Saturday, December 30, 2017

Cult of Mary

This was my reply in response to DRG's question about the Roman Catholic cult of Mary--"when it became incorporated into Catholic doctrine, what were the circumstances, and why would they want to do that?"

DRG-
I suspect it was shortly after the Edict of Constantine, which made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. This was a very key happening in the history of the Church, and NOT for good. What it did was make Christianity fashionable and appealing to all sorts of heart-not-right types, who then saw in being a churchman an opportunity for social advancement and financial gain. It opened up a new career path for the ambitious.
Now these teachings of the Queen of Heaven had been around from time immemorial. Remember, when the Israelites were fleeing from the wrath of the Babylonians after one of them had assassinated the Babylon-installed governor? They went to Egypt, which God had forbidden them to do. They took Jeremiah with them, and he took them to task for their unfaithfulness. They were still not convinced that following the LORD was the wise thing to do, and decided to cover their bases by baking cakes to the Queen of Heaven. This was around 585 BC. So we can surmise that this practice had been going on for a long time before that.
By the time of Constantine, this Queen of Heaven idea was part of the cultural narrative, and the Church, in order to make Christianity “culturally relevant”, just incorporated the idea. We can see this tendency toward syncretism everywhere Catholicism holds sway. Instead of impacting the culture with truth, Catholicism accommodates.
I say these things as a former Catholic who came to Christ at age 27. You might be interested to know that one of the first works I read as a new believer was Martin Luther. At the time, I was starting university, and happened across a copy of his writings in the university bookstore. I stayed up nights until 3am reading it–amazed at Luther’s insight and his critique of the Catholic church. When I compared what he wrote with the Catholic condemnations of him I had been hearing in my growing-up years, I decided that Luther was a man of God who had been slandered by Rome.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Homeschooling

I for one have known how superior homeschooling is from first hand observation of friends’ home-schooled kids who grew up to be well-rounded, confident adults. The objection is always, always, always, They need to be socialized! The fact of the matter is that home-schooled kids are much better socialized than their antisocial, standoffish-with-adults and scornful-of-younger-kids peers. Home-schooled kids live in the real world. That’s the main advantage they have. Everything they learn is learned in the real world. They learn reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic in the real world. They learn social studies, science, and shop in the real world. They gain a real (that is, adult) perspective on everything they learn, as they go. There’s no transition between schoolboy- and -girlhood and adulthood. THAT can be a very traumatic transition, and homeschoolers completely sidestep it. Under our current system, it takes some time for the products of our educational system to become real people. That’s what their ’20s are for, to make real adults out of schoolkids. Homeschoolers arrive at that point at around age 15 or 16.
But the real objection to homeschooling is and always will be: How can we possibly mold these kids into the kind of reflexively- unquestioning-our-premises droids we want without compulsory formal education?
Oh, I thought of another objection to homeschooling that will be advanced: How can we possibly have powerhouse interscholastic athletics without primary and secondary feeder systems to select and train the best athletic entertainment? The whole American way of life would come crashing down. Bummer.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Evidence for the Resurrection

In an earlier post (Feb. 1, 2017), I made reference to Steve, who wrote in response to an article in The Daily Bell entitled, "Increasingly, Evolution Has No Proof":

"The authors of this piece need to not only read about the theory of punctuated equilibrium that addresses the main issues raised but also be aware that 'proof' is only relevant in mathematics and jurisprudence, not science."

I should have jumped on the last part of that statement sooner, maybe in my original reply.  My original reply camped on the theory of punctuated equilibrium and neglected the other point.  So proof is relevant in jurisprudence, he says?  I say, Good point!

Such an expert in the law as Simon Greenleaf, the "Father of American Jurisprudence", investigated the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus and came to the conclusion that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead:

"As a legal scholar, Greenleaf wondered if Jesus’ resurrection would meet his stringent tests for evidence.  He wondered whether or not the evidence for it would hold up in a court of law. Focusing his brilliant legal mind on the facts of history, Greenleaf began applying his rules of evidence to the case of Jesus’ resurrection.

"Contrary to what skeptics might have expected, the more Greenleaf investigated the record of history, the more evidence he discovered supporting the claim that Jesus had indeed risen from the tomb.

"After evaluating all the evidence, Greenleaf accepted Jesus’ resurrection as the best explanation for the events that took place immediately after his crucifixion.

"To this legal expert, the case for Jesus’ resurrection was so compelling that he had no doubt it would hold up in a court of law. In his book, The Testimony of the Evangelists, Greenleaf documents the evidence supporting his conclusion. He challenges those who seek the truth about the resurrection to fairly examine the evidence."  ("Harvard Law Professor Puts Jesus' Resurrection on Trial",  http://y-jesus.com/simon-greenleaf-resurrection/)

I wonder if Steve would be so quick to assert that "proof is relevant in jurisprudence", knowing that?
I wonder.


Taxman

I think the Beatles' epiphany about the nature of government came just before they released the single, "Taxman":
"Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me,
'Cause I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me"
This was written around 1964 protesting the confiscatory tax rate of 95% on those in the highest tax bracket, which the Beatles were in. The lefties would dearly like a 95% rate on the wealthy to this very day.
The antiwar left of the '60s and '70s had a lot of good things to say, but they were unable to awaken the majority of the American people, IMHO, because of their advocacy of socialism as the fix. Wrong solution. This was the spawning ground for the leftist establishment we have today. The establishment is still evil.
The lefties are delusional in thinking that if THEY can be the ones in control, everything will be fine. Well, they've succeeded in getting control, and everything's not fine. Now they think that if they can just completely stamp out and snuff out their opposition, everything will be fine. I have a prediction...

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Peace Be Upon Jerusalem



“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.

And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."  Zech. 2:6-9

There's a lot in Zechariah that is very cryptic and which I don't understand, but what I DO understand is that the LORD is going to preserve and defend Jerusalem and Israel, and those who oppose them (and Him) will be destroyed.  That's a no-brainer.

Let me tell a little story.  When I was a very new believer, in the late '70s, I was reading Zechariah for the first time, and was blown away by it.  I was at church one day and encountered people from a cult who were visiting, who called themselves "Children of God" or some such.  I got into a conversation with one of them and told him excitedly about what I was reading in Zechariah (new believers are like that).  This led to my being invited to their house where they attempted to indoctrinate me.  One of their tenets was that Paul's writings were not Scripture.  Afterward I was in my room praying about it, and opened my Bible.  Which verse do you think popped up almost immediately?  Right on, 2 Pet. 3:15,16: 

"And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures."

Whoa!  Peter is saying right here that Paul's writings are Scripture!  Now WHAT ARE THE ODDS, that I would go straight to that verse, not knowing it, out of all the verses in the Bible?  You do the calculation if you want, but I'm convinced it was God's leading.

Blessings to you, and to all who love the LORD in truth.  Peace be upon Jerusalem.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Progress of the Progressives

Today I read an exchange between HadItWithThem and donna in the comments section of Michael Snyder's The Most Important News blog, titled, "Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are Right--America is on the Verge of Widespread Chaos and Civil Unrest".  Donna contended that these times were like the violent, chaotic '60s and '70s, and HadIt disagreed.  The dialogue became rather abusive and ugly, as it can get on the web.  I offered my take on the difference in a reply to donna:

Sorry to see the level to which your exchange with HadIt has gone to. I'm also 67 years old, and remember those days quite well, although I was not politically very aware. My recollection of those times was that, yes, they were very chaotic and often violent, but there's a difference today. An ominous difference. The lunatic left was fringe then. They hadn't come to the positions of power they have now, and were not able to direct public policy the way they can now. Yes, the Black Panthers and the Weathermen openly advocated violence, but the populace as a whole didn't feel threatened by them. The establishment was much more in control of the situation.
Speaking of the establishment, it has now become the instigator of much of what we see and hear, and it is now establishment figures who are putting forth much of the inflammatory rhetoric. That was not the case then. Yes, the average man/woman in the street decried what was going on, but in those days, the opinion of Mr./Mrs Average was RESPECTED, not maligned. This is a huge difference. The general tone of what we read/hear in the MSM outlets is one of thinly-disguised contempt for the troglodytes in "flyover country". There is a push to RE-EDUCATE the people to accept the premises of the hard left, such as climate change, gay marriage, the necessity of one-world government, etc. Those themes were playing back then, but not as openly and blatantly as now. Outlets such as the NYT and WaPo were run by the equivalent of RINOs then, rather than the Neolibs and leftists of today (although they voted majority Democrat then).
Yes, you could hear the same sort of leftist rhetoric back then as you hear now, but it was coming from people in patched coveralls driving VW microbuses, not people in three-piece suits and $6,000 dresses, and not from members of Congress either! Several years ago I read an editorial by the editor-in-chief of our local medium-sized newspaper, which was basically a hit piece on Christianity and Christians. I couldn't believe what I was reading. This, coming from a 50- or 60-something pillar of the community! It sounded like some screed written by a solitary misanthrope of the '70s. The left has been so successful, and have become so emboldened by their success, that they've become very arrogant and overt. They speak and write as though they expect a majority to agree with them. And in many cases, they're right! Scary. THAT'S the difference between what I see today and what I remember of then.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One to save

Ann Coulter's take on the media's coverage of the shooting of Republican congressmen playing baseball:

"In the media’s strategic reporting of the attempted slaughter, we were quickly told that the mass shooter was white, male and had used a gun. We were even told his name. (Because it was not “Mohammed.”)
But the fact that Hodgkinson’s Facebook page featured a banner of Sanders and the words “Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words: ‘We the People’ Since 1776” apparently called for hours of meticulous fact-checking by our media."

Perfect.