Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Spreading Mega Ministry Holiday Cheer

Saints, I had hoped to run through Christmas on an easy, less intense note. However I was stirred because I received some information on one of our posts that I thought certainly needed to be discussed going into 2009. You may shelve this for future review as to not "mess up" your holiday, but I believe that you will find the contents of this post a terrible reminder of the fallen condition of the church, and hopefully a motivator to lend your prayers and gifts to help solve this problem.

It all begins with a deleted post that I received from a commenter on this site. The post was deleted by the poster but was received by me before it could be deleted. I am also asking the original poster, (who will remain anonymous) to comment further either by email or directly on this site IF they (he/she) deems it necessary. I feel that the contents are especially important for us that are praying that god change the nature of the church for end times ministry. If we do nothing else, I believe this will be a stark reminder of why we must fall on our faces and continue to serve the Lord in righteousness. Hold on to your seats, here we go:

"Hello there!


I used to work for a "show biz" bishop who was on television every day in different countries.

I saw that there was always a team that protected the image of the "show biz" pulpit celeb. We were berated if we spoke out against sins of other preachers. We were told "YOU aren't without sin yourself so what are you talking about?"

There was a situation where a prominent person came for private prayer and counsel and did not know that his session was tape recorded! This happened more than once in "deliverance" meetings. They say that they tape the sessions in order to protect themselves. Well...one minister started blackmailing a prominent person with the information that was shared in a PRIVATE meeting where this person came for counsel. This minister is now behind bars. These are the things you don't see in the papers.

There are people being paid cash because they have duties to the Bishop but they are not listed on the staff.There is a lack of accountability.The bishop I worked for would tell the masses that NO ONE could criticize him when he has accomplished more than they have for the kingdom. Yessss...he has said this publicly. If anyone told the truth about whatever was being hidden, they were banished by everyone near the Bishop, and their private business was "leaked" to others. Often, the bishop would make comments publicly from the pulpit alluding to the person who had wronged him in a way that people knew who he was mentioning without saying the person's name. This was a way of warning all others who had dirt on him that he would do the same with them.I would like to say this is SO RARE but it isn't.

I believe the church CAN be the salt and the light...but first...we must become repentant, reconciled, cleansed and whole.Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!"

(NAME WITHHELD by Pastor Burnett)


I would like to say that this is a terrible indictment of the condition of church leadership. I would also like to extend that anyone who has suffered in the church because of a ministers misfeasance or malfeasance is certainly welcome here at the Dunamis Word or at any of the New Bethel Ministry sites, locations or associated ministries, or any of the other fine churches and ministries that we network with. If you are tired of "fluff" and need assistance in finding a good ministry in your area, please email me personally at Dunamis1@netzero.com You may also call me or email me with your prayer requests or to discuss your situation.
I would also like to say that if you have been the victim or witness of this or any other type of ungodliness in any pulpit, run, NOT WALK to the nearest exit. God has much better for you than what you are experiencing at the Ichabod Memorial Church that you are attending. I know that there are some of you who don't fellowship at any church simply because of garbage like this. This is the day of your deliverance and healing and I personally believe that God wants you to LIVE because he is LIFE.

Ps. 118:17~ "I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord."

John 1:4 ~ "In him was the life; and the life was the light of men"

John 8:12~ "Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

John 10:10 ~ "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."


Now, the critic will undoubtedly criticize me for exposing church failures; saying how can we be an effective witness when we're talking negatively? First of all these individuals and the pertinent, guilty parties expose themselves and their sins. Secondly, I pose to you that there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed. (Mt. 9:26, Mk. 4:22, Lk. 12:2) I believe that service to Christ is the highest possible call in the land. I also believe that God's people are to be handled with care, the utmost regard and the highest integrity especially within the context of the church. The modern church has become so "business like" and modern ministers so akin to business persons and politicians, until we have forgotten that ministry is all about service to God and HIM only and that unto the safeguard and keeping of the flock of God.
I am ashamed to hear that we are living in a time when charlatanism is acceptable within the body of Christ and discernment is held to be an oddity or non essential element of Christian service. A commenter recently challenged the notion of spiritual discernment, reducing hearing and serving God to political and social posturing by claiming that I was merely trying to "influence" individuals to agree with my views and that I was simply pandering for an "amen crowd". You'll find that HERE.
This Christmas and New Year season, let us not only celebrate with our families, but let us commit to being a part of the change that the church so desperately needs. I am extremely blessed by those of you who have called and emailed me saying that this blog has helped encourage you to enter the next stage and dimension of ministry. Now however, we must move forward together at the speed that god has given us grace to travel supporting and praying for one another as we honor the TRUTH that is the only thing that will stem this tide of apostasy. We have the strength, the Lord is on our side and there is NO WEAPON formed against us that shall prosper.
May the Lord Bless each and every one of you, may he make HIS face to shine upon you, may he bless and keep you in the Power of the Holy Ghost is my prayer.
Blessed!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I would have hoped that Christmas 2008 could have seen better social news other than the expected mass layoffs at major corporations, financial bailouts for the automotive industry, massive business bankruptcies, and an economy that has lost over 2 Million jobs in the last 12 months. I would have hoped that even thieves like Madoff actually who "made off" with billions of dollars invested in fictitious schemes and scams and Governors of States like mine would have been stories confined to the pages of mystery and fantasy novels. Unfortunately, we've all witnessed that the truth is stranger than fiction.

Then, There Are Religious Leaders.

Now it’s one thing to make a mistake in your message. I’ve done that before. Called a wrong date or a wrong scripture or even reversed a sequence. Those things can be corrected as any minister reading this can relate. However, one cannot correct a fundamentally flawed paradigm unless one is willing to change that paradigm. Most paradigm’s (for this writing-fundamental understanding of scripture) have develop over time. If your paradigm is flawed and the flaws are not corrected, or recast in the correct mode, then it is possible to build and even perfect a wrong understanding of scripture and make highly attractive displays out of foundation-less buildings of paper and glass.

Then there’s the area of psychology. Because no one sets out in life to have a flawed paradigm or set of beliefs. The next step is often to make your belief system seem "normal" or acceptable within the "system" or realm operation. One way to do this is to amass individuals who are in agreement with your paradigm. Another way is to shade your beliefs until it is warranted that they be exposed, and finally interconnect your beliefs with so many other things until it becomes cumbersome if not impossible for anyone to root up everything all at once.


Secular companies implore marketing strategies that have used this method of operation for years. In the banking industry for instance, it is called "relationship banking". You start with a free checking account or savings account then they cross-sell and offer you as many products as you can stand over a period of time. Ultimately if a customer decides to leave the bank, they will think twice before moving all of their deposits because not only will they have multiple accounts, but now you have services such as loans and credit cards and they are often paid by auto-draft from one of those "free" accounts. If you close your accounts you’ll have to worry about setting up a new payment methods etc which will take more of your time and cause you an inconvenience…ie: The bank’s aim is to get you in so deep until it becomes cumbersome for you to leave and to your advantage to not think critically or "sweat" the small stuff.


These same techniques are perfected in the streets. Drug dealers know how to keep regular clients by offering "freebies" or extra’s after certain clients have spent so much. Pimps have managed to learn how to keep certain women under control by defining their thoughts for them, and making them interdependent upon him and his "efforts" (even if he does nothing) and soothing it over with drugs and the pretense of "protection".


In both cases those individuals and victims, have been "cross-sold" so deeply that to change their situation is thought to be a laborious task with no end in sight. Often change does not occur until they are forced to do so by being totally and physically removed from the situation and environment.


What Happens When A Church Or Minister Takes This Same Approach?


In his recently aired 12/21/2008 Christmas message, "5 Points To My Star" Bishop T.D. Jakes set forth what I thought to be some pretty motivational and inspiring words. But it’s what’s before during and after those words of inspiration that is so utterly shocking and disturbing that I decided to write this post.


First of all, and I don’t claim to know his thoughts, but a 5 Point Star, which was the title of his message, is a pentagram. Now this is probably the easiest type of star to draw and one that most children learn in school, however a pentagram is a symbol of WICCA or Wiccan Witchcraft. In fact, even more disturbingly, an inverted, interlocked pentagram is a symbol of a Satanism aka Luciferianism and a demon icon called Beowulf.







Surprisingly this symbol is also prevalent within Hip-Hop similar to the peace sign which is a broken cross upside down as an anti-war symbol within rock and roll and the free-sex era (which will be addressed in an upcoming post).




It was interesting that Bishop chose 5 points when a more biblically centered symbol would have been the Star Of David, a 6 pointed star drawn from Judaism.


It was even more interesting as he mingled motivational utterances with his version of the gospel. He encouraged the individuals to know 1- That they have nothing to do with the promise of God upon their lives, 2- That they should grow "outside" the system ie: away from religious tradition and peoples expectations 3- They should remember that everyone that follows doesn’t necessarily want them to succeed, and 4- That they should keep their "gifts" hidden while they grow.



I don’t believe he got to the 5th point in that segment, but many of those points especially points 2 and 4 were disturbing because they come right out of the mind control handbook, (if there were such a thing). Secondly, he left the word "gifts" open to interpretation and one can only speculate as to what he means based on other erroneous doctrines that he espouses see :GCMWatch Jakes Exposed

But of equal importance was how concluded that segment and by defining the relationship of Jesus and Mary, his mother.

Using the events of acts 2:4 as his backdrop, Bishop stated that Mary identified Jesus aka the Holy Ghost because he had "been in her womb before." "Before Pentecost" says Jakes, "Jesus was in her womb as a baby but now he was in her womb as a quickening spirit".

Now, I don’t know how one makes the leap from a baby or physical pregnancy to the Holy Ghost indwelling of God’s Spirit, (other than analogously) But Jakes made the case that there was a physical and material identification by Mary to the Holy Ghost whom he identified as Jesus. Not only is this a literal and biblical untruth, it’s a total misrepresentation of the relationship between Jesus and Mary and God and HIS church. In other words what he espoused was rank doctrinal heresy.

Clearly there is an audience that not only cannot recognize when someone is divining their minds and spirits, but also does not care when the most carnal and subjective references and paradigms are used to interpret biblical texts and understand spiritual relationships documented within the bible.

In other words Jakes complete paradigm is not a biblical paradigm but a paradigm based on his personal thoughts and revelations, oneness Pentecostalism , subjugation of the masses through media and propaganda, relationship marketing strategies, and cross-selling ministry services.

If the audience is any representation of the multi-million dollar annual media sales it is obviously possible to get people so deep and intertwined in superficial and fluff, self promotion until whatever is said will always be reinterpreted to mean something different than what it was originally intended or understood to mean.

Biblical Insight

The Star in the biblical record (Mt. 2:2) was a supernatural event, designed to draw those who had eyes to see to Jesus. Neither Herod, Caiphas, or any of those in Judea could see the star (Mt. 2:7) as proven by Herrod’s inquiry that the heavens were not open to them, but it was open to those called "wise men" from the east who at a minimum had traveled a long journey west to see the star that rose in the east. This was a supernatural opening in which the light of the Lord shone through the veil of humanity. An opening that was reminiscent to the Baptism of Jesus in which the heaven’s were opened (Mt. 3:16, Mk. 1:10, Lk. 3:21) and one similar to that through which Jesus appeared to Saul and he was converted to Paul (Acts 9:3) see: T. Michael Davis "Christian Research Journal" Vol. 30 #6 2007 Pg. 19. In all cases the "light" led individuals to Jesus.

The point is that the star wasn’t the focus or the end of the journey, Jesus was.

It would seem that the church is struggling to learn that it doesn’t matter what the points of "our" star are. Jesus already knows what we have suffered that has lead us to this place. What we should remember that if whatever star we follow doesn’t lead us to see Jesus and learn who HE is, it’s a journey that is not worth traveling.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night(or day)

Blessed!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Interview With The Pastor

Recently one of our regular commenters Enochwalked, asked me some rather profound questions. As I was in the process of answering, the Lord said make this a main post so that the church can see. I hope you enjoy this and your comments are more than welcome. Thank you Elder for posing these serious and timely questions.

Enochwalked: What is your "holy opinion" on this article? The Washington Post Condition Of The Black Family.

Pastor Burnett: Well brother, there is a lot that could be said, but I would first say that the breakdown of the black family should not solely be laid at the feet of the black family. What the article didn't address is Johnson's welfare program which was fashioned to give broken families and single mothers incentives for children and conversely for failure of the family. I mean anytime you tell a family they can have so much money permanently (until the child is 18) if they have a child and no father is in the home, what do you expect to see?

Then she didn't mention the failed "War On Drugs" which was a way to get the black youth both under control and off the streets leaving our neighborhoods to slick undercover pimps, bullys and available preachers.

Then she failed to mention the failure of the educational system, during the same period of time, in adjusting and finding ways to educate black youth against the backdrop of their changing culture.

This is what I call the "perfect storm" against the black family and it had all the tools and power that it was designed to have. Why do you think mandatory minimum sentencing still exists even though MOST law enforcement officials know the disparity and problems that it creates? This stuff was designed to do what it did and our families suffer as a result of over 30 years of failed policies and plans and the weak backbone of a extremely weak church who though that it could shout and dance itself through every problem that it experienced...That is and was the problem. Total failure to connect, adapt, change, move and become the clarion institution that would set the pace for change instead of merely responding to others as they make changes.

Where is the black church? Are we in front of issues? Some are. I certainly try to be in my community, but all too often we are second responders IF we respond at all.

So far as unemployment was concerned, one of the major culprit's has been governmental policy. You see in major industrial cities across America, factories got up and got out because it was cheaper to do business elsewhere. This was why some of our black men and families, who were factory workers were devastated and cities began to change. We sill see the effects of this today in places like Detroit, LA, and New York.

So yes the statistics are devastating and very revealing but I believe they are highly incomplete.

Enochwalked: Is SIN the major reason that we have lost the black family--husband and wife structure? We have more prosperity today but we have raised children who are reprobates and do not know the LORD!

Pastor Burnett: Brother sin is the major reason, but as I said there is enough sin in places that caused sin in the streets that we see today. I'm trying to say this, we see the symptoms of the sins that were either placed upon our communities or that our communities chose.

Example, Hip-Hop (which I will be doing a full series on in a very short period of time)arose during the same time period that the black family broke down. Why was it so appealing to the masses of youth? It became the father than many youth never knew. It became the mother that many youth were not familiar with. It was the place, to express, communicate and sound off because people weren't being listened to. It developed it's own culture and part of that culture was to teach and reteach and because converted Muslims saw it as a way to gain an audience the message became mixed with Islam, resurrected Egyptology, Human deism and other ideologies right under our nose.

Some churches simply said turn the music off, while others told the participants and hip-hop aspirants to simply send them a tithe check, but they did not battle the "spirit" within the music or deal with the message itself. We failed to teach and train or even accept young unwed mothers and young men wanting to be gangsta's until it was almost too late to redeem them and their children were too old.
So yes, sin is at the root, but the church and establishment will not escape the judgement of God for their dereliction of duty to defend the weak and poor.
Enochwalked: Who or what failed to bring the Black Family to the conditions we have today ([do] you see this problem in both Black Christians and Black unbelievers)?
Pastor Burnett: Church leadership failed to adequately respond through the development of a message. I'm not talking about a "ministry". Some churches have over 200 ministries for everything and everybody in the church. I'm takling about a general direction and prescribed path for the people, neighborhoods and community to follow.

We say, "daughter/son, get off the street and stop sellin' drugs." But how much money have we spent to help them stop sellin' drugs? I'm not talking about church welfare. I'm talking about creating and developing life skill sets that will on point teach and train these young men and ladies to be free from what they are doing, that will recreate "life" for them and their community. So that's ministry and service. Not jumping on some stage and saying...SAY YES LAWD! Don't get me wrong, I do that and love to do that in the service, but I also do the other and do that first, even when I'm hoarse.
Then look at this, we've got Grammy winning singers and musicians almost everywhere. I want to see the day, where we take that Grammy winnin' set, set up a stage in the heart of a troubled community on a Saturday morning, take turns singing, preaching and witnessing all day until Saturday night and do it regularly without selling tickets, asking for news coverage or any of the other things that come with celebrity. Just do it to serve God. and DON'T collect an offering....uuuhhhoo...That costs money.....
Where we at? We gotta pay da bills...Nothing wrong with that, but I preach hard right now for free and do sing as the Lord gives me utterance--uuhhmm---But when will we really get serious about taking our resource, whatever that resource is, and placing it into souls? Not when the cameras are rolling, but when the tears are flowing...that's what we need and that's what the community needs to see of us.
Enochwalked: Where has the Black Church been on this in the past 10, 20, 30, 40 years? You have been in this longer than me.

Pastor Burnett: Now I ain't that old my brutha...;) but let me show you what I see...
The church has been intoxicated and enamoured with flesh, popularity, seeking cars, houses, boats, prosperity, conference hoppin', following Pastors who are not doing anything for the community or the church but collecting an offering for themselves, getting mortgages that they couldn't afford and callin' it a blessing, comparing their salvation to others so they could have an excuse for weakness, covering each others sins with money and associations, having illicit affairs, emotional upheavals, and total spiritual inconsistencies.

I'm not through...

As my man Melvin at Pulpit Pimps said (regarding T.D. Jakes) they have been "Repositioning themselves further away from God", calling their sins as though they are not what they are, finding new ways to NOT preach the righteousness and holiness of God, seeking singing contracts, becoming motivational speakers, leaving substantive issues at the door, and trying to be as inclusive as possible as not to offend anyone.
I admit, I had elements of some of those things when I started off on my own. I thought being in the crowed was going to build my 10,000 member church. (FYI- I DO NOT have a 10,000 member church) I came to a resolution and conclusion that ONLY God was in control of his church and HE will build it as HE sees fit, and if I wanted to be a part of HIS plan, then all I had to do was take my place and be fit and ready for the Lord's use. I'm glad I made that decision.

Enochwalked: "Can(men of God like us) we turn this around? We may not see it in our lifetime but with the help of God, maybe in our childrens time. I am 37 with 2 sons ages almost 5 and 3 and another due in the spring. I have accepted the fact that my generation is LOST! I am looking to save my children's generation!"

Pastor Burnett: Brother, like Jimmy V said, "Don't ever give up!" and like James Moore sung, "It ain't over until God says it's over." There is great power in standing in the gap, even if you're just one.

Remember Mary and Martha when Jesus came to them in John 11 what did Martha say?

"21-Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."

What did Jesus respond?
"23-Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again."

Then Martha does something that many of us do. Put things so far off in the future until we can't hardly see it. She says,
"24-Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

She talks about a blessing that is beyond her present ability. She equates the resolution of things with the end of the world, which was representative of the Jewish thought of "The last day".
But what did Jesus respond?

"25-Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26-And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"

He indicated that what she was looking for resided in ONE person, and that person was him. Next thing you know Lazarus was outta that grave and the disciples were taking the "death identity" (grave clothes) off of him.


What am I saying? What we need is in Jesus and what we need is here right now. In order to change the church for us and our children it will take some bold steps taken in the trail of the Master as he guides and leads our steps. It's just gettin good now. The righteous will rise while the sinner is revealed and cast out.

To them that read this, if you're not equipped get the equipment you need, leave small arguments for the small minded and most of all stay tuned and stay on your post wherever you may be.

Blessed!


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Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Morality Campaign Against God Pt. 2

As discussed in The Morality Campaign Against God Pt. 1, there is a seething cauldron of growing hatred against both God and Christians in general. The non-theist desires to place the worlds ills at the feet of God and Christianity saying that God is the author of hate and division in the world therefore calling him, his actions and the actions of Christianity's adherents immoral.


Professor Bart D. Ehrman in his book "God’s Problem: How The Bible Fails To Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer" while not dealing with the morality of man, concluded that suffering is caused due to evil forces in this present world (apocalypticism). He explains how this continues even though prescribed atonement (sacrifice of Jesus) has been made to eliminate it. He concludes by calling the actions and the nature of God into question and poses that God has failed to answer why we suffer and that humans must do whatever is necessary to eliminate their own suffering. In other words Dr. Ehrman calls God’s morality and goodness in dealing with man into question.


What Does It Mean To Be Moral Or Have Morality?

There are many definitions for morality and what it is to be moral. There are both descriptive and normative definitions of the word. There is the theory of "natural law" as it pertains to morality and then there is relative morality, ethical morality and absolute morality out of which objective moral values as referenced by most Christians spring forth, along with the contention that God is the moral law giver.


Then there is a growing field of study in which even monkey's, apes, and dogs are said to have morality. Yep that's right, the atheist hates God so greatly until he is willing to exalt an animal to the status of man before he admits tha there is a God...What a Farce and a TOTAL shame! Click HERE for the truth about Monkey Morality. Yet this is nothing new for individuals throughout history have done this same sort of thing, valuing animals and the creation greater than God and those created in HIS image and likeness.


Romans 1:21-24 & 28 ~ "21-Because that, when thay knew God, they glorified him not but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hear was darkened. 22-Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23- And changed the glory of the uncorruptable God into an image made like unto corruptable man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. 24-Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves."


As stated previously Dr. William Lane Craig Has laid out the argument as follows:

1- If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  1. 2- Objective moral values DO exist.

  2. 3- Therefore God exists.
  3. From Dr. William Lane Craig, "Why I Believe God Exists" as found in Geisler & Hoffman, "Why I Am A Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe" (Grand Rapids Baker Books, 1999)p.75.
Through history, religious thinkers such as Aquinas (1227-1274) have held that morality is known to all those whose behavior is subject to moral judgment, whether or not they know of the revelations of Christianity.

While I gave special attention to that argument in my last post even going so far as to state the following:
  • "So the Christian world view already acknowledges that one can be good for goodness sake, but that one cannot be saved or acceptable with God no matter how much good one does or performs"
However, I would like to further develop that idea and submit that there is a difference between the moral good of a Christian and the moral good of a sinner.

A Christian springs forth the good that they do because the heart is good and has been changed by the power the Lord. Whereas a sinner does good out of a different set of principles or essential necessities. Though the same or similar characteristics may exist in the life of a Christian and sinner, a Christian has been impacted supernaturally by the God that they serve, therefore the good that the Christian does is unto the glory of God and not merely because it was a good act. So the difference is not necessarily in the "What" of moral behavior the difference is in the "Why" of moral behavior.

John 7:37-38~ "37-In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. 38-He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."


The Naturalist Solution

Create or try to find some way to genetically account for moral behavior.

The atheist/humanist/naturalist has claimed that God offers no benefit towards morality and moral behaviors. Basically stating that all things being equal, that a sinner can be just as good or moral as any Christian, but as we have noted that argument is a non-starter and a given because we can readily observe sinners doing good things or performing good acts according to natural law. However we cannot find any genetic or natural means whereby a sinner gains those moral values. Why? Because the naturalist only responds in ways that are randomly predetermined by genetic processes and natural selection. Natural selection however is a totally blind process with no regard for outcomes either positive or negative. In other words genetic process does not care or offer a priority of moral good for the individual or society.

To further illustrate the terrible problems associated with this viewpoint, we cannot overlook the comments of one of the leading atheists and proponents of methodological and metaphysical naturalism, who is non other than Oxford Professor and scientist Dr. Richard Dawkins.


When discussing morality in a recent interview with with Justin Brierley on Premier Christian Radio Network Dr. Dawkins said the following about why mankind currently holds that the act of rape is wrong:
  • Richard Dawkins: My value judgement itself could come from my evolutionary past.

  • Justin: So therefore its just as random as any product of evolution? (Referencing human moral value selection)

  • Richard Dawkins: Well, you could say that, but it doesn't in any case, nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.

  • Justin: Ok, but ultimately your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we've evolved five fingers rather than six?

  • Richard Dawkins: You could say that, yeah."

Justin then goes on to say this regarding Dawkin’s statements:


"Dawkins is not saying that "rape is ok" – he believes it is wrong from within his evolutionary perspective. However, he does admit that the belief itself is essentially arbitrary given that we could have evolved different morals – and that there can be no overarching moral fact that rape is wrong, as this would suggest values etc. that eclipse his strict naturalism. Of course, not many atheists actually want to admit that this is a logical outworking of naturalism (though it is very hard to deny) and talk all the time as though they are privy to absolute moral facts."

In the naturalistic worldview the definition of morality is solely based on blind chance and what we evolve into. Professor Dawkins agrees that the idea of rape being wrong is an arbitrary product of evolution. In his worldview we evolved to gravitate from rape being an acceptable moral standard. The problem is that Dr. Dawkins cannot account for any of this as he knows that evolutionary process and natural selection are blind and unable to distinguish between moral good and moral bad.




Hold the Phone!


This means that under the naturalist framework, we all would generally accept rape as being ok if only our genes through evolutionary process told us so? This also means that we all could accept murder pedophilia, incest, mutilation, and even eating our children as potential morally equal genetic outcomes of natural selection. Everything is based on random processes.


Devastating Effects

The effects of this type of thinking is enormous and impacting. To draw out it’s conclusions, the criminal then has no responsibility for his/her actions, because genetics become the reason and the need to fulfill criminal behaviors. Free will becomes and illusion shrouded by genetic processes and functions. What was thought to be "freedom of choice" only becomes predetermined genetic responses to stimuli. Moral good and moral bad are merely process of chance and therefore cannot be adequately penalized or rewarded. There is no special good or reward for faithfulness between spouses and no special bad or punishment for infidelity.

It is out of this understanding of natural morality sometimes called "natural law" that homosexuality flourishes. That abortion thrives. That most manias are merely reduced to diverse behaviors. This is the difference between Christian Objective Moral values and the naturalist, relativist or subjectivist value systems which campaign for morality without God. There is no standard of what is called objective morality or any standard of what should be moral obligation.


Additional Scriptural Insight


Judges 21:25 ~ "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes."


This scripture is reverberated 3 times within the book of Judges. (Judges 17:6, 18:1, and 21:25) one of the most interesting notes is that this scripture is was inserted at a time when we would not be expected to see any kings in Israel. I’ll explain:

Sampson had been deposed by God from being a Judge in approximately 1050 to 1070 BC. (Judges 16:31) Samuel would later reign as the last Judge/Prophet but a King would not be appointed by god and anointed by Samuel until (1 Sam. 10:1 & 17) l or at least another 13 to 32 years in 1038 BC.

One thing we learn from studying the Kings of Israel is that they were not spiritual restorers or moral leaders of the people. That position was reserved for the Priest and the Prophet whom God would raise up. So 2 questions arise?
  1. What king was being referred to?
  2. What was the social and moral implications of not having a king?
In my opinion this scripture does not merely reflect a future expectation of Israel, it reflects a current (historical) condition of Israel. The actions of the people were effected because there was no God directed leadership.

So the King being referred to is God himself that had given sign after sign raised up Judge after Judge to help and bless Israel and restore them to fellowship. In essence God was King doing and performing duties of taking care of the nation, but his leadership was not kept before the eyes of the people.

What were the results? Obviously the scripture indicates that the people developed their own brand of morality and their own sense of what was right and wrong by doing "what was right in their own eyes". The story of Micah in Judges 17 is indicative of this problem. Micah wanted a relationship with God but did it his way with a total disregard for the path of the Lord. He hired a pastor (priest) made and ephod and a teraphim and consecrated one of his sons to be priest. (Judges 16:5) His actions would affect a nation as the tribe of Dan would take his items and create a nation that was given to idolatry.

In part this scripture is representative of the morality of man without God or the understanding of God’s moral value system. That man is destined to do what is right in his own eyes and those actions will not be pleasing to God, because they miss the whole point of God’s purpose for relationship with and between man.

A Note On Morality From A Respected Christian Professor

Dr. Craig Bloomberg offered this in response to an atheist website called Debunking Christianity that asked him to address why he was still a Christian. On morality he said the following:

"In fact, if Christians have to wrestle with the problem of evil, so must everyone else. Indeed, we must all wrestle as well with the problem of good. Where do these concepts come from? What makes the most hardened atheist (usually) insist that there is something just plain wrong, perhaps even immoral, with torturing prisoners, abusing children, raping women, and with someone else gratuitously murdering them. The most advanced of apes has never disclosed any awareness of systems of morality, which is why we never arrest and imprison them, even if they kill humans. (We might euthanize them once in awhile, but not as retributive punishment, merely to protect the rest of humanity.) And we certainly don’t condemn multiple-partner animals of being unfaithful to their mates. Mark Twain (no evangelical he!) put it well: "Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to." Near the end of his life, Darwin admitted he had no satisfying explanation for human moral consciousness and reasoning."

When all is said and done Jesus provides a much better answer to the questions of morality among mankind. Although some have set forth to address the issue saying that morality is based on identity (vis a vis Ayn Rand) identity or self awareness tells us absolutely nothing about morality, objective moral values and what God has done for us through the power of HIS Spirit and sacrifice on the cross of his son Jesus Christ.
Blessed!

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Abortion Issues and Myths

I have received a number of emails and had a number of conversations with people asking for direction as it pertains to abortion and abortion rights. I have had a number of Pastors who are somewhat confused over what is called "Medically Necessary" abortions and more specifically abortions when the Mother's life is in danger. To clarify the United States Supreme Court has said the following :

A "medically necessary abortion"... a professional judgment for the physician that may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age-relevant to the well-being of the patient." US Supreme Court 1973.

The questions I have received revolved around 2 things. 1- This definition of "medical necessity" and and 2- permissibility of abortion as it relates to circumstances of rape or incest. These are among the most emotionally debated topics. We must be careful because the atheist and critic states that if we truly value human life we would value it in all circumstances (including rape or incest) and if we value the life of a baby as the result of rape or incest we are condemning the victim to a life of repeated pain by forcing her to carry the product (the child) of such a terrible event. In either case the critic always says, "If God existed and he cared, he wouldn't have let it happen."

As noticed this is a highly emotionally charged issue and one not to be taken lightly.


Who Pays?


First, the Kaiser Family Foundation provides information on how states offer and administer "medically necessary" abortions. You should look up that information to see how things are handled in your state so that you may know how your tax dollars are spent and what to expect as you minister to various individuals with certain medical needs. At Answers.com it is stated that abortion is not among the medical procedures covered by Medicaid, the federally funded, state administered program that provides health care to many poor women.

Under federal law, the so-called "Hyde Amendment" passed in 1976 and amended in 1997, prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger. Some states use their own Medicaid funds to pay for abortions that physicians consider "medically necessary," and a few states fund abortions cases of fetal anomaly or grave physical health danger of the mother. Some private organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, assist low-income women in states with restrictive funding policies by performing abortions for reduced fees. In 1999, less than two-fifths of women with employer-based health insurance were covered for abortion services. Many of those women with gaps in coverages within their primary health plan were prime targets an users of Planned Parenthood services.

Current Trends



The news is that this Holiday Season Planned Parenthood is offering coupons for abortions in Indiana, at 35 of it's clinics across the state. The coupons are for an amount up to $25.00 per request. This is the same Planned Parenthood that is responsible for 20% of the nations abortions per year (1 out of every 5) receives $305.3 Million per year in government funding, has net assets of $952 Million and ended its 2005-2006 fiscal year with a $115 Million surplus.

One thing is for sure, at these numbers and profit margins Planned Parenthood certainly DOESN'T need a Government bailout, bridge loan or anything else.

The facts are that according to John Lofton of WorldNetDaily.com under the regime of President George Bush (The Religious Right & Conservative Republicans-mind you) since 2001 Planned Parenthood has received $2.2 Billion in Federal Funding which was an increase of 67%.

No More Smoke & Mirrors, The Real Facts


To the heart of this post and as not to add additional confusion to the fiasco that we are witnessing, it is interesting to note that only 1% of women in the 2004 survey-based U.S. study became pregnant as a result of rape and 0.5% as a result of incest. These statistics are according to Finer, Lawrence B., Frohwirth, Lori F., Dauphinee, Lindsay A., Singh, Shusheela, & Moore, Ann M. (2005). Reasons U.S. women have abortions: quantative and qualitative perspectives. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 37 (3), 110-8. Retrieved 2006-01-18. This information offers startling insight into the myth that a high representative amount of abortions are due to rape or incest therefore condoning abortion.

To place this in perspective, of the estimated 50,000,000 abortions that have occurred since 1973 only 1.5% were due primarily to rape or incest. This would bring the figure to approximately 750,000 abortions in which the killing of a fetus was decided based on morally subjective terms. As it relates to the black community, assuming the same 1.5% rate of rape and incest, (which may be more or less) the numbers would shrink from 13,000,000 since abortion legalization in 1973 to 195,000. The average number of abortions per day would go from it's current level of 1,450 to approximately 22 per day.

These numbers are of course, hypothetical but they do drive home the point that even IF a person were to allow that abortion is permissible in cases of rape or incest society would be more than significantly less impacted than we are as a result of the current trend within the abortion arena. In fact statistics say that almost half of all unwanted pregnancies occur because of contraceptive failure. In other words frivolous sexual behavior, and a lack of abstinence and self restraint has led to over 25,000,000 abortions by itself within the United States.

"Medically Necessary"Link


The problem here is clear. There is generally no statistical information kept on "medically necessary" abortions because that area is highly subjective and based on any number of factors as witnessed above. What may be considered "medically necessary" for one individual may not be medically necessary for another. According to the definition, one can abort a normal and healthy fetus if you just feel too old and tired...Statistically speaking there is not a great amount of abortions performed to save the life of a mother either. This is another of the greatest myths that the church must endeavor to debunk. In fact there is a growing number of cases in which the pregnancy or the baby did not cause the mother's death, but hospital and physician error was the culprit. This is called a "medical error". The Report of the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force (QuIC) to the President, February 2000 stated the following:

"In the Harvard Medical Practices Study of adverse medical events (Leape, 1991), which was based on 30,195 randomly selected records from 51 hospitals in New York State, the researchers found that drug complications represented 19 percent of all adverse events. The researchers concluded that 58 percent of injuries and deaths due to drug reactions were preventable, and 27.6 percent of such complications were due to negligence. According to this study, antimicrobial drugs were the class of agents most commonly associated with adverse drug events. Misuse of antimicrobial drugs not only exposes individual patients to an increased risk of a poor treatment outcome, but also leads to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant microorganisms, which may place other patients and health care workers at risk of infection."
In essence "medically necessary" abortions is a highly subjective subject and there is no set standard by which "medically necessary" reports are made. Secondly, pregnancies arising from rape, and incest are minuscule in comparison to abortions preformed simply because the parent had frivolous sexual practices and failed contraception.

The Right To Live

There is a human factor to these numbers and statistics that must be discussed. When a person IS the statistic it can be devastating to their life and as we see the life of the unborn. I have seen the devastating effects of a child denied a mother's love through what we consider the premature death of the mother. These situations are not to be taken lightly, but that's when the church comes in and why it is important to be a part of a healthy body of believers who will pray and put their money where their mouth is...in their actions and in support of families and children in need.


The church and leaders should teach that all life is valuable. Even the life of the child produced as a result of rape or incest. Only God can heal wounds and the greatest pain could be the greatest gain if placed in the hand of the master of our souls. The atheist and skeptic is right on one hand, If we value life and truly believe that we are created in the image and likeness of God, we must instruct those who have been used and abused to seek shelter in the safety and love of Jesus Christ and not render or offer a retaliation for sin by taking out punishment upon the innocent.

These situations are not easy and according to statistical data, not something that must be dealt with all the time, but the church must be prepared to give an answer and make a difference in all areas of life and living. These are opportunities to teach values and virtues of life that change lives for millions. Values such as forgiveness and mercy are only words until they are placed in action. It is during these times that true Christianity is exemplified. The innocent deserve at least a chance to live and make a difference in this world.

Isaiah 58:10-12 ~ "10-And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness as the noonday: 11-And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12- And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."


On a recent radio show, a young lady called in to complain about my position on abortion in general. She said that society is "bad enough as it is". She then asked, "how would we possibly provide for an extra 50,000,000 people?" That was a sad indicator of our times when individuals would rather use death as a manner of population control and management, giving no heed to all the potential talent, genius, and idealism that this country has sacrificed at the altar of human comforts. This doesn't even address the tax revenues, and jobs that would have been created over the same period of time, the additional funding for the social security "lock box" that Former VP Al Gore spoke of in his stolen election campaign.

To those who have made this terrible mistake, it's now your time to take what may be your greatest pain and place it into God's hand. He will wash and renew you soul, and cause you to live abundantly in HIS sufficient grace.

Psalms 118:17-21~ "17-I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord. 18-The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. 19-Open to me the gates of righteousness and I will go in unto them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. 21-I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me and art become my salvation."

Blessed!


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sucka-Punched By CNN

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL AND ESPECIALLY THE GODLY BLACK WOMEN!
"For black women across the country, Michelle Obama is a new role model, a woman who defies stereotypes in a public way they say they haven't seen since the fictional Clair Huxtable of "The Cosby Show." ~ The Canadian Press 11-14-2008

Now, some things take a minute for me to digest. The excerpt above was a precursor to the current trend that we are witnessing as it comes closer to the Presidential Inauguration. A recent CNN story on our soon to be 1st Lady Of America, conferred a "Claire Huxtable" status upon Michelle Obama claiming that she will be one of the premiere educated, and family oriented Black Women in the country. After some research, I found out that both Newsweek, The Boston Herald and the Canadian Press had also conferred this illustrative but "fictitious" status on Mrs. Obama. Why? Look at one excerpt to see:

"Black women are among the least likely to marry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 American Community Survey. The same survey found that most blacks are born to unwed mothers. And black men suffer from high drop out, unemployment and incarceration rates"~The Canadian Press 11-14-2008


On Monday Nov. 24th CNN produced a story saying that Michelle Obama will be a positive "Role Model" for Black women of America and will "help" change the image that "many" people have regarding Black women in this country. In fact they said that the perception of Black Women in general is that they are Loud, Overweight, Uneducated, Slothful, Unmarried with Children as The Canadian Press suggests, and a hand full of other items that they claimed was stereotypical of Black women.
Pastor are you serious?
Answer: YEP!

Not only according to them are Black Women slightly off balanced or misplaced but others say, well...you just don't feel good about yourself either:
"Black women across the country say they expect Obama’s dark skin will inspire girls and women to feel better about themselves. Her workout habits may inspire others to get in shape. And the Obamas’ intelligence may stop the teasing that some black children endure for being smart," said Maya Rockeymoore, 37, a political scientist in Washington, D.C. ~ The Boston Herald.com 11/15/2008

REALLY???
I REALLY don't want or intend to steal any of the THUNDA from Michelle Obama, and I am glad that she remains a strong and committed, intelligent black woman. BUT, I began to think, that not only have Black Women been the strength of the Black Community, and The Black Church, but also the strength of the American Community in general for generations. Black women have fed and raised many individuals, executives and otherwise that will remain unmentioned until Jesus comes. Black women have managed and maintained homes, children and grandchildren sometimes all under one roof and haven't compromised themselves to do so. Black Women have played the role of the father when the father was absentee, the teacher when the teacher didn't like their child and failed to educate them, and the councilor when the family was on the brink of mental breakdown from social and financial pressures. Black Women have been the prayer warrior in their homes, neighborhoods and communities, and a voice of godly reason that many youth have learned to trust.
Why is it now that all of the godly, sanctified, and holy women have been overlooked as IF they hadn't really achieved or accomplished much until Michelle came along?

As I said...DON'T GET ME WRONG. I wouldn't, by virtue, tear down any Black woman to exalt another. I can only say that the community is full of wonderful, faithful, loud and soft toned, large and small, GREAT Black Women that have endured the total devastation that has hit our communities and churches. Need I mention, Coretta, Rosa, or Betty S. X?


They have done set examples, educated our children and built our communities for years with little or no recognition and I simply want to stop and say that You don't have to get on Michelle's bandwagon to be considered successful, you can scoot on over so that she can simply get on your bandwagon!
You see I just happen to know that there are godly women that don't believe in abortion and homosexual rights. I just happen to know that there are godly and smart women who never went to Princeton, Yale or Harvard, but can think circles around the best of them...I married a strong black woman and she's put up with me, my failures and successes for over 22 years now and before I take it back, I'll add more to it...God's REALLY been good to me!


Others have noticed this trend carried forward by CNN. Newsweek.com reported this after the "Black In America" show aired

"Usually, the lives of black women go largely unexamined. The prevailing theory seems to be that we're all hot-tempered single mothers who can't keep a man and, according to CNN's "Black in America," documentary, those of us who aren't street-walking crack addicts are on the verge of dying from AIDS. As writer Rebecca Walker put it on her Facebook page: "CNN should call me next time they really want to show diversity and meet real black women that nobody seems to talk about.''..."Like Walker, I too know more than my share of black women who have little in common with the black female images I see in the media. My "sistafriends" are mostly college educated, in healthy, productive relationships and have a major aversion to sassy one-liners. They are teachers, doctors and business owners. Of course, there are those of us who never get the chance to pull it together. And we accept and embrace them—but their stories can't and shouldn't be the only ones told."
As I said, I felt "sucka-punched". I was excited and drawn in by promise only to take one right on the chin. The story seemed to say that Black women were invisible until Michelle stepped on the scene. And that's simply NOT the case. In spite of all that we're dealing with God yet has a remnant that HAVEN'T bowed their knee to Baal neither have kissed his foot, and I believe that he is using those women now like never before.

To ALL the Godly women and Black Women in particular...no matter the skin tome, size or shape, I'd rather have a Ruth, Naomi, Esther or Abagail any day than a mere "Claire Huxtable."
Prov. 31:10-31 ~ "10-Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11-The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12-She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13-She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14-She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15-She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16-She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17-She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18-She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19-She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20-She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21-She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22-She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23-Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24-She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25-Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26-She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27-She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28-Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29-Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30-Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31-Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."

May God Bless You!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Morality Campaign Against God Pt. 1

In the good ole USA religious freedom and tolerance is never more celebrated than when we are confronted with messages against religion and against Christianity in particular. Freedom of religious expression is a good thing even when that expression is against God. However, on the underside of this "freedom" it would seem that almost all messages of some sort of religion are tolerated except the message of Christianity. Christianity has been the target of hate and dissension in the religious and anti-religious world for decades and it would seem that such efforts are only increasing in scope and fervor. Enter atheism and it's bigger brother humanism. (almost a rose by any other name...) At either rate, both terms are descriptive of what I consider to be metaphysically natural religions and world views suited for those who do not wish to believe in a non-materialistic or supernatural God. I have discussed this antisupernaturalism stance on my article Antisupernaturalism, Miracles and Historical Critical Method. In the comments section of that article, you will find a mini-debate with a leading atheist regarding the assertion of the "atheist bus campaign". That assertion is that belief in God can be dismissed based on "probability". Thus the deception and flaw of historical critical method is revealed, as it is not given to true empirical science in the evaluation of religious and supernatural matters.
Both atheism and humanism come with it's complete set of codes, affirmations and a primary objectives...In short, those objectives are simply aimed at discarding all religions and Christianity in particular. The manipulation and reinvention of Christianity is the atheist/humanist greatest goal as exemplified through the efforts of Dan Brown in his NY Times Bestselling book and eventual movie "The Da Vinci Code" In that book, conspiracy and secrecy and not actual history became the birth and impetus of modern Christianity. Others such as the late comedian George Carlin, who was an avowed atheist, feel that they must fight the good fight of naturalism at every opportunity. Then there are academicians who undertake the cause, such as leading scientific microbiologist, and what has been described as a staunch evangelical atheist, and author of the book "The God Delusion", Richard Dawkins. Dr. Dawkins has been said to "preach atheism" with the same fervor that a revivalistic evangelist preaches Christianity. He is also know as the "Rottweiler of Darwinism" for his adherence to the Origin of the species with common descent. It should be noted that Darwinian Evolution is one of the most flawed and unscientific theories ever presented as such in human history. Then there are flat out idiots producing unresearched and fallacious movies hailed as "common sense" such as Bill Maher's "Religulous" where Christianity is especially marked as being out of touch with modern society and unnecessary for personal growth.


Just as the CROSS is a symbol of Christianity, atheism also bears it's own symbol. For the American Atheists, a group formed by American Atheism's missing Queen Madalyn Murray O'Hair in 1963, the symbol is said to be "a contemporary scientific symbol" which "acknowledges that only through the use of scientific analysis and free, open inquiry can humankind reach out for a better life."
In essence the atheist god is a god of science, intellect and what can be empirically experienced through the 5 senses. Therefore, there can be no consideration of additional information that is not quantifiable by material or naturalistic means.

You can even check the Celebrity Atheist List to see if your favorite actor or actress is an atheist, agnostic, or a so-called freethinker. Similar to religions there are degrees or denominations of atheism and Pantheistic Atheists who hold that the universe and all creation should be viewed with a "religious reverence" and should be viewed apart from any religious construct or experience, are every bit if not more dogmatic about their beliefs as the Christians and other religious folk they criticize. I have to admit, I kinda always knew what the creator of "Star Trek" really felt about the future...Too bad for all the "Trekies"

This holiday season the American Humanist Association has launched an aggressive campaign as a part of an ongoing strategy to address the Moral Argument for God's Existence. The Association, offering "Humanist Communities" that operate "much like a congregation" simply asks"Why Believe In God? Be good for goodness sake." One of the popular questions they pose to Christians and other religious folk is "Who said you and your religion had a corner on morality?" Also saying that humans can be "morally good" without religion and or God in particular.


Now, to those who have never thought critical toward their faith, these questions and assertions may pose some significant challenges to your understanding of God, morality and the bible. However, for those who have observed "good people" who never given their lives to Christ and subsequently lost their souls, we are reminded that the real object of Christianity was not to create a morally good person, but to redeem man from his defunct position of total depravity and the unrighteous condition of the heart, by providing salvation through means that man could not provide or attain on his own. The ability to be moral happens to be one of those communicable traits of God given to man at man's creation. It is one of those ways in which man has received the "image" or "likeness" of God.

  • Gen. 1:26- 27 ~ "26-And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27-So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
  • Gen. 2:7 ~ "7- And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

God is a moral being and communicates that morality to mankind. What is noteworthy here is that morality IS NOT salvation. Scripture acknowledges that a person can do good things but yet not have a heart right with God.

  • Luke 18:18-23 ~ "18-And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19-And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20-Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21-And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22-Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23-And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich."

In Luke's account of the "Rich Young Ruler" we find a person who is living a "morally good" life. This is a testimony which goes unchallenged by Jesus throughout the discourse. Although it is an argument from silence it is interesting to note that Jesus shifted his focus toward the spiritual deficiency of the young man instead of what he claimed was his moral good. His ineptitude was solidified in his confidence and adherence to materialism which was revealed in the form of money. The rich young ruler could not enter into fellowship and relationship with God because he was materialistically focused, self centered and unable to trust a non materially centered future. His problems were not a result of immorality but a result of his sin nature and miscondition of the heart.


In 1 Cor.13:3 ~ "3- And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."


Apostle Paul acknowledges and reverberates the sentiments and teachings of Jesus when he points out that moral goodness without "love" as to indicate the love of God [which is an attribute of right relationship with God] does not provide that which is necessary to fulfill the non material aspects of one's existence In other words, one can give until they hurt themselves giving or doing good and it is a mere futile effort as it pertains to absolving or rectifying their sin problem. Paul later states that there is "no good thing" within the "flesh" (Rom. 7:18) indicating the human agency that is not in accordance to or subject to the Spirit of God and HIS standards is defunct. The Prophet Isaiah also states that human righteous (IE: common morality) is as a "filthy rags" (Is. 64:6).

So the Christian world view already acknowledges that one can be good for goodness sake, but that one cannot be saved or acceptable with God no matter how much good one does or performs.


Who Holds The Standard For Morality?


As Moses dedicated the altar to the Lord calling it Jehovah-Nissi in Exodus 17:15, as to indicate that the Lord was the rallying place or standard whereby the people of God have their victory, there can be no true morality without a moral standard bearer. In other words the morality of men, which is acknowledged by God, is only a weak representation of the morality and standards of God Himself. The morality of men offers no objective standard other than man's own subjective experience and cultural commemoratives.


With that said, it is interesting to note is that the atheist/humanist even acknowledges this standard, by declaring that there is a "good" to begin with. For one to simply be "good" indicates that one is aware of a certain thing called and acknowledged as "good". If all behaviors were equally as good then the atheist/humanist would be calling for hate as well as calling for love...for violence as well as calling for unrest, for war as well as calling for peace. Since we know that the atheist/humanist is only calling for higher standards of behaviours, we can simply deduce that the atheist/humanist within those statements also makes a sterling acknowledgement that there is an objective good, and that good is not merely a subjective construct. Therefore the humanist argument opens the door wide for a declaration of God as the Moral Law Giver and standard holder of all morality because we readily observe that man's standards of "good" are only based on his subjective understanding of what he calls "morally good" which is a derivative of the objective moral standards of God the Moral Law Giver.


This becomes a dilemma for the anti-God crew from the standpoint that we can all acknowledge that objective moral values exist, and murder, crime, infidelity etc. cannot be called "good". Therefore, morality is NOT based on subjective standards, but based on objective standards. A second dilemma is that neither Dr. Dawkins nor any of his anti-God, scientific friends have been able to locate a "moral gene" within a naturalistic scope of science. Dawkins comes close when he speaks of finding a "Meme", which he admits has NEVER been observed and cannot be located within the human body with current science. (My question is how did he find it to begin with?, ooh, maybe it was a revelation!)


Let's go back to the rich young ruler in Luke again. Notice v.18 when the young man acknowledges Jesus as "Good Master" therefore acknowledging a certain level "good" which according to the culture was a term reserved for God just as Jesus indicated in his response in v.19. But later he is disappointed because his standard, while being previously based on himself and self efforts, was short sided and unacceptable with God.

Summary Of The Moral Argument:

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values DO exist.
  3. Therefore God exists.

From Dr. William Lane Craig, "Why I Believe God Exists" as found in Geisler & Hoffman, "Why I Am A Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe" (Grand Rapids Baker Books, 1999)p.75.

In Part 2 we'll go deeper into this and demonstrate the results of atheism and humanism's flawed philosophies and its impact on education, criminal justice, homosexuality and societal ills in general.

Blessed!


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