A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What's Hard about It?

Denis Boyles in National Review Online asks a good question: "Why doesn't Hezbollah give back the two soldiers they kidnapped? Hm.

I guess that radical Islamists are just stupid. Of course, a non-P.C. guy like me might also ask, "If they weren't really stupid, would they be radical Islamists?

Playground lament: "It all started when he hit me back."
There is a new blog at Theological Figs. Click on the link on the right. The blog is about the covenant with Noah after the Great Flood.

What is the difference?

Intolerance---the unforgivable sin of the twentieth century. Christian orthodoxy has always taught that those who do not believe in Jesus as the Son of God will not go to heaven. Islamic orthodoxy teaches that the Christian infidels will not go to heaven. Although there may be different views about the nature of reward and punishment in the next life, the conviction of the two major religions of the world are similar in this respect: it is good to believe our religion and it is very bad not to believe in our religion.

They teach the same thing, right? Wrong. There is a superficial similarity only if you do not take the time to understand distinctions. True definitions are always in the distinctions, not the similarities. Men and chickens are similar in that they are both bipeds. The definition is in the difference.

Faith to Islam is submission to the teachings of the prophet Mohammed. Faith to Christianity is submission to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Similar, right? Again, wrong. Where in Islam is it taught to "Render unto the Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"? To Islam Caesar's things are the things of God, and Caesar must use all in his power to subject everything to the teachings of Mohammed.

It is true that there have been at times popular teachings within Christianity to bring all government and rule under the laws of Christ and a theocratic system. The horrors of this thinking are equal to the horrors of Islam. The difference is this: Those who taught such things to the Church do not derive their teachings from Christ, who said that His kingdom is not of this world. They got their teachings from Moses and misapplied them to the church, forgetting that Moses did not give us the bread from heaven. Those who only followed Moses ate the bread in the wilderness and died.

This preacher is not a pacifist. Government has the authority to go to war to defend the liberties of its people. Those who threaten the liberty of a free people should feel the wrath of those free people, as God gives them opportunity. But I am strongly opposed to any war for the spread of the Christian faith. True faith does not come from any kind of coercion, but only by the free work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men by the Gospel.

I am for war against lawless regimes would impose their idolatrous rule on free people. A person that hates Christianity so much that they cannot see this difference is a dangerous person. In times of religious uncertainty people have a way of returning to the original teachings of the founder of their faith. We have seen that happen in the last fifty or sixty years as Islamic people all over the world have sought to return to the teachings of Mohammed. That is not encouraging. The only kind of Muslim that the West can live with is the modernistic, liberal Muslim who allegorizes the teachings of Mohammed in terms of the Western enlightenment. In other words, non-dogmatic Muslims who do not take the teachings of the Koran too seriously or the teachings of Mohammed seriously.

It would be a great thing if Western Christianity would return to the teachings of Christ, our Founder. The two great advantages that Chistianity has over all the religions of the world are the character and teaching of our Founder, the Lord Jesus. "Love your enemies"; "Do good to those that despitefully use you"; "Do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith": "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's"; "Forgive your enemies"; "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask;" "It is not that which enters into the man that defiles the man, but that which comes forth from the man;" "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...."; “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly”; "The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep."

Read the New Testament.
BREITBART.COM - Judge Orders Teen to Cancer TreatmentA judge ruled Friday that a 16-year-old boy fighting to use alternative treatment for his cancer must report to a hospital by Tuesday and accept treatment that doctors deem necessary, the family's attorney said.

Hope the kid doesn't have Terri Schaivo's doctor.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What a Great Experience

My wife and I just returned from the Black Hills this week, where I was one of the speakers at the Heidelberg Youth Camp. This camp is held every year for junior and senior high schools students from the North and South Classes of the Reformed Church in the U.S.

At the combined worship service on Wednesday night I saw over one hundred youth sit quietly for well over an hour. They sang hymns [yes, old hymns and psalms] with gusto, prayed the Lord's Prayer, recited the Apostles' Creed and took notes on a sermon by Rev. Dan Rogers on a portion of John 6. No, there were no praise ditties or dramas or silly skits or rock 'n roll bands to jazz them up Don't say it cannot be done, because I just saw it.

Of course, these young people come from good homes; of course they are taught the faith at home; of course they attend good churches that love the Bible and teach that a person must be born again to see the kingdom of God. Of course they are young people whose parents and churches and pastors and leaders have invested a lot of time and effort to teach a serious and sober approach to the Christian faith.

Don't say it cannot be done. Did I say that all ready?

Monday, July 17, 2006

AMA: Docs Shouldn't Help In Executions: "American Medical Association President Dr. William G. Plested said Monday that medical professionals should not participate in executions of prisoners."
Let's get this straight, so we can understand the ethics involved. A doctor cannot participate in the execution of rapists, murderers, and other human malefactors, but is good and compassionate if he slays a baby in the womb. And Dr. Plested is worried about "public confidence in the medical profession?"
Well, why not? This is the way churches read their creeds nowadays.

FV at Theological Figs

I have moved the blogs about ideas related to reality and the Federal Vision to Theological Figs. Click here to go to Theological Figs
It's Our War: "What's happening in the Middle East, then, isn't just another chapter in the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's happening is an Islamist-Israeli war. You might even say this is part of the Islamist war on the West--but is India part of the West? Better to say that what's under attack is liberal democratic civilization, whose leading representative right now happens to be the United States."
Kristol has it right. It is religion on their part, but it is not religion on our part, and it shouldn't be. It would be a mistake for the U.S. to consider this a "holy war," to gain some unbiblical recognition for today's Israel as a people favored of God. They are not, for they are not blessed anymore than any other natiion is blessed who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Mediator.

The United States and India are allies in the war against Islamists, although India is far from being any sort of Christian nation, even a backslidden one. The Islamists are using religion to try to rally Islam against the U. S., but we must not let them win that propaganda war; the war will be much harder to win if it is fought on the ground of religion rather than polity. Japan, China, and India are not part of the [formerly] Christian West, but they are natural allies against Islamists.

Sunday, July 16, 2006 - Couric's ready to 'start doing the job': "Viewers told her they want more perspective and 'a better understanding of the ramifications of the news,' she [Couric] says. 'I got the distinct sense they want us to go a little bit deeper' with historical background and 'how is this relevant to their lives. (And) we heard from many people the news is just too depressing. Obviously, we can't sugar-coat what's going on, but there are cases where we can be more solution-oriented.' "
Hey! You have to have some solutions, first, you know. You do know, don't you, Katie?

It's a No-Brainer

Israel is our only truly reliable friend in the region. They have the military means and the will to defend themselves. Of course President Bush is right in standing behind Israel in the present crisis. The nations around Israel are slow learners, and have suffered immense losses in every generation siince WW II. It seems that it is time again for them to learn another lesson. If, by chance, Israel should take out Iran's nuclear potential...

The sky is falling! Posted by Picasa


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