Monday, November 30, 2009

Does Eternal Really Mean Eternal In Hell? Pt. 2

This article is continued from Pt.1

Objection III: Hell wasn't created for men therefore men won't suffer or continue to suffer in it.

One of our regular readers holds that since hell was created for the devil and his angles, that the suffering of men in it will at best be limited because hell was not designed for men. This is a scripture used to support the assertion at times:

Matthew 25:41~"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the DEVIL AND his angels:"

Some promoters of this argument also state that even if men do go to hell, the punishment of it is temporary in duration because hell was not made to house men. I call this the "temporary hell thesis" The temporary nature of hell will be dealt with in Objection IV listed below however, in this section,  I will deal with hell as an abode for anyone including rebelling angels.

Hell, The Abode Of The devil And Rebelling demons Or Unrepentant Men?

There are a number of things to say about this argument, but I believe that the assertion itself begs the question "If the suffering or better described torment of hell is somehow limited, and is not intended for men, why should men suffer in hell at all?" Was God somehow caught in an unready state or condition for unrepentant and sinful men? This is highly unlikely since Jesus was a lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8). In other words if God made preparation for sin why would he not have made preparation for the judgement of man. As we'll see further in the article, annihilation is inconsistent with the judgement of God as revealed within scripture.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who Paid Bishop Carton Pearson $100,000 To Speak At Azusa In 1990? Pimped & Being Pimped Pt. 1

The Lexi Show Strikes Again

In what was one of the most spiritually diverse interviews between African American leaders of the church, Lexi allowed the founder of modern Pentecostalism's Azusa Conferences, Bishop Carton Pearson a former pentecostal turned Universalist, to share the stage with Dr. Jamaal "Intellectual Orgasm" Bryant, Bishop George Bloomer and Rev. Dr. Van Gayton President Of Logos Bible College & Seminary and, you guessed it, there were some significant claims and statements made.

For those who don't know, or maybe just unaware, Bishop Pearson came through the ranks of the Church Of God In Christ to become one of the most charismatic television evangelists and ministers ever associated with Dr. Oral Roberts and The Oral Roberts University. He managed to woo almost the entire Pentecostal world with his recounting of holiness as taught by many of the early 1900's pentecostal church leaders along with his dynamic singing voice and inviting personality. All of this seems to have concluded and been brought to a screeching halt with his acceptance of the message of inclusion also known as the doctrine of universal reconciliation, which states that men and women everywhere and without repentance from sin or even the acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord or his atoning work, are already saved because Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world. Initially, Bishop Pearson reluctantly promoted this doctrine, along with it's many other caveats such as no hell or penalty for sin, lost almost all of his former ministry associates because of it and rocked the Charismatic wing of the church in the United States.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Does Eternal Really Mean Eternal In Hell? Pt.1

There is a view espoused by many individuals within Christian circles who don't believe in the ongoing reality of hell neither it's eternal punishment. That view is called Annihilationism. Here is a working definition of this view:
Annihilationism ~"A Christian doctrine that sinners are destroyed rather than tormented forever in "hell" or the lake of fire. It is directly related to the doctrine of conditional immortality, the idea that a human soul is not immortal unless it is given eternal life. Annihilationism asserts that God will eventually destroy or annihilate the wicked, leaving only the righteous to live on in immortality. Some annihilationists believe the wicked will be punished for their sins in the lake of fire before being annihilated, others that hell is a false doctrine of pagan origin."
Now, in my previous post, Does The Bible Teach A Literal Hell, we addressed the fact that hell is taught throughout the bible and that hell is a literal and not merely figurative place. In fact hell as is taught throughout scripture is a place of ongoing conscious reality and one of torment.

However under the annihilationist construct, there is an emotional appeal to a western sense of morality and guilt based righteousness. Hell either does not exist as a literal place or abode, or is a temporary place of punishment described with figurative terminology specifying extinction rather than an ongoing conscious reality of suffering. Scriptures such as Ecclesiastes 9:5,  Ecclesiastes 9:10, which are used to claim that there is no consciousness or pain beyond death and  Malachai 4:1,  and Mt. 10:28,  claiming that the destruction of the individual in hell is actually the extinction of the individual rather than eternal ongoing punishment.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Omniscience and Freewill, Does God Know All Or Did He Leave Some Wiggle Room?

The Proposition:
In Is there a God? (Oxford, 1996, p.7-9) Professor Richard Swinburne, Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion, University of Oxford said this:

"It seems to me that the same considerations require that we understand God being omniscient in a similarly careful way. Just as God cannot be required to do what is logically impossible to do, so God cannot be required to know what is logically impossible to know. It seems to me that it is logically impossible to know (without the possibility of mistake) what someone will do freely tomorrow. If I am really free to choose tomorrow whether I will go to London or stay at home, then if anyone today has some belief about what I will do (e.g. that I will go to London), I have it in my power tomorrow to make that belief false (e.g. by staying at home). So no one (not even God) can know today (without the possibility of mistake) what I will choose to do tomorrow. So I suggest that we understand God being omniscient as God knowing at any time all that is logically possible to know at that time. That will not include knowledge, before they have done it, of what human persons will do freely. Since God is omnipotent, it will only be because God allows there to be free persons that there will be any free persons. So this limit to divine omniscience arises from the consequences (which God could foresee) of his own choice to create free agents. I must, however, warn the reader that this view of mine that God does not know (without the possibility of mistake) what free agents will do until they do it is not the normal Christian (or Jewish or Islamic) view. My view is, however, implied, I believe, by certain biblical passages; it seems, for example, the natural interpretation of the book of Jonah that, when God told Jonah to preach to Nineveh that it would be destroyed, he believed that probably he would need to destroy it, but that fortunately, since the people of Nineveh repented, God saw no need to carry out his prophecy. In advocating this refinement of our understanding of omniscience, I am simply carrying further the process of internal clarification of the basic Christian understanding of God which other Christian philosophers such as Aquinas pursued in earlier days."...“All this does of course assume that human beings have some limited free will, in the sense that no causes (whether brain states or God) determine fully how they will choose. That is the way it often seems to us that we have such a power. Even the inanimate world, scientists now realize, is not a fully deterministic world—and the world of thought and choice is even less obviously a predictable world.”

The Concept, Called the "Open Futures View" Also Commonly Known As "Open Theism":
1- God is the creator of all things
2- God gave mankind free will.
3- God does not fatalistically predetermine free-will creature's actions
4- God knows only what is logically possible to know about the future
5- The possibility exists that God is wrong about his creation's future actions if they act illogically
6- Therefore God can change his mind to account for what was previously unforeseeable

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Friday, November 13, 2009

HIV/AIDS & Health Care Reform, What Do We Really Know?

This Post Discusses Adult Situations And Describes Sexual Activities That Some May Find Offensive. Material Contained Herein Is For Educational Purposes

In the days of health care reform one thing is abundantly clear. No matter what the public says Washington will reform the system in some manner or fashion. Supposedly this reform is for the approximately 38 to 45 million uninsured individuals in the United States legally. This reform will, in some form or fashion, make employers responsible for the health care of their employees imposing penalties for failure to acquire health plans. This in and of itself could put some companies out of business depending upon the requirements. While it is not yet all hashed out there is also additional pressure for what has been called the "Public Option". This option is said to be a way for individuals to secure coverage at supposedly lower and more competitive prices group rate prices as opposed to individual plan prices. I have placed the most up to date information on the current congressional wrangling at Dunamis Insurance & Business Services web site, and will update that regularly to clarify exactly what's going on regarding this issue.

However, as noted in "Hate Crimes Legislation, Presidential Approval Of The Gay Agenda" in light of our President's agenda to normalize homosexuality, even calling homosexual relationships:

"just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman."

We should ask and look critically at the real motivation behind such an expansive move, and we should better define what is really occurring and why there is such a push to insure the "uninsured". Most of those infected with HIV/AIDS in care rely on public sector insurance programs or are uninsured, estimated to range between approximately 70% and 83%  [Fleishman, J., Personal communication, Analysis of HCSUS Data, January 2002 also see: Nakashima AK. “Who Will Pay for HIV Treatment? Health Insurance Status of HIV-Infected Persons.” In: Proceedings of the 1997 Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America; September 13-16, 1997; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 293.]

3 Facts To Keep In Mind Before We Embark Upon This Subject:

1- America's citizens should have access to excellent health care and there is enough money within the system to provide such for all of it's citizens. That doesn't necessarily mean that health care should be controlled or distributed by the government. Those things are a separate issue from this writing.

2- No individual should be denied adequate health care because of any factor including sexual orientation. To suggest so is a ridiculous notion. This article makes no such suggestion.

3- There is NO ENDORSEMENT of any immoral sexual activity within this article. God's way of marriage and one man and one woman still is the best prescription for sexual activity, health, growth of the family and health of the community and society in general.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Declaration Of Youth Freedom & Liberation At The 2009 COGIC Convocation

In what was one of the many very powerful sessions of the COGIC 2009 Convocation, on Saturday afternoon 11/7/09 Pastor Donnie McClurkin spoke to the youth plainly, openly, and freely:

"We talk about Tonex but we should know, God did not call us to such perversion"..."God did not call this generation to such perversion"..."They have lied to this generation" If it hadn't been for this Jesus, I would be a homosexual today, BUT he is a deliverer, he is a deliverer today...He's a strong deliverer"

The Message Of Youth Renewal

Pastor McClurkin was used of the Lord to deliver a word to more than 5000 youth that attended the service to present the year end presentation of the COGIC International Youth Department. Preaching a message directed toward them who have been "lost in the house", it was clear to understand and clearly received that the Church Of God In Christ is not a place for homosexual, youth or otherwise, to park and or hide out while he/she proliferates their ungodly lifestyle.

Fathers To Sons & Daughters

There was much food on the table and something for everyone to eat. To the fathers, Pastor McClurkin made note of the fact that the father has long been absent from the midst of the children and the family and have left the youth exposed to the rudiments of the world and to a society that is morally imbalanced.

"Remnants of a holy generation will rise up past their peers and society"
"Young people are not comfortable being real...I went to Mason Temple and I sat in the musical...where are the fathers that will embrace the boys and say NO, NO NO, he (the devil) can't have you!"

"I see feminine men, do not applaud because it sounds like a bash, it's because we've failed, our boys, we've failed our girls, but TODAY, satan's hold will be destroyed from
over the lives of our youth."
 Rehashing some of his own history regarding being raped at 8 Yeas old by his uncle, Pastor McClurkin admonished the parents to become more involv ed with their children and find out more about  their lives and their disappointments in order to effectively serve them and help them when they are in need. He said emphatically:

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Monday, November 2, 2009

COGIC Issues: 102nd Annual Holy Convocation

Corrections have been made to this page 11/02/2009: Bishop Gilkey's first name is Joseph and Enoch Perry's title was referenced as "Bishop". Those statements were incorrect. Special note 11/29/09: See bottom of the article for commentary and update.

As the Church Of God In Christ's 102nd Annual Holy Convocation  begins Nov. 2-9, 2009, there are some significant 21st century challenges that the church faces.

2 of the most acute questions have been asked by individuals such as Pastor D.L.Foster of and myself among others:

1- How will COGIC handle the perpetrators of sexual abuse among clergy?

2- How will COGIC handle the victims of sexual abuse and make them whole?

And what may be a similarly related issue:

3- Truly, how is the real property of congregations and the congregations themselves handled when a pastor dies and why is the congregation overlooked?

Section I: Clergy Sexual Abuse

1- How will COGIC handle the perpetrators of sexual abuse among clergy?

2- How will COGIC handle the victims of sexual abuse and make them whole?

In what was a shocking revelation, Deidre Malone of the Malone Group, and spokeswoman on behalf of COGIC, said that the Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God In Christ, Bishop Charles E. Blake stated that:   She further stated that Bishop Charles E. Blake will announce an initiative regarding clergy sexual misconduct during the Holy Convocation Nov. 2-9.
"The church has been working on this issue for more than 15 years,"
First, it is refreshing to see that this issue will be addressed and addressed openly and hopefully clearly. Although I haven't heard from any official as to the plans and statements that will be made, at, it can be noted that I have at least tried to at least present information pertinent to addressing the care of the victims of these sort of atrocities.

The sad thing is that if the church has been aware of these sort of atrocities for 15 years, why hasn't it  responded with greater sense of urgency and a more exacting resolve? Over the last 15 years there have been 3 Chief Apostles of the church:

Bishop Chandler D. Owens
Bishop G.E. Patterson
Bishop Charles E. Blake

I would say that based on the atrocities of former General Board member, Bishop J.D. Husband, that someone had to know that there was trouble long prior to 15 years ago. GCMWatch also reported this:
"In 1991, through his lawyer, Bishop J.D. Husband, a charter member of the Church of God in Christ’s General Board, admitted guilt to “all charges” levied against him. But multitudes of people are still baffled about what Husband did. Other than rumors, the evidence against him was kept secretive and not even reported to legal authorities."
Although Mrs. Malone's comments leave much open room, one wonders what is it that the church has been working on for 15 years regarding the clergy sexual abuse issue and under who's direction that this "work" been taking place and to what aim. Hopefully that will be addressed during the Convocation and the church will come out with a greater sensitivity toward the victims of sexual abuse and a plan that will permanently remove sexual predators and abuses from all clergy activities. Clearly the days of simply looking the other way, as has been the recent MO of many of our leaders, is over, and children of God are demanding a much greater and more biblical accountability of the church leadership.

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