating to the Middle East and Afghanistan and has in recent years traveled to Afghanistan four times.

    e. The Board has accepted the socialist belief that all the injustices in the world have been caused by capitalism, racism ,colonialism,US imperialism and US foreign policies.
    f. On February 22-23, thirty-two leaders from Central and South America gathered in Cancun to organize the new regional union of “Latin American and Caribbean States.” Communist rulers from Cuba and Venezuela were warmly welcomed. The United States and Canada were not invited.

    Nor was Porfirio Lobo, Honduras’ new president. Instead, the leaders planned to discuss the issue of his legitimacy. Some still denied the unwanted facts

    behind the legal removal of the corrupt former President Zelaya — a collaborator with Communist Hugo Chavez and the drug lords they both protected.The GBCS strongly supported the President Zelaya.
    g. United Nations is entrenched within most Christian Denominations.( http://faultlineusa.blogspot.com/2007/04/united-nations-entrenched-within-most.html, http://www.camera.org/, http://www.crossroad.to/Excerpts/chronologies/un.htm, http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/turfur12-98.html, http://www.crossroad.to/, http://mises.org/daily/2318

    3 So, what is GBCS’s definition of “Social Justice”? It is political not religious.It combines economic justice,environmental justice,gender justice into a world view that systematically blames the world’s problems on apartheid,colonialism, imperialism, US foreign policy ,corporate irresponsibility and globalization.The Church has accepted the secular version of Social Gospel.gotquestions.org States:
    Adherents of the Social Gospel believe that individuals could only leave their sinful lifestyle if the social and economic situations were changed that drove them into sin in the first place. As a result of this reasoning, individual salvation was important, but second to social reform, which would convert people into Gods kingdom. Salvation of the individual then, stood as an important byproduct of working for a literal kingdom of God on earth. Working for social improvement, the Kingdom of God on earth was the thrust of the Social gospel movement. This is now become Social Justice{not Christian Charity but government control to effect equality in all things ie Socialism}This type of gospel alienates many of the membership who still believe that our time on earth should be spent in glorifying GOD and making disciples of all nations.
    When churches seek unity they accept unbiblical lifestyles and religions( Religious Pluralism because they have not recognized Christ as the head of the universal church (Colossians 1:18), and are preaching “another gospel” (Galatians 1:1-9).
    The true Gospel is defined in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and John 3:16.
    I can more easily explain what their definition is not. It is not biblical!

    The best guide for Christians that I could find is contained in:

    Dr. John F. MacArthur, Jr.
    Why Government Can’t Save You : An Alternative to Political Activism. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000

    I first became appalled with what my Church was doing-no become- when I read about the Trinity United Methodist Church in Austin welcoming into its pulpit a pagan Wiccan priest of the Covenant of the Goddess.Have we become a Apostate Church?Bishop Whitaker , Pluralism might not have been a problematic in the first century but it is now in the 21th century.
    WE will soon have only Red and Blue , Pro or Anti Israel and Pro and Anti Homosexuality,Pro illegal immigration or anti illegal immigration, Pro Gun control or anti Gun control CHURCHES.We will have forgotten That Jesus did got come to overthrow the very oppressive Roman government but to establish his heavenly kingdom.We have forgotten the great commission.The only thing that can change the evil and corruption on this earth is by the acceptance of Jesus as our savior and be transformed to live a Christian life.The Church must return to the Biblical Truths to Grow the Lords’ Church.We are alienating the very people we are wanting to bring to Christ.
    Our relationship to the United Nations and its Anti-American,Anti- Israel ,Pro World Government stance is of special interest to me.I am concerned about the time and energy we spend on advancing the UN’s social agenda.I need for the Bishops to answer the following questions:
    A.Should Christians be tolerant of other people’s beliefs? Is there another way to heaven besides through Jesus Christ?
    B.In what countries do the displaced Palestinians live? How are they treated?Why are the Christians fleeing from PA controlled areas and cities?List the compromises make by the Israelis -the Palestinians.What would happen if the Israelis laid down their arms?What would happen if the Palestinians laid down their arms?List the demands of the Palestinians for a lasting peace. List the demands of the Israelis for a lasting peace?Do we believe the God’s Covenant with Abraham will be fulfilled or do we believe in the “replacement theology”?
    C.Do you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible? Have we perverted the truth?Are we preaching an ambiguous gospel?Please tell me the scriptures in the Bible that the Methodist do not believe?
    I do not believe in evolution.
    I believe in capital punishment.
    I am against abortion.
    I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.
    I believe that through Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and salvation.
    I believe that Peace on earth can only be maintained through strength.
    I believe that we must obey the laws of our country or change the the laws by the ballet box.
    I believe in Genesis 1 and Romans 1.
    I believe God still has plans for Israel.
    I believe in the 2nd amendment to the Constitution.
    I am pro- Israel.
    Who is left to join our Church that we have not alienated ?The illegal immigrants?We are not able to proselytize anyone! Why? Is it unbiblical?NO. It is against our politicized faith! That is also why we can not retain our members or our youth.

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  11. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move”
    Paul, in Philippians 4:13 is paraphrasing Jesus’ statement above. Also there are many more statements that support and confirm that with absolute and complete belief in Christ Jesus’ power we can do all things.

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    1. Hi Linda,

      What evidence do you have that Phil. 4:13 is a paraphrase of Matthew 17:20? The context of the preceding verses is very clear: Paul says he has a secret for being content, whether in plenty or in want, then he gives the secret.

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  12. MANDATORY ESSENTIALS and OPTIONAL NONESSENTIALS.

    In 1Corinthians, St Paul’s guiding principles for Christian morality, charity, liberty and unity are derived from COMMANDS (7:10) CONCESSIONS (7:6) COUNSELS (7:12).

    COMMANDS require unity and compliance,
    CONCESSIONS require liberty and consideration, and
    COUNSELS require charity and consecration.

    “In essentials (commands) unity, in nonessentials (concessions) liberty, in all things (counsels) charity.”

    Essentials and Nonessentials should be determined by what the Bible reveals or says is mandatory or optional. Thank God for almost uniform consensus derived from the Scriptures and summarised in the Nicene Creed as essentials for Christian faith and eternal salvation.
    .
    Whatsoever the Bible presents as absolutes and mandatory should be taken as “essentials”. For instance in paraphrase “Thou shall not commit adultery/fornication”. Or “no one comes to the father except by Christ”.

    Whatsoever the Bible presents as alternatives or optional should be taken as “nonessentials”. For instance in paraphrase: “Thou may or may not marry as the situations demand”. Or “circumcision or uncircumcision does not enhance or diminish our standing with God”.

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  13. NUMBER ONE FALLACY: THE BLOOD OF CHRIST DOES NOT SAVE YOU! “I will have mercy but not sacrifice for you. I came to tell the sinners to repent.” (Matthew 9:13) The messiah’s job was to end all oblations and sacrifice not become a human sacrifice and make new oblations. (Daniel 9:27)

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  14. But how he put an end to all oblations and sacrifice was by the sacrifice of Himself [http://bible.cc/hebrews/9-26.htm] which took away sin. Sacrifice and oblation were made because of sin, to appease God, as a way for man to formally and outwardly recognize that he had sinned. We take on Christ’s righteousness, thus legally have no sin before God; therefore, we need not make sacrifice or oblation any more. Repentance is turning from our sin to Christ, and trusting in His righteousness instead of our own.

    I’m a little concerned about your choice of translation of Matthew 9:13. Here are many translations [http://bible.cc/matthew/9-13.htm], and not one says, “I will have mercy but not sacrifice for you.” Instead, they all say that God would rather people show mercy towards their fellow man and not sacrifice, rather than to follow the strict formality of offering sacrifice while being hard towards others.

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  15. You’re just like the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees who opposed Jesus – judgemental, fundamentalist, unloving and ignorant – take that big straw out of your eye. You ‘ll understand one day just like we all will. You think God actually leaves people in some place of torture for all eternity ? You don’t know Jesus, his Father what love truly is.

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    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. I encourage you to consider a few things:

      1. Please re-read your comment and ask yourself if it contained any judging.

      2. If you claim I am ignorant, perhaps you could point out something specific where I have erred. That would be the loving thing for you to do.

      3. Hell is a place of torment, not torture. If you have Bible verses stating otherwise, please share them.

      4. If you do know Jesus and the Father, please tell us how you know them. I know them through their word, the Bible. If I have misunderstood something from the Bible I am very correctable.

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      1. Unfortunately we do not have good evidence of a “physical-in the flesh” resurrection from the dead.

        The original Mark did not originally contain a physical resurrection story. Luke and Matt used Mark as a source document and so the physical resurrection stories were added later due to popular tradition of one sect of Christianity at the time. Namely the Pauline sect (non Jewish Christians)

        We can safely say that almost all early Christians believed in a resurrection, but to many it was a spiritual resurrection.

        The Church of Jerusalem (founded by the original disciples who were all Jews and originally headed by James) died out and it was the Pauline sect that flourished.

        By the time John was written which is a bit of a Pauline fusion with Greek mysticism, a distinct anti Jewish sentiment has formed.

        Paul never met Jesus and did not convert until years after the death of Jesus so he can not be taken as a reliable witness to the resurrection. That said, even Paul suggests that the appearance of Jesus to the disciples after death was spiritual in nature akin to his vision.

        We are then left with Luke and Matt as witnesses. Neither was written by the person named in the title of the of either Gospel, (See the Catholic Encyclopedia) and it is fairly well accepted that the physical resurrections in these Gospels were later additions.

        There was a strong messianic tradition among Jews around the first century. The Jews believed that two messiah’s would come. One would be sacrificed and the other would be a military leader that would restore the former glory of Israel as Joshua had done.

        There were many messiah claimants both before and after Jesus. Simon of Peraea was one such leader who was also killed by the Romans and was thought by his followers to have been resurrected 3 days later. Simon existed a decade or so before Jesus was born. The followers of Simon maintained the belief in the resurrection of Simon long after his death.

        There are also numerous other Messiah’s after the death of Yeshua/Joshua/Jesus that you can look up.

        In light of what we now know about the gospels themselves and the history of the time, there really is very little evidence for the physical resurrection.

        To me this is not a big deal and has no impact on my faith in God or the message of Christ.

        Like

      2. Mike,

        Thanks for visiting and commenting. Before I point out the serious misstatements of fact, I want to encourage you to meditate on what your sources were for those statements. You should reconsider them and ask yourself why they were so flawed. Was it ignorance or intentional deceit? Either way, on matters of eternity you should use good discernment and your sources more thoroughly (Acts 17:11).

        I am also going to recommend this book from a former atheist — Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels — http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective- Investigates/dp/1434704696/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366286399&sr=8-1&

        Unfortunately we do not have good evidence of a “physical-in the flesh” resurrection from the dead.

        The original Mark did not originally contain a physical resurrection story. Luke and Matt used Mark as a source document and so the physical resurrection stories were added later due to popular tradition of one sect of Christianity at the time. Namely the Pauline sect (non Jewish Christians)

        Your statement about Mark is very easy to disprove. I’m familiar with the “long ending” that was most likely not in the original manuscripts. But as the footnotes to nearly every Bible will tell you, it is only verses 9-20 of chapter 16 that do not appear in the earliest manuscripts. Verses 1-8 clearly refer to an empty tomb — i.e., a physical resurrection. Please note that on this point alone you should reconsider your sources and conclusions.

        We can safely say that almost all early Christians believed in a resurrection, but to many it was a spiritual resurrection.

        No, we can’t. See 1 Corinthians 15. The physical resurrection is attested to early in writing and refers to events and creeds that were in place very close to the resurrection.

        The Church of Jerusalem (founded by the original disciples who were all Jews and originally headed by James) died out and it was the Pauline sect that flourished.

        By the time John was written which is a bit of a Pauline fusion with Greek mysticism, a distinct anti Jewish sentiment has formed.

        Someone should read more Bible and less Da Vinci Code (or whatever your source is). The Book of Acts shows the interaction of Paul and the other Apostles.

        Paul never met Jesus and did not convert until years after the death of Jesus so he can not be taken as a reliable witness to the resurrection. That said, even Paul suggests that the appearance of Jesus to the disciples after death was spiritual in nature akin to his vision.

        I see you’ve never actually read the Book of Acts or Paul’s writings. It doesn’t matter if you met a resurrected person 30 minutes after the resurrection or 30 years. Either way he is resurrected. Paul suggests no such thing.

        We are then left with Luke and Matt as witnesses. Neither was written by the person named in the title of the of either Gospel, (See the Catholic Encyclopedia) and it is fairly well accepted that the physical resurrections in these Gospels were later additions.

        I’ll skip the Catholic Encyclopedia, thanks (the Reformation happened for a reason . . . actually, 95 of them). If you read the book I mentioned above you’ll discover how silly the arguments against the authorship claims are for any of the books. Just on example: If the early church wanted to sanitize the Gospels, they would have changed the name of the Gospel of Mark to the Gospel of Peter, and the Gospel of Luke to the name of some other apostle. But they didn’t.

        There was a strong messianic tradition among Jews around the first century. The Jews believed that two messiah’s would come. One would be sacrificed and the other would be a military leader that would restore the former glory of Israel as Joshua had done.

        There were many messiah claimants both before and after Jesus. Simon of Peraea was one such leader who was also killed by the Romans and was thought by his followers to have been resurrected 3 days later. Simon existed a decade or so before Jesus was born. The followers of Simon maintained the belief in the resurrection of Simon long after his death.

        There are also numerous other Messiah’s after the death of Yeshua/Joshua/Jesus that you can look up.

        Those all variants of the fallacious “copycat” argument http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/copycats/ . Please take a look at that link.

        In light of what we now know about the gospels themselves and the history of the time, there really is very little evidence for the physical resurrection.

        To me this is not a big deal and has no impact on my faith in God or the message of Christ.

        I was surprised to see your closing line. Do you call yourself a Christian? Because you appear to deny every essential of the faith and whatever “God” you have faith in is not real.

        Again, I hope you reconsider your sources. Eternity is a mighty long time to be wrong about your only possible way to salvation.

        Like

  16. I was thinking about your last post and you need not bother responding to my response as there is likely little point in belaboring the issue.

    One question I would like your opinion on is in response to your claim.

    “Eternity is a mighty long time to be wrong about your only possible way to salvation”

    What is the only possible way to salvation that you refer to?

    Like

    1. I was clearing out the sp*m folder and caught your comment and thought I’d reply re. your last question. Don’t necessarily expect a reply because you were going to the sp*m filter for a reason. I don’t bother trying to communicate with people who can’t understand simple facts like “human being.” Life is too short.

      The only way to salvation: Real trust in the real Jesus. Repent and believe, or spend an eternity in Hell for your rebellion.

      I’ve got more than this, but you’ll get the idea after about 70 or 80:

      Mark 14:61-62 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
      John 3:14-16 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
      John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
      John 6:53-54 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
      John 6:68-69 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
      John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
      John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
      John 16:8-9 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;
      John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
      Acts 4:11-12 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
      Acts 16:30-31 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
      Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
      1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
      Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
      Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
      Titus 3:6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
      Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
      1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
      1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
      Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
      Mark 9:7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
      Luke 9:35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
      John 3:33-34 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
      John 6:28-29 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
      John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
      John 6:45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
      John 16:15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
      Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
      Hebrews 1:1-3 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
      1 John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
      Luke 10:22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
      John 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
      John 5:23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
      John 5:37-38 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
      John 8:19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
      John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
      John 12:48-50 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
      John 14:7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
      John 15:20-21 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
      John 15:23 He who hates me hates my Father as well.
      John 16:2-3 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
      1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.
      1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
      1 John 4:2-3 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
      1 John 4:15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
      1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
      1 John 5:9-12 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
      2 John 7-9 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
      Luke 10:16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
      Luke 12:8-9 “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
      John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
      Luke 11:23 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
      Luke 20:17-18 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
      John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
      John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
      John 15:5-6 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
      Acts 3:22-23 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’
      1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
      Hebrews 2:2-4 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
      1 Peter 2:4-8 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
      Revelation 17:14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
      Revelation 19:13-16 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
      2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
      Luke 7:48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
      Mark 2:10-12 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
      Luke 5:24-25 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
      John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
      John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
      Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
      Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
      1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
      Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
      Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
      Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
      John 10:7-8 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
      John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
      Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
      Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
      Matthew 24:23-25 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.
      Mark 13:5-6 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
      Mark 13:22-23 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
      Luke 13:24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
      John 10:7-8 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
      Jude 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
      John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
      Romans 8:8-9 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
      Matthew 26:39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
      Mark 14:36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
      Luke 22:41-42 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
      Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
      Revelation 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
      Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
      Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
      Mark 8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
      Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
      1 Peter 3:21-22 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
      John 5:22-23 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
      John 5:26-27 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
      John 17:2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
      Acts 17:30-31 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
      Romans 2:16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
      2 Timothy 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

      Like

  17. Hello. I am a first-time poster but I really enjoy your blog.

    I am a baptized Christian, though lapsed in many respects, who is starting to rediscover Christianity. I don’t agree with all of your theological positions, but you seem to be a person of integrity, and I admire your ministry to the elderly and your prison outreach. And I enjoy reading what you have to say. I would like to discuss theological issues with you as I work my way to what I hope is a true acceptance of Christ.

    Like

  18. I just read your commentary on Philippians 4:12-13. It was right on and I am using part of it in a ladies bible study that I lead. I hope that is ok. This is only place I found to contact you. I did not see your name anywhere. Maybe I didn’t look in the right place. Thanks for the commentary.

    Like

  19. Hi,

    I just ran across your blog wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I literally read for over two hours on various posts, and especially how you handled the comments from atheists, evolutionists, non-Christians etc. I must say that I found your comments to be spot on, very patient, and even polite.

    If you don’t mind I had a few questions:

    How do you handle continued onslaught of the “laundry list of assertions with no backup” from the likes of Blurtex33? Just reading them left me frustrated and tired. I considering doing a web site mainly for the sake of consolidating my own studies but now I not sure if I’m up for it.

    What is your background in Theology? I apologize if I missed that on your site.

    Keep up the good work,

    MB

    Like

    1. Hi Marty,

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! I really do try to be patient and polite, but I admit that I fail at times.

      My general strategy is to address a few specific issues that they have and then steer them to the Bible. We aren’t obligated to go through every one of their objections, especially when they don’t seem to really care when solid answers are provided to them. Pearls before swine and all that.

      Being online is slightly different in that others are watching, so it helps to encourage the faith of other Christians to know that we have good answers for these objections.

      Re. my theology training – I’m a CPA / finance executive by trade. I just read a lot and listened to tons of Podcasts (my favorite is Stand to Reason — http://www.str.org). Writing a blog has helped as well. Knowing people can and will disagree with you forces you to think more carefully and present your reasons as best you can. That doesn’t mean I’m always right, but it does mean that it is better thought out than it would have been otherwise.

      The good news is that WordPress lets you moderate comments. All first-time comments require approval, so you can just delete the blasphemous and completely unproductive ones before they post. And if people get out of control you can moderate or even ban them.

      Blessings to you, and thanks for the encouragement! Hope you come back.

      Like

    1. Yawn. Yet another fact-free, logic-free personal attack from the “tolerant” Left. If you want hate, just read the “Christian” Left page. All we hate here is sound doctrine. We’ll gladly share the Gospel with anyone who wants it!

      Jesus was very blunt in his name-calling. A few examples: Jesus called Pharisees “wicked,” “adulterous,” “sons of hell” (Matt. 23:15), “blind guides,” “blind men,” “white-washed tombs,” and even “snakes.” For those who didn’t believe Him, Jesus said they were “foolish” and that they were “of their father the devil (John 8:44).”

      Also see an example of what Paul said: Acts 13:9–10 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

      Like

  20. July 17, 2016

    I know, as you say, you welcome alternative views as long as they’re civil. And, we have had, on another venue, some exchanges about my naturalism vs. your Christianity.

    But I do you think you are open-minded person.

    I have no doubt we would agree on the denigration and loss of Western cultural values, the only difference being whether they are Christian in origin–a minor point.

    I have an interview done on just that subject by a Christian over 15 years ago. I would like for you to examine it to be certain that you would agreevwith me on its importance and relevance to things happening today.

    I don’t want just to email to you and have consider airing it as a topic of discussion on Eternity Matters.

    I need to know if you want to see it and, if you do, whether this Comment section or another email address is the best place to send it (if I can).

    Please let me know.

    R. Clive

    Like

  21. I recommend that you consider updating your Resources/Links page. For one thing, CRI president Hank Hanegraaff is apostate. Also, FOTF’s Jim Daly is off the reservation (liberal) and World Vision has become a social justice organization. If you wish to contact me I’ll share more of my concerns.

    Grace & peace,
    Marsha West
    Owner/Editor Christian Research Network

    Like

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We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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