Jesus, the only way, in 2 Timothy 2

As I pointed out the other day in A simple way to out theologically Liberal Christians for the tares and wolves that they are, it is a plain and repeated teaching in the Bible that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  The world hates that message, as do theologically Liberal/Progressive people who call themselves Christians.  They rarely have any idea how repeated and clear that teaching is.

Stand to Reason offers a great booklet listing 100 passages teaching that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  Just flip open the New Testament and start reading.  You’ll find that little makes sense outside that truth.  If you claim to be a Christian this a view you must hold.

But when I read the Bible I often come across more and more passages that affirm that truth that aren’t in the list of 100.  I was listening to 2 Timothy 2 the other day and noticed all these truths, none of which make sense if other religions are equally valid paths to God. Here are the verses (in italics) along with my reasoning.

2 Timothy 2 (ESV)

1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus – it isn’t in someone else.

3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. – He is the leader.

8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel – Paul’s Gospel is all Jesus, all the time.

10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. – Salvation is in Jesus.

11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. – Multiple notations there – by implication, if we die without him we will live without him. You deny him, He denies you.

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. – This doesn’t apply to the theme of this, but I love that verse! It should be one of the first verses people learn.  We won’t be perfect, but we should do our best to read the Bible properly.  There are right and wrong ways to do it, and it is shameful to do it improperly.

19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” – Some are his, and some are not. Believers name the name of the Lord.

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. – You are his servant or you are not his servant. Those who don’t follow him are opponents.

God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. – They are with him or they are in the snare of the devil, captured by him to do his will.

Keep in mind that none of that chapter was in the Stand to Reason booklet.  There are well over 100 passages teaching this vital truth.  Christians should never deny it.  The early Christians called themselves the Way for a reason.  It isn’t bad news that there is “only” one way, it is Good News that there is a way at all!  Do not sit in judgment of God and demand an additional way out of your problem of sin.  Just fall on your knees and accept his grace.

Paul vs. Jesus? Not exactly.

A thread over at the false gospel-preaching Sojourners Blog had multiple accusations against a commenter about whether Jesus and Paul taught the same Gospel, saying things like:

. . . the question of whether the Gospel according to Paul agrees with the Gospel according to Jesus seem largely ignored.

A commenter there referred to someone quoting Paul as a “Paulian” instead of a “Christian” and a commenter here literally said that “Jesus trumps Paul.”  Another one kept saying that “Paul didn’t know about committed same-sex relationships,” as if the Holy Spirit didn’t know either or wasn’t involved in the writings.  And there have been whole TV shows and analyses about the alleged differences between Jesus and Paul.  But is this really the case?

The “Jesus vs. Paul” debate is what is known as a false dichotomy, or a false dilemma.  It implies that you have to choose one side or the other, when there are actually other options.  Please consider this:

1. Jesus is God.  The Bible is the word of God.  Therefore, it is all the word of Jesus.  The original writings turned out just like He wanted them to, including Paul’s letters.

2. The “red letters” (direct quotes of Jesus sometimes printed in red ink) carry no more authority than any of the other verses, let alone the ~3,000 verses saying, “God said,” “The word of the Lord came to me,” etc.

3. Roughly 10% of the “red letters” quoted the “black letters.”  Jesus unapologetically and frequently quoted from the Old Testament, including the most controversial parts such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah and Sodom and Gomorrah.  And the red letters said to believe black letters: Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

4. Peter referred to Paul’s writings as scripture.  This verse not only demonstrates that but exposes why the “Christian” Left dislikes Paul and misinterprets him!

2 Peter 3:16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

5. None of the people making this argument seem to question what Luke wrote in his Gospel, so why do they question what Luke documented about Paul in the book of Acts, including his encounters with Jesus and his acceptance by the other Apostles?

6. Unless you think Paul made up his whole story — which would raise a whole new set of issues — then his claims are just as authoritative as the Gospel writers.

For example, Luke was not a direct follower of Jesus but was a careful historian and under the tutelage of Paul.  Mark leveraged Peter for his Gospel.  But Paul heard directly from Jesus.

7. Think about how much you know about the concept of grace and love and where that came from.  Do you really want to toss that out?  Why don’t these “Christian” Leftists object when someone quotes 1 Corinthians 13?

8. Jesus and Paul don’t disagree.  The clear trumps the unclear, but a Gospel writer’s presentation of Jesus’ teachings doesn’t trump Paul’s presentation of Jesus’ teachings.

9.  Much of Paul’s writings pre-date the Gospels.

So I don’t think Paul disagrees with what others documented directly and indirectly about Jesus, and even if they did you wouldn’t necessarily go with the Gospels.

Quoting Paul doesn’t make one a “Paulian” instead of a Christian, it just means you are quoting the word of God.  Don’t let anyone dismiss your claims because you quote Paul.  And be wary of those arguing against Paul — because they are also arguing against the Holy Spirit.

Just quote scripture, in context.  It’s all good.

A simple way to out theologically Liberal Christians for the tares and wolves that they are

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to “out” false teachers is to ask if they believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  They very rarely do.  They’ll defend their false view with some tidbit they’ve heard then try to change the subject.  Some, like false teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie, come up with entire sermons designed to rationalize away plain texts like John 14:6 (Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.).

Theologically Progressive/Liberals who claim the name of Christ mock the cross and the blood of the martyrs.  They refer to a few Bible verses, though almost always out of context, but if you keep them talking long enough they deny nearly all the essentials of the faith.

What they don’t know is that there are more than 100 passages supporting the truth that Jesus is indeed the only way to salvation.  When you point that out they work overtime to ignore you or change the subject.  Don’t let them do that.  And keep in mind that many of them have Masters or Doctorates in theology yet they have read the Bible so little that they don’t even know that truth!  

Just ask them this: Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, or do you rationalize away the 100+ passages affirming that truth? Follow-up question: If you deny those passages, then you are denying that the Holy Spirit inspired the original writings, so what is your evidence that the original writings were wrong but that the Holy Spirit is now accurately revealing truths to you?

Here’s what one theological Liberal said on the Sojourners’ blog:

I consider myself Christian although I do not believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I consider myself Christian because I seek to obey and to imitate Christ.

My response:

How do you know anything about Christ? Presumably it is from the Bible. But if you dismiss over 100 passages affirming the truth that He is the only way to salvation, why do you find the other passages to be trustworthy, such as the one you quoted (assuming you understood that in context)? If people just hold to the passages they like, then they aren’t following Christ, they are following themselves — that is, the god they have made in their own images by judging the real God and choosing which of his revelations are “real.”

I encourage you to scan the NT and reconsider your views. Jesus prayed in the garden and asked for another way. There wasn’t one. To teach otherwise mocks his work on the cross by implying that it was just one option of many, but not a requirement to save sinners. It also mocks the blood of the martyrs and those being persecuted today. For if Jesus isn’t the only way to salvation, why are these people suffering needlessly for their faith? If those on the theological Left really believed what they said and really loved these people they’d send Reverse Missionaries to de-convert those Christians and encourage them to adopt their local religions. After all, why suffer if Jesus isn’t the only way?

Here’s another typical theologically Liberal comment:

I don’t think it’s possible to bring ‘evidence’, in the sense of rational proof, of the revelations of the Holy Spirit, whether these come through Scripture or through direct experience.

My response:

We agree that the Holy Spirit has a large and unique role. Spiritually dead people will not understand the word. But I encourage you to scan the book of Acts and others to see the Gospel presentations there, and how the Christians referred to facts and logic (OK, and a few miracles) to present their case.

2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

BTW that isn’t even on my list of 100+ passages, but it implicitly shows that you are a follower of the true Christ or you are perishing. You are an unbeliever blinded by the god of this age or you see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, the image of God.

Just keep pointing the Progressives back to the Bible — all of it — and not just their misinterpretations of their favorite verses.  Plant a seed of truth so that whenever they claim to be Christians they’ll know that they are disagreeing with a truth taught more than 100 times in the Bible.

And when they tell you not to judge, point out that they are reading Matthew 7:1 out of context (just read the next 4 verses to see that Jesus is teaching not to judge hypocritically) and show them that they are judging the word of God, which means they are judging God.

Stand to Reason offers a booklet listing 100 passages teaching that Jesus is the only way to salvation, though I have found many more.  Just flip open the New Testament and start reading.  You’ll find that little makes sense outside that truth.

More on welfare than working: A design feature of Obama’s America, not a bug

Via More Americans collecting welfare than working full-time — you’d think this would be front page news and a cry for change, but Obama & Co. are getting exactly what they want.  If you aren’t familiar with the term Cloward-Piven Strategy or the philosophy of Saul Alinsky, then you really, really need to expand your media horizons.

When people see things that are obviously bad, like more people on welfare than working, they tend to think that the Leftist Obama/Democrat policies aren’t working.  But if you know how Obama, Hillary Clinton and others follow the philosophies of Cloward, Piven and Alinsky then you know that our Leftist leaders are getting exactly what they want: More dependence on government.  More crises designed to let them take more power.

If you think they are troubled by millions of people losing jobs, insurance, etc. and becoming more reliant on government then you are mistaken.  They are executing their agenda as planned.

“What ‘gay marriage’ did to Massachusetts” should be required viewing . . .

. . . for all those who have been saturated by the Leftist education, media and entertainment industries and who have been repeating the falsehood that it won’t impact other people.  Seriously, this is less than 30 minutes.  That seems like a small investment to counter the hundreds of hours of propaganda that you’ve been subjected to.

People who say that “same-sex marriage” won’t harm you or others are deceived or deceivers.

People who claim the name of Christ and support “same-sex marriage” or say that homosexual behavior isn’t a sin violate the two greatest commandments.

  • By disagreeing with the clear word of God they show that they aren’t loving him.
  • By putting their popularity over the welfare of their neighbors with LGBTQ temptations they don’t love their neighbors.

Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).planned
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind.

Here’s a direct link to the video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZX55HUPFSU .  Please bookmark it and share it with those who say this won’t harm others.

* The three general types of pro-gay theology people: 1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God” (obviously non-Christians) 2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling theological Liberals” (only about 10 things wrong with that) 3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

And then Solomon asked God to leave him little hints about what he should do . . .

No, wait, that isn’t how it went.  It was more like this:

1 Kings 3:5–12 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.

Far too many Christians turn to un-biblical thinking when it comes to Decision making and the will of God (click the link to a set of PowerPoint slides on the topic).  They think they have to look for little clues that God leaves them, as if that is a biblical style of communication from the Lord.  It isn’t.

Consider what Solomon asked for: Wisdom and discernment to make good decisions.  He didn’t ask God to come make every decision and tell him what to do.

When God spoke in the Bible He was very clear.  People didn’t wonder if the message was from him or not.  So ask God for wisdom and discernment.  Read Proverbs — and the rest of the Bible — a lot.  Seek wise counsel.  Choose what is moral and wise, then feel free to apply your personal preferences.  Enjoy the freedom you have in Christ!

If God wants to give you a sign it will be unmistakable, but He isn’t obligated to do so and the occurrences are rare.  Oh, and the burden of proof is on those claiming revelation from God.

From Stand to Reason:

decision-making-and-the-will-of-god.jpg

From elsewhere on the Interwebs (sources unknown — these were Facebook memes).

hear from God

Parts of the Pachyderm

A favorite updated for your reading pleasure.  If you haven’t encountered the “parts of the elephant” argument yet, you probably will.  Even some people who claim the name of Christ use it to bolster their “all paths lead to God” mistake.

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IMG_0098

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason has an excellent piece called the Trouble with the Elephant.

The ancient fable of the blind men and the elephant is often used to illustrate the fact that every faith represents just one part of the larger truth about God. However, the attempt is doomed before it gets started.

In the story, multiple blind men feel different parts of an elephant and describe it in different ways.  Someone who is not blind then points out the truth to them.

The typical application of the story is that religious pluralism is true – i.e., we’re worshiping the same God in different ways.

A good question to ask anyone who repeats this parable is, “Where do you fit into the story?”  If he is one of the blind men, then why would he have anything to offer you?  If he claims to be the person with sight, then what are his qualifications that he understands this world and you don’t?

Note that the blind men are describing different parts of the elephant, but it is still an elephant.  But if one religion says God is personal and another says He is impersonal, then they can’t both be right.  You can’t be an elephant and not an elephant.  I wrote more on the irreconcilable differences in the essential truth claims of religions in Religious Pluralism is Intellectually Bankrupt.

In a sense, the whole story is self refuting.  While the principle message is that we can only know a certain piece about God, the message itself claims to have the big picture.

It also has a rather odd premise: The “real” religion would be to follow every religion.  That way you’d have the whole elephant.

The only way the parable would work is if the elephant described itself to the blind people – sort of the way the God reveals himself to us in the Bible.  As Koukl says:

If everyone truly is blind, then no one can know if he or anyone else is mistaken.  Only someone who knows the whole truth can identify another on the fringes of it.  In this story, only the king can do that–no one else.

The most ironic turn of all is that the parable of the six blind men and the elephant, to a great degree, is an accurate picture of reality.  It’s just been misapplied.

We are like blind men, fumbling around in the world searching for answers to life’s deepest questions.  From time to time, we seem to stumble upon some things that are true, but we’re often confused and mistaken, just as the blind men were.

How do I know this?  Because the King has spoken.  He is above, instructing us, advising us of our mistakes, and correcting our error.  The real question is:  Will we listen?

Remember that if the elephant illustration is true, then Christianity is false.  The Bible teaches 100+ times that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  This is an argument that no Christian should use.

Poor arguments to make with theists

circle-slash.jpgThis is a companion piece to Poor arguments to make with atheists.  I deliberately used theists instead of Christians to keep things simple, though I did use some Christian examples below.  I accumulated these from various atheist web sites or comments made here.

I enjoy questions with people who are willing to have a charitable dialogue.  I don’t waste time with people who come by with poorly reasoned sound bites they picked up from their Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris trinity or the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites.  My hope is that people will reflect on at least one of these and realize how they’ve been repeating things without thinking about them carefully. And if they were misinformed on these simple things, then where else have their instructors misled them?

It is also written to encourage believers when they hear these things in the secular world — and in some churches!  We live in the world that the one true God created, so there will always be reasonable explanations to the nothing-made-everything fantasy sound bites of atheism.

1.  There are lots of denominations within Christianity and lots of religions with differing truth claims.  There must be a solid majority with complete agreement for God to be real, so this is evidence that there is no God.

And where did they arrive at this piece of spiritual truth?   But if the truth is determined by a majority vote, then there must be a God.  There are far more religious people than atheists.  But the truth is the truth no matter how few agree, and a lie is a lie no matter how many agree. And if the majority rules with respect to truth claims then atheism is false, because most people believe there is a God.

Christianity claims to be the narrow road.  Jesus didn’t expect a majority to follow him.  And the Bible addresses many false teachings and warns of others to come.
Also, as one atheist noted when trying to rally people to do “raiding parties” on theist sites, “Atheists as we all know from bitter arguments on this site, embrace a pretty broad range of views.”  So by their logic they must have a false worldview, right?
2. Why is it that religious people resort to imaginary answers (faith) built on the circular reasoning that the bible provides those answers? Does god exist? Yes, because the bible says so. D’uh!.

That is an actual quote.  I got this a lot from the Dawkins’ blog “raiding party.”  I call this the fallacy-within-a-fallacy argument.  They make a straw man argument about us making a circular argument.

I never made that claim about the Bible other than noting that the Bible does claim 3,000 times to speak for God and that it is a sort of necessary condition to be considered the word of God.  We have lots of reasons to believe it is the word of God, but we don’t need circular reasoning for it.

He also uses a non-Biblical definition of faith.  We have faith in something, and it isn’t a “blind faith” or a faith in spite of the evidence.

3. Arguing from incredulity: You just have a made-up invisible friend in the sky, etc., etc.  Do you probably believe in santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?

This charming ad hominem attack works both ways.  I submit that A is far more incredible to believe than B, and could have expanded on A for days.

A. The universe was created from nothing without a cause and organized itself into the spectacular level of complexity we see today, including life being created from non-life, and it evolved to create the “fictions” of morality and consciousness.

B. The universe was created by an eternally existent God.

We have lots of evidence for the existence of God: Cosmological (”first cause”), teleological (design), morality, logic, the physical resurrection of Jesus, etc.  If atheists don’t find that compelling, then so be it. I’m on the Great Commission, not the paid commission. But to insist that we have no evidence is uncharitable in the extreme and makes reasoned dialogue virtually impossible.

4. Arguments from ridicule (also see #3).  You can sprinkle in some ridicule to make an argument more entertaining, but using it as your primary argument is weak and fallacious.  Having visited quite a few atheist websites this seems to be their main line of reasoning.

5. As a Christian, you deny all gods but one. As an atheist, I deny all gods. We’re practically the same.

This is a cute but horribly illogical argument.  Saying there is no God isn’t a little different than saying there is one God, it is the opposite.  That’s like saying, “You deny all other women as your wives except one, so you’re practically the same as a single person.”

6. You don’t have empirical evidence for ____ (God, the resurrection, etc.).

To quote Bubba: “Can one prove that only empirical evidence is trustworthy? Better yet, can one prove this by using only empirical evidence?”

The answers, of course, are no and no.

The argument is a “heads we win, tails you lose” trick.  They say that you can only consider natural causes for the creation of the universe, and since they have nothing to test then there could not have been any supernatural cause, right?

And we do have lots of evidence for the resurrection.  Lots more evidence for God’s existence and for Christianity here and here.

7. Parents shouldn’t be allowed to indoctrinate / brainwash their children with religious beliefs.

The brainwashing must not be working, because so many people leave the church.  And why isn’t it brainwashing when the schools do it with evolution and their sickening strategies to take away the innocence of young children?  These freaks are telling 5 year old children that they can pick their gender!  That’s child abuse.

I find it interesting that with such low church attendance, general Biblical illiteracy and the monopoly that materialism has in public education that most people still don’t buy the macro-evolution lie.  No wonder evolutionists are so frustrated!

Some parents may go overboard with the fear of Hell thing.  But parents have rights, and more importantly, strong warnings are only inappropriate if the consequence in question is not true.

8. The Bible teaches _____ [fill in hopelessly (and deliberately?) wrong interpretation].

Please learn more about the Bible and the faith you are trying to criticize.  Straw-man arguments are unproductive.  This is perhaps the most common error I come across.  It seems like a week rarely goes by without someone using the “shrimp/shellfish argument,” which is full of holes but is appealing to many because so few bother to study the passages. I address five serious problems with it in flaws of the shellfish argument.

9. Christians disagree on what the Bible teaches (or Muslims disagree on the Koran, etc.) so there can’t be one right answer.

Just because a book is capable of being misunderstood doesn’t mean it is incapable of being understood.  Disagreements in science don’t mean everyone must be wrong.

If you have actually studied the Bible you’ll note that it addresses many false teachings and warns that there will always be false teachers.  So the concept that people disagree on what the Bible says isn’t exactly newsworthy.  It is Biblical, in fact.

10. Why do religious people keep quoting bits out of a book written long ago by stone aged (or bronze aged) and ignorant men?

The men who wrote the Bible were quite intelligent.  The Apostle Paul, for example, was well educated, articulate and a clear thinker.  Go read the book of Romans and see what I mean.

The age of the book is completely irrelevant, of course.  If God wrote it the message would be timeless.  And of course, if it were written last week they’d complain that it was too late.

The complaint that our responses are old is also invalid.  The objections are old as well.  The funny thing is that over the last 2,000 years brilliant theists have wrestled with the same questions the New Atheists have, except with more clarity and thoughtfulness.

11. Why do religious people not understand the scientific and philosophical arguments against the existence of god which clearly refute its existence?

This commenter didn’t share any of those arguments or refer to any sources, so it is difficult to answer even if the objection didn’t have a flawed premise (it is basically a “have you stopped beating your wife” type of question that anyone on any side of an issues could use).  Many of us know and understand the arguments and how to respond to them.

12. I can’t understand or conceive of why God would set things up this way, so He must not exist.

We call this “creating God in your own image.”  See the 2nd Commandment.  The atheists making claims like that paraphrase are actually making ironic theological statements, because they claim to know what God should “really” be like.

If you create your own universe with working DNA and such, you can make your own rules.  But whether you like it or not you play by God’s rules in this universe and you’ll have to give an account for your life.  Ignorance is not an excuse.  If you suppress the truth in unrighteousness you will experience God’s wrath for eternity.  You will be judged by God for all your sins, including your darkest, most shameful secret thoughts and deeds.  And the standard won’t be some other sinner like me, it will be the perfect righteousness of Jesus.

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Romans 2:15-16 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

13. Some people who call themselves Christians do and/or say stupid things, so Christianity is false.

That doesn’t disprove Christianity any more than atheists doing and saying stupid things proves that there is a God.

In fact, Christians saying and doing stupid things probably bothers us more than it does atheists.  Believe it or not, we have some common ground there.

14. Religion poisons everything!  What about the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc.?!

That is unproductive hyperbole.  Religion has done many great things – helping the poor, advancing education for the masses, helping women, building hospitals and schools, great art, etc.

You don’t judge an ideology based on the actions of those who violate its tenets.  Click the link above for more.

The Salem Witch trials killed 18 people.  The Inquisition killed about 2,000.  That is 2,018 too many, to be sure, but keep in mind two things: The perpetrators did the opposite of what Jesus commanded and 2,018 murders was a slow afternoon for atheists like Stalin and Mao.

Here’s a quote from a guy trying to rally atheists to their cause by raiding theist blogs like this one – to rescue the world from this religious poison, I suppose.  Messiah complex, anyone?

In a very real (but perhaps overly dramatic sense) the fate of the planet is at stake.

Uh, yes, “perhaps.”  But if atheism is true then who cares if the planet dies?  You must use empirical evidence to prove why it would be a bad thing :-).

I have noted that these critics focus almost exclusively on Christianity.  When you point this out to them they squirm and say it is the one they are most familiar with.  But with the growth of radical Islam and the perversions of the caste system in India you’d think they’d spread their evangelical atheism out a bit.

15. Religion gets in the way of scientific progress.

That is simply untrue.  The Galileo story that people usually refer to has many mythical elements.  And how many people can cite an example besides Galileo?  And who knows, maybe Einstein’s presupposition of a static universe caused his error with the cosmological constant.  After all, an expanding universe certainly gives more support to a theist model than a static one.

Darwinistic philosophy caused errors like assuming that “Junk DNA” was really junk.

16. You don’t use reason and we do.

That is just patently false.  Atheists just don’t like the reasons.  Christianity in particular encourages and applauds the use of reason.  Countless great thinkers and scientists were Bible-believing Christians.  Darwinistic philosophy can’t even account for reason, because macro-evolution would select for survivability, not truth.

17. But the Bible condones slavery!  It is ironic that this is one of the most common excerpts from the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound bites. Why? Because on atheism there is no grounding to say that slavery is wrong. Survival of the fittest rules, baby. So for starters, they shouldn’t be so judgmental about what their worldview couldn’t rightly judge.

Also, this doesn’t sound like condoning to me: Exodus 21:16 Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.

Please read that again, then realize that the critics of God use the logical fallacy of equivocation to make their point — that is, they assume that all forms of slavery are the same.

Oh, and don’t forget to praise the Christians who ended slavery.

And don’t forget to fight the Muslim and other slavery that goes on today and please stop using p*rn, which is directly tied to sex slavery. That is, if you really care about slavery.

More background on the Bible and slavery here, or just search on the Bible and slavery.  There are lots of thorough articles for those with sincere interest in the topic.

18. But the God of the Bible committed genocide!  First, if you create a universe from scratch you are welcome to deal with any of your creatures who rebel against your authority as you see fit.  He is sovereign over life and death for everyone and makes no apology for it.

But the clearing out of the Promised Land involved a one-time cleansing of a group of people who had committed the atrocities listed in Leviticus 18 for over 400 years.  If you want to judge God, a more logical question would be why He waited so long!

And that was it.  No wars of conquest.  No hints in the New Testament that Christianity should use any coercion to get people to believe.

19.  If it aligned with facts and logic, it would not be religion. It would be science. Logical fallacy: Category error. Science deals with the material. Religion deals with the immaterial and the material. Both use facts and logic.

20. You are only a Christian because of where you were born!  If you were born in Saudi Arabia you’d be a Muslim.  Short version: So what?  The motivation for a belief is irrelevant to whether the belief is true.  We have many solid reasons to believe Christianity is true.  From there you can talk about Christian apologetics and why we have logic and facts supporting our belief that Jesus rose from the dead.

Also, using their logic, they are only skeptics (or whatever) because of where they were born. And lots of people convert to Christianity from other religions, so their point of origin can’t be the only reason.

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Closing thoughts: As frequent commenter Edgar has pointed out so well, even if every religion is completely false and atheism is true, then naturalism is to blame.  So it is irrational to get mad at religion or religious people.  We’re just doing what our genes tell us to.

And, of course, you would have absolutely nothing to be proud about.  You haven’t accomplished anything and haven’t generated any brilliant or meaningful ideas.  You are just a bag of chemicals that thinks you have.  Congratulations!  You have no reason for bitterness or grandstanding.

All fun aside, those who can stay away from time-wasting arguments and who want to engage in an actual dialogue are welcome.

I hope that atheists reconsider their views.  Eternity is a mighty long time.  The true God of the universe delights to show forgiveness and mercy, but you must come to him on his terms: Repenting and trusting in Jesus.

You can’t dictate the terms and conditions to parents, bosses, teachers, police, or even a McDonald’s cashier, so don’t be foolish and think you can do that with God. The rich young ruler walked away sadly when he didn’t like God’s terms and conditions but Jesus didn’t chase after him to negotiate.

One of the many reasons you can know that Jim Wallis and Sojourners are fakes

They have article after article on Catholics and never note that their views are irreconcilable with Christianity.  Here’s one of many examples: Stephen Colbert on Pope Francis, Cardinal Dolan and (of Course) Stephen Colbert – David Gibson | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.

Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis is a fake who pretends to be a centrist while he is really a Leftist extremist.  And he pretends to be an evangelical while being a cheerleader for the Pope.

If you can’t see that Wallis is a wolf, you’ve got a problem.

Typical Sojourners schizophrenic thinking

An anti-complementarian fluff piece speaks volumes about those in the who mock God by ignoring gender roles — Reading Scripture Through the Shutdown: A Voice for the Silenced – Angela Kissel | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners (the blog of false teacher Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis).

The self-described feminist author is virtually certain to be pro-abortion but pretends to speak for the silenced.  She whines about those who interpret the Bible properly.  She is supported by a host of fakes who refer to the leader of the Episcopal church (who mocks the cross at every turn) as some sort of positive example.  This is a typical abuse of scripture in the comments section:

For me the Galatians text that we are all one in Christ –neither Jew nor Greek, male and female, is a radical turning point.

It is amusing how they hate Paul and rationalize him away when they understand what he says but they think he’s swell when they’ve misinterpreted a verse like that to think that gender roles are meaningless.

Confessing sins that you didn’t commit and forgiving actions not done against you

Kevin DeYoung makes some great points in Ruthlessness Accompanied by Unctuous Moralizing.  When people “confess” sins that they didn’t commit they are actually making themselves look pious when they aren’t.

It’s always right to confess sin, right?

When God pricks our consciences and brings us to the point where we can see our sin, hate our sin, confess our sin, and turn from our sin and turn to Christ, it is one of the surest signs of the work of the Holy Spirit.

But not all confession is created equal. Confessing faults we don’t really see, just to get people off our backs, is duplicitous. Confessing sins that aren’t really sins is the sign of a conscience gone awry. And confessing the mistakes and moral blindness of others usually amounts to tendentious manipulation. It may be from the best of intentions (or it may not), but it is a dangerous thing to loudly confess a host of sins we have not committed and for which we are not individually, or even corporately, responsible.

Read his entire post.  It is quite good.  Leftists are great at doing what he describes.

On the flip side, sometimes people offer forgiveness when they don’t have standing.  If someone didn’t sin against you, there isn’t anything to forgive.

Why conservative views are better

The title may sound a little brash, but if people are honest they’ll concede that they think their views are better.  Otherwise, why would they hold them?

So why are conservative views better?  They reflect a much better understanding of reality, specifically  human nature (e.g., original sin) and the Law of Unintended Consequences (things don’t happen in vacuums; if you change a law then people will react to that), common sense (why should someone hire you if you can’t help them succeed?) and more.

Just a few examples . . .

Abortion: Crushing and dismembering innocent yet unwanted human beings rarely solves problems.  Yes, it is unfortunate when unplanned pregnancies occur, but killing the unborn is wrong.

Liberals act as if conservatives are not compassionate towards women with crisis pregnancies, but go visit a Pregnancy Resource Center and see if it is funded, managed and staffed with conservatives or liberals.  Liberal “compassion” is to use murder to pretend to solve the problem.

The right to life is a true right.  Social justice begins in the womb.

Gun control: Liberals argue by anecdote that guns are bad and must be controlled.  Conservatives realize that while there will be exceptions, society at large is much better off with the option of being armed against criminals and bad governments.  Human nature is such that bad people and bad governments are less likely to act against potentially well-armed people.  Gun violence is greater where there are more restrictions.  I know from prison ministry that bad guys are similar to the rest of the population in many ways: They want maximum gain with minimum risk.  Why go where people are armed when there is somewhere they are unarmed?  It is foolish to think that disarming law-abiding citizens will improve crime rates.

Poverty: Conservatives want to help those who can’t help themselves, such as orphans and some widows.

Conservatives know that you get more of what you fund.  Give incentives for single mothers?  You get more single mothers.  Give incentives to illegal aliens?  You get more illegal aliens.

Anstudies show that by any measure — giving time, money or even blood donations — conservatives are more generous.  They just don’t lobby Caesar to “give” your money and count it as a good deed on their part.

Sex scandals: Both sides may have them, but Republicans generally kick their perpetrators to the curb (Mark Sanford is an exception, not the rule).  What about the Democrats?  Barney Frank had a male prostitution ring in his home.  Bill Clinton had many affairs, sex with an intern in a white house and strong accusations of rape.  If Monica hadn’t saved the dress he’d still be lying.  But he gets $100,000+ per speech and is still worshiped by countless Democrats.  Ted Kennedy (need I say more?).  The “Reverend” Jesse Jackson had adultery and used his organization’s funds to pay off a mistress.  The Democrats can’t bring themselves to kick out the San Diego mayor.  Anthony Weiner thinks people will overlook his continued bizarre behavior — and he may be right!  And on and on.

War: Neither side likes war.  Conservatives understand the simple truth of peace through strength.  Bullies don’t bully kids who are bigger or better armed.  It is pathetically naive to think you can live in a world without violence.

More on Facebook memes

Facebook memes can be clever and insightful, but often fallacious.  Even on the conservative side there are too many that just attempt to say “Obama is stupid” in a different way.  I find those pointless and counterproductive.  If your meme could be used by your ideological foes just by changing the names, then it proves nothing.

But the Liberal FB pages are true train wrecks of bad thinking.  Here are a few.  Feel free to borrow any of these responses without attribution.

The pictures didn’t paste properly for some reason, so I posted generic titles.

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Memes that imply we are making “same-sex marriage” illegal.

The Bible doesn’t say that oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” should be illegal. It also doesn’t comment on square circles. Here’s what it does say: The Bible couldn’t be more clear. Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind.

* The three general types of pro-gay theology people: 1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God” (obviously non-Christians) 2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling theological Liberals” (only about 10 things wrong with that) 3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

The writer does not understand the 1st Amendment, which protects religious and political speech and does not restrict them. My religion also teaches me that you shouldn’t beat kill atheists and take their property. Using the logic of this meme, I must vote the opposite of that in the public square.

The writer also does not understand that we aren’t making “gay marriage” illegal, we are saying there are not good reasons to have the gov’t get involved in those unions.
There is no “right” to gov’t recognition of same-sex unions. Here’s why: 1. It is an oxymoron: “The same sex union of a man and a woman.” People have as much of a right to it as they do to a square circle. 2. By nature and design, homosexual couples can not produce children. 3. By nature and design, homosexual couples can never provide a mother and a father to a child, which is the obvious ideal whether you are religious or an atheist (there are no gay parents in Darwinian evolution). 4. Sexual behavior does not confer Civil Rights status.

Note that none of those reasons involve religious arguments, even though there is nothing wrong with letting our religious views inform our political views. If people want to know what Jesus thinks on the matter I’d be glad to tell them.

I anticipate several canards when addressing this topic, such as the “but they love each other” bit. Those arguments come from ignorance or disingenuousness. After all, no one — including all the Christians I know — is saying they can’t have relationships. Hey, they can go to any number of apostate churches and get “married.” The question is whether we want or need the government to regulate their relationships. We don’t.

What about hospital visitation, estate issues, etc.? They can be solved without changing the definition of marriage to “a union of any combination of things that we decide it to be.” For example, estate taxes are ghoulish and should be abandoned for everyone, not just gays (do you really want the gov’t to profit from your death?).

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Memes asking why we kill to show that killing is wrong

Poor choice of words: It should read, why do we kill people to show that murder is wrong. Murder is killing without adequate justification.

My guess is that the author and most of the people who liked this support the Democrats’ official platform of unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortions, all of which kill innocent but unwanted human beings. Where is the righteous indignation over that? It is a scientific fact — and common sense — that a new human being is created at fertilization, and abortion kills those human beings.

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Memes that imply we are forcing religious beliefs on others
That is gibberish.  First, we can make arguments against killing unwanted human beings (abortion) and against oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” without religion (though there is nothing wrong with religious arguments).  Second, you don’t have a freedom to kill others just because they are small and in their mother’s womb (what about their freedoms?) and you don’t have a right to a square circle (i.e., “same-sex marriage”)
.
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Anti-Wal Mart / anti-business memes

The owners of the company get the profits? Gee, when did that start? Their opponents are welcome to compete against Wal-Mart starting today.  They should quit complaining and start their own businesses! They’ll be superior employers, of course, and pay higher wages and benefits, so they’ll be able to take the best and brightest from those evil businesses. It will be a win-win — help the people and hurt your enemies, right?

Oh, but it will be hard work. Never mind..

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Memes comparing the favorable definitions of Liberal with the unpleasant antonyms 

The question is whether Liberals are really “liberal.” Tolerant? LOL. They are the most intolerant people I’ve seen. They fit the definition of bigot perfectly: big·ot – noun – a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

Generous and charitable? Hardly. Conservatives give more time, money and even blood donations than Liberals and that politicians like Obama, Gore, Kennedy, etc. are notoriously cheap with their own wallets. http://spectator.org/archives/2008/06/06/liberal-scrooges

It isn’t giving when you ask the gov’t to take from your neighbor by force to give to someone else. That’s coveting.

And so on. That is why the term Leftist is much more accurate than Liberal.

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The typical “shellfish argument” meme

Bible lessons from non-believers are always entertaining.  The shrimp / shellfish argument is full of holes but is appealing to many because so few bother to study the passages. I address five serious problems with it in flaws of the shellfish argument.   http://tinyurl.com/shellfishflaws

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Memes pretending to know what Jesus is really like 

Jesus is the “author of life” and does not support crushing and dismembering innocent but unwanted human beings.  He also defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  He is fully God and fully Man and the Bible turned out just as He wanted it to.

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Generic memes implying we are anti-freedom for opposing government recognition of “same-sex marriage”

That’s a great pro-life slogan! You are right, we shouldn’t deny the right to life to the unborn just because they are unwanted.

Oh, wait, you were pretending that by not having the gov’t recognize same-sex unions that we are denying them the freedom to be together? That’s a lie. They can get “married” in all sorts of fake churches and live together and love whomever they like.

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Memes saying how homosexuality is seen in nature / memes about “homophobia”
So you get your sexual ethics from animal behavior?  Male dogs will try to have sex with female dogs, male dogs, your coffee table, your leg, etc.  Remind me not to come to your house for dinner if that is your standard for sexual mores.

Many people play the fallacious “homophobia” card reflexively because so few call them on it.  If you really love people, you’ll tell them the truth.

“Homophobia” is a foolish pejorative manufactured to dismiss the legitimate claims of the opposing side.  After all, if your opponent is certifiably psychotic you don’t even have to respond to them.  Isn’t that convenient?!

The true homophobes are those who are so scared of the gay lobby and of being politically incorrect that they mock God, the Bible, natural law and common sense.   Verses about millstones, “woe to those who call evil good and good evil” and “I never knew you” come to mind.

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Memes about what Jesus is “really” like

Hey, how about loving the neighbor in the womb?

If you love them, you’ll tell them the truth: They are sinners in need of Savior.  If they don’t repent and trust in the real Jesus then they will pay for their sins for eternity in Hell.

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The meme pretending you are inconsistent if you are anti-abortion but aren’t spending equal time on the poor

That’s a false meme. Both are human beings, and I support laws preventing either from being crushed and dismembered because they are unwanted. I’m consistent. Pro-abortion Leftists are consistent as well — they aren’t helping either one.

You also falsely assume that if someone doesn’t fight every possible social ill with equal effort then it is bad on their part. That’s transparently false.

And studies show that by any measure — giving time, money or even blood donations — conservatives are more generous. They just don’t lobby Caesar to “give” your money and count it as a good deed on their part. See http://www.nationalreview.com/content/who-really-cares

Still not “born that way”

dna2.gifThe “gays were born that way” saying has taken on a life of its own and has an overwhelming impact on public policy.  Is it true?  If it is true, does it matter?  Some thoughts . . .

1. I’m highly skeptical of “proof” that it is genetic (either a “gay gene” or genetic predispositions), as these studies have all been proven to be false in the past.  There is no study showing that it is, and many showing that it isn’t.

2. Even if it is genetic, that doesn’t change the morality of the behavior.  You don’t get an “ought” from and “is.”  Gay-bashing is a sin, but on LGBTQX logic those people could claim they were “born that way.”

3. If it is genetic, the number of gays will be dramatically reduced in a generation or so.  Heterosexual parents will be quick to abort their children with predispositions to be gay.  And the Liberals won’t do much to stop them, because they typically love abortion rights more than gay rights.  Any time I pose that hypothetical situation to pro-abortion/pro-LGBTQ people, they always choose abortions over gays.  They haven’t changed their views even for gender selection abortions (which virtually all involve the killing of females for the sole reason that they are female), so they probably won’t change them for gays, either.

I think that would be a bad thing, of course, as I’m against abortions except to save the life of the mother, regardless of whether the baby has a predisposition to be gay.

4. I’ve seen lots of evidence that many people are gay because of sexual abuse and/or relationship issues.  I agree that anecdotes don’t make a full case, but I’m talking about a lot of anecdotes from people who come across hundreds or even thousands of gays.  I’ve read of many counselors who said that virtually all of their gay patients had been abused or had serious relationship issues.  And here’s a quote from gay activist / journalist Tammy Bruce from The Death of Right and Wrong:

Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood – molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult.  The gay community must face the truth and see the sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the “coming-of-age” experience many regard it as being.  Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.

She wasn’t trying to dispel the “born that way” notion, but I thought her comment was compelling.

And nearly all the lesbians I know were abused by their fathers or husbands.  It is tragic that their “solution” just makes things worse.

5. It doesn’t have to be one traumatic event.  It could be the complete dynamics of a relationship in place from birth that would make someone think they were “always that way.”

6. Gays who choose that lifestyle would be predisposed to say they were born that way.  Otherwise, the whole “civil rights” demands would have even less reasoning behind them.  Just watch what happens when famous people claim they changed to be gay or lesbian.  The LGBTQX lobby goes into attack mode.

7. How many times do you see a newborn and say, “Now there’s a gay baby!”  Be sure not to unfairly stereotype youths as gay just because they have non-traditional characteristics.  How about nurturing and encouraging them for who they are and what interests they have?

8. Why are some people so eager to insist on the genetic link?  Seems kinda homophobic to me, as if they think the lifestyle would make an undesirable choice.

And don’t just say, “They are picked on, so who would want that lifestyle?”  That reasoning wouldn’t apply to people with true genetic differences that have made people a source of disapproval in the past.

Also, gay approval is at an all time high – “pride” parades, recognition as employee network groups at many businesses, civil unions & marriages – even apostate church weddings, almost universally favorable media treatment, etc.

9. Here’s one lady who doesn’t claim she was “born that way.”  She says feminism led her to lesbianism (go figure!).

Ms Wilkinson, Professor of Feminist and Health Studies at Loughborough University, said: “I was never unsure about my sexuality throughout my teens or 20s. I was a happy heterosexual and had no doubts. Then I changed, through political activity and feminism, spending time with women’s organisations. It opened my mind to the possibility of a lesbian identity.”

Another item for the “I am not making this up” category

I was getting lots of links to this piece from a couple years ago so I thought I’d re-post it.  The moral schizophrenia of our society knows no bounds, as evidenced by the circumcisions are barbaric but abortions are fine positions of these folks on the Left.

Via Russell Crowe: Pro-abortion Foreskin Man, we have another person to add to the original post below (plus the pro-legalized abortion San Francisco folks wanting to ban circumcision).  These folks think it should it be against the law to cut away a tiny bit of flesh but completely legal to destroy the same human being.  Moral schizophrenia: They’re doin’ it right.

But then Crowe got stupid. His very next tweet, after “stand[ing] for the perfection of babies”?

The absurd illogic is almost too obvious to point out. But I must.

Removing a piece of skin the size of a postage stamp from a newborn baby is “barbaric and stupid,” the logic being that “[b]abies are perfect,” but suctioning that same baby’s brains out to kill him moments before birth is not, the logic being it’s “a woman’s choice”?

The “forced motherhood” line is an emotive canard used reflexively by pro-legalized abortionists.  They ignore the obvious fact that the woman is already “with child” — unless he thinks the government forced her to get pregnant.

I’ll bet that these people are pro-legalized partial-birth abortion, where they think it should be legal to stick a fork in the baby’s head when he is 90% delivered and suck his brains out, but would oppose the right to perform a circumcision at the same point and let him live.

Again, how can someone talk about and defend  the perfection of babies and then advocate abortion?  What a bizarre world.  Read more below about a guy who was really mad at his parents for having him circumcised as an infant but thought they should have had the right to kill him in the womb.

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Original post

A commenter on at a post titled Why Pro-Choice is Losing held the following two views:

  • Strongly pro-legalized abortion
  • Strongly anti-circumcision

Here’s his comment (#54 at the link):

What do the anti-choice people in this thread propose to do to women who choose to have an abortion in the event it is made illegal? How do they propose to determine what pregnancies were purposely aborted and which ones were not? Will they put a gun to a woman’s head, force feed her, turn her into a human incubator, and force her to give birth to a child against her will? What would that do to a child who discovered he/she was brought into the world in such a fashion?

On a further note, I am circumcised and I wish that I wasn’t. In fact I feel extremely bitter against my parents every time I think about the fact that they chopped off a piece of my body against my will.

Think about that for a minute.  He wanted his mother to be able to have his whole body destroyed in the womb, but he is “extremely bitter” that a small piece was cut off outside the womb.

The circumcision, probably done within a week of his birth, was “against his will.”  But what about his will the week before when he was in his mother’s womb?

I wonder if he would have minded an in utero circumcision, since everything there is fair game?  The end state would have been the same for him, of course.

I hope his inconsistency makes him realize that regardless of how he feels about circumcision, abortion is a far worse thing to do to a human being.  If he had been aborted he wouldn’t be here to be “extremely bitter” about his circumcision.