Tag Archives: Christmas

When a “Christian” Leftist starts to explain the “real” meaning of Christmas, prepare to be lied to

As if you if you needed more evidenced that Obama is not a Christian, watch how he and his wife explain the “real” meaning of Christmas.
Yes, it is typical “Christian” Left gibberish. Look, if they don’t want to be Christians, that’s up to them. But don’t lie and claim the label while stating the opposite of what the Bible does on every key doctrine.
The only good part of this is that it shows how powerful real Christianity is. For example, I can easily and accurately state Muslim beliefs because these are simply facts of history (i.e., they think Allah is the true God, that Mohammad was his messenger, that Jesus did not die on a cross, etc.).
But the “Christian” Left and more explicit anti-Christians can’t even spell out what we really believe — even if they don’t believe it themselves — namely, that we believe that Jesus is divine, that He died on a cross to bear our sins, that He rose again on the third day, that only those who trust in his name are saved, etc.
What was so hard about that?  Nothing, in the sense of how simple and well-documented the concepts are, but everything, in the sense that deep down they know it is the truth and they are actively rejecting it.
They are so desperate to deny it that they don’t even want the words repeated.  It reminds me of a New Age person who would have visceral reactions when I quoted scripture even if she didn’t know it was scripture.  The demon(s) in her knew what it was.

Writing about things that I won’t write about.

There are a few things I refuse to get excited about or to write about . . . uh, except for this post . . .

Merchants marketing Christmas too early!

Starbucks cups!

Not saying just the right greeting during the holidays!

Exactly how you should/shouldn’t celebrate Christmas!

Etc.!

Seriously, I’ve already wasted too much time on those topics just by writing this brief post.  If other people care enough to write about them, go ahead.  Those don’t even make my top 100 list.  I refuse to get caught up in them.

Just your traditional Christmas lake of fire sermon

*** Alternate title, inspired by Bubba’s comment: “Chestnuts roasting on an open lake of fire.” ***

I mean, what else would you preach on?  I know most churches don’t preach on the book of Revelation on the Sunday before Christmas, but a few years ago that is just what we heard.

We were visiting my oldest daughter to watch her perform in the Nutcracker for the Louisville Ballet, where she lived at the time.  We loved going to Sojourn Community Church with her.  They are part of the Acts 29 Network, just as our current church is (and our youngest daughter attends one where she lives).

The church had been going through the entire Bible over the course of two years, so of course at the end of the second year they were in Revelation.  And they didn’t pull any punches, literally preaching on the lake of fire.  These churches have a great balance of grace and truth, and they don’t gloss over what many churches do.  The sermons are a good 40 minutes or so of verse-by-verse preaching.  Yeah!

We had two people visiting with us.  One was a Bible-believing Christian, who really enjoyed the service and talking about the sermon.  The other is very active in a false denomination and goes to church every week.  This usually chatty, upbeat person had nothing to say.  Nothing.  The word of God has that effect on both types of people.

Is Christianity too narrow?

Shouldn’t there be other ways for God to save the world?  John recently asked if there were Too few means to salvation?

One common complaint against Christianity is the doctrine of exclusivism.  The teaching that there is only one true God and only one true religion is something some people just find objectionable.  Whether they find this to be arrogant, narrow-minded, elitist, or worse; they think the idea that there is only one way to God in order to be saved is distasteful.  But what if Jesus wasn’t the only way and there were more than one way to salvation?  How many would be sufficient?

It is a logical question to ask, especially in our culture.  Even many of those filling church pews each week sit in judgment of God and his word and think that the truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation is too restrictive (because there are “only” 100+ passages affirming that truth).  They are ironically exclusive in demanding that others be inclusive.

And of course, if Jesus isn’t the only way then He isn’t a way at all.  If Christianity — and Jesus himself — claimed that He was the exclusive way to salvation, then if even one other religion is correct then Christianity is false.  Those who claim the name of Christ while saying that other paths can lead to salvation should reconsider their views.

It is hard to imagine something more obvious than this: You must meet the creator of the universe on his terms, not yours. He starts off perfectly fair, giving all what they deserve. Then He becomes extremely unfair by offering grace to those who accept the sacrifice made on their behalf.

God is completely inclusive in the sense of offering salvation and forgiveness to all who come to him on his terms. Any type of sinner, any age, any culture, any gender, etc. is welcomed.

God is completely exclusive in that if you reject his terms then He will reject you.

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Complaining that there is only one way to salvation is the height of ingratitude and another symptom of Romans 1-style rebellion and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. If God offered two ways, then people would complain that there aren’t three, and so on.

Just get on your knees and thank him that there is a way at all!

One of the commenters at the link said this:

Of course, it is difficult enough to exonerate god for the behavior of god (such as described in the Bible).

He expressed the typically incoherent thoughts of atheists. They insist on the fantasy that the universe came into being without a cause, that life came from non-life, that life evolved to caterpillar/butterflies, elephants, humans, etc. and that there is no ultimate accountability for your actions. And then they can’t go three sentences without making moral judgments! If they were slightly consistent with their worldview they’d “know” that Darwinian evolution was the sole cause for all religions, including Christianity and my conversion from atheism to the belief in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So why are they critical of the products of evolution? Why do they make moral judgments when they would “know” that there is no such thing as universal morality that and that we would agree with or even care about their standards? These Romans 1 poster children tip their hands at every turn.

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.

More bad news: You’ll be judged on the standard of Jesus, not by comparing your best traits to your neighbor’s worst traits. All your deepest, darkest secrets will be brought to light and judged by a holy and perfect God.

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.

It is foolish and rebellious to think that you get to define whether God exists and what He must be like. Repent and believe while you still have time. Eternity is a mighty long time to suffer for your foolish pride. Seek God on his incredibly gracious terms and not only will your past, present and future sins be completely forgiven, but you will have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you.

Jesus — fully human and fully divine — came to live the perfect life in your place and to die for your sins.  That is worth celebrating.

A great Christmas gift idea!

Resurrection iWitnessNot for me (but thanks anyway!).  As the French Knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would say, I’ve already got one.

What is it, you ask?  A copy of Resurrection iWitness by Doug Powell.  As noted on Amazon:

This book gives evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ by using the easy-to-understand Minimal Facts argument. That means it relies only on the historical facts that almost all biblical scholars (including atheistic, Jewish, and liberal) accept and shows how only the biblical story of the resurrection can account for all these agreed-upon facts.

Across 32 intensively designed pages (16 spreads acting as individual chapters) — each containing information that is physically nested and must be actively opened to discover — the reader investigates the story of Christ and weighs the evidence to determine its historical accuracy.

While a 700+ page book by N.T. Wright will obviously go into more depth, the odds of getting someone to actually read about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus go up dramatically with this book.  At only 32 pages it is an easy read, and the artwork and interactive nature will be compelling for people.

The “minimal facts” argument is probably my favorite to use with believers and non-believers alike.  It is very compelling and easy to explain, and it quickly explodes all sorts of myths, such as how Christians are to have a “blind faith” without evidence.

It starts by quoting 1 Corinthians 15 and notes that if an enemy wants to find the weak point of Christianity we hand it to him.  Paul couldn’t be more clear: If the physical resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen, then Christianity is false, we are making the real God mad and we are to be pitied above all men.

It goes on to note key facts that even those hostile to the faith willingly concede, and then explains how alternate theories all fail in light of those facts.  Our faith is grounded in reason and evidence and we can be confident that the resurrection really happened.

Remember, Christmas is the time of year where people expect us to talk about Jesus.  Even the non-believers will listen to and hear songs about him.  Wouldn’t a book that elegantly and accurately explains why we should believe that He really lived, died and rose again make a great gift?

So buy one or a bunch (only $12.46 for a coffee table quality book) and give them away.  It will be your easiest evangelism of the year.  Be sure to have it lying around your house as a conversation starter.  Give one to your kids. This is the kind of message that our youth desperately need when they go off to college.  It really disarms critics when we politely point out why we have solid reasons for trusting in Jesus as our Savior.

P.S. Now that’s weird — the link this page didn’t show up on Facebook on my computer and on my iPhone it gave a message saying that the link was “reported as abusive by Facebook users.” Huh??!!  The worst part is that they never contacted me or explained why, and I have no idea how to figure it out. It will be interesting to see if that happens again.  This is a recommendation for a book about Jesus — as a Christmas gift! It’s one of the least offensive things I’ve published all year!

A look at the sermon of a false teacher

Reading the sermons of wolves in sheep’s clothing so you don’t have to!

False teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie took a break from taking little girls to gay pride parades to preach a “sermon” about John 18:33-37.  He is symptomatic of the theological Left and their anti-Christian teachings.

I wrote previously in Heretics ‘R Us about Chuck’s abuse of John 14:6 (Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”) and how Chuck’s key points were to claim that Jesus was not the only way to the Father (despite the Bible claiming that over 100 times), that other religions such as Islam should inform our view of the Gospel, and that the Bible is not accurate or reliable — specifically that the Gospel of John was written 100 years after Jesus was crucified for being such a nice guy.

Never minding that even Liberal scholars concede a date around 100 A.D., and the case for a pre-70 A.D. dating is very strong, Chuck is now claiming that it was written 200 years after the crucifixion.  (Note that his dating is relative to the crucifixion, not the resurrection, because “Reverend” Chuck and other theological liberals don’t believe the resurrection really happened.  We have a name for those who hold that view: Non-Christians.)

Via Thy Kingdom Come:

In our on-going Sunday night adult education group we’ve come to know that the Book of John was written nearly two hundred years after the death of Jesus and far from recording historical accounts of his life it reflects theological understandings of his ministry and existence.

Well, there you have it!  Chuck now says it was 200 years, not 100 years.  So his view is that the author(s) were complete liars, because the Gospel of John explicitly claims to contain eyewitness accounts and evidence for believing that Jesus rose from the dead and is the source of eternal life.

Chuck seems to make up things as he goes along, kind of like Benny Hinn.  But even if Chuck was right, why on earth would he do an entire sermon on a book he “knows” is thoroughly fraudulent?

Sadly, as the latest of the Gospels, it also reflects the reality that by this point in history the early Christian community is becoming separate from the Jewish community that Jesus was apart of.  With this separation comes persecution of early Christians and the narratives of Jesus death change in ways that blame the Jews more directly as a people for the death of Jesus, when the Romans where truly responsible.

Knowing all this we can sit back from our vantage point and see how it was that Pilate must have been confused about Jesus.

This lowly son of a carpenter was actually wildly popular with the Jewish people and word had reached Pilate that some referred to Jesus as King.

So Chuck seeks to absolve the Jews of blame for the crucifixion, even though all the Gospels record that Jewish people were the cause of Jesus being killed.

Luke 23 18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”– 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

Chuck & Co. will claim that is anti-Semitic, but there is another more accurate term: Fact. No one claims that all Jews killed Jesus or that Jews should be persecuted.  We just point to the obvious truths of the Bible.

The church too quickly forgot the lessons of Jesus.

But wait — Chuck & Co. insist that the documents containing Jesus’ words are hopelessly flawed.  He and his (apparently former) employer the “Jesus Seminar” insist that Jesus only really said a small fraction of the words attributed to him — and of course they deny that He is part of the Trinity and on board with the entire Bible.

We spend too much time in the Christian church debating what happens to us after we die and not enough time talking about how to improve the world we live in.  Jesus was never obsessed with death and salvation the way he was obsessed with building up the Kingdom in the here and now.

Again, Chuck refers to a Jesus that he made up.  The real Jesus spoke plenty about eternal matters:

Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Back to the false teacher:

We pride ourselves on being places where all points of view are accepted.

Uh, sure — views like pro-real marriage and pro-life?

But I also agree with Martin Luther King, Jr. who once preached at Riverside Church that: “…I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.”

Wait — does Chuck actually believe in Hell?

There are too many great moral issues being debated in our community today – in our state and the world – that require the attention of the church.  These issues – whether it be the coming debate over marriage equality or more life threatening issues concerning global climate change – that demand that we not be silent but take stands, not just as individuals but as a church community.

“Marriage equality” is a fiction.  “Same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron.  Unions that can’t produce children or provide a mother and a father to children are not equal to unions that can.

As a play on the favorite line of pro-gay theologians, “Jesus never said anything about marriage equality,” so their pet issue must not be very important.

Global climate change = made-up Leftist power grab.

What would Pilate think of us?  This is a serious question.  If we dropped Sunnyside Church and University Park Church through a time warp and into Pilate’s time would we been seen as a community that was at all threatening?  Or could we easily be ignored?

He’d probably think they were a bunch of fake Christians, especially since their #1 issue in the election was forcing pro-lifers to pay for abortions, because Chuck & Co. think our biggest problem is that not enough babies are getting killed in the womb.

We need to be marching alongside workers at Wal-Mart calling for livable wages. We need to be demanding of our President and our Congress a carbon tax and other measures to dramatically shift the way we all live to save God’s creation.  We need to be demanding of our local community permanent funding sources to create affordable housing and standing with those facing foreclosure.

“And we need to do it by taking the money of other’s by force!  Because Jesus would never expect us to use our own money!  And it would take way too much work to open businesses ourselves to compete against Wal-Mart and pay those “livable wages.”  And besides, we don’t have any business skills!  We just need Caesar to solve all of our problems!”

And Sunnyside Church and University Park Church should be the first churches to Oregon to publically endorse a ballot measure calling for marriage equality in 2014.

Well, sure, go ahead and make your Romans 1 Poster Children picture complete.

If we do these things and more, we can stop being the church of Constantine and start being the movement of Jesus.  We’ll be controversial.  New people will come to worship with us and others will mock us.

Yes, some people will worship (Satan) with Chuck & Co., but not many.  Just look how much Chuck’s apostate employers (the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church) continue to shrink.  Why get up early on Sunday to go hear what MSNBC tells you  for free 24×7?

Here’s the final irony of Chuck’s “sermon.”  The last line of his text — you know, from the book Chuck says was full of lies and not written by John and adopted by the early church — says this:

John 18:37 Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Chuck & Co. explicitly do not listen to Jesus’ voice, and they miss the self-parody of quoting that verse. By their own words they do not belong to the truth.

Make no mistake: If you follow people like this you are lost. You are like the people in Romans 1 who God gave over to their sinful desires. You are like Pharaoh, who continually hardened his heart until God finished hardening it for him. Get out of those fake churches while you still have time.

Roundup

From the Dave Barry “I am not making this up” category, the government gives you The Christmas Tree Tax — This is an example of everything wrong with looking to government to micro-manage our lives and economy.

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federalprogram to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

. . .

Here is government at its best: putting a tax, albeit a tiny one, on something that everyone, including the aliens who plan on destroying humanity over globull warming, knows about. There is absolutely no need for Big Government to help with marketing, research, evaluation, and information that strengthens the Christmas tree industry. Said program will probably cost more than any taxes taken in, just in administration.

The only microscopically redeeming thing is that they called them Christmas tree, not holiday trees.  That alone will probably lead to a lawsuit from the ACLU that will cost ten times the taxes they’ll collect.

The White House lied about meeting with Solyndra — did your preferred media sources tell you about that, or are they too busy giving the latest Herman Cain serial accusers 10x the press that all the Obama scandals are getting?

From the Flying Pig category, NOW (the National Organization of unaborted Women) agrees with pro-lifers — see National Organization for Women co-sponsors DC showing of “Eggsploitation”

The National Organization for Women is doing the right thing here, focusing on a very real reproductive injustice – the exploitation of young women for their eggs.

Seriously, I’m always glad for common ground like this.

Oops! Rich Got Richer Under Obama and Clinton — The title says it all.  Shhh . . . don’t tell the OWS movement that they are protesting the wrong people!

Meanwhile, during Clinton’s eight years, the wealthiest 5% of American households saw their incomes jump 45% vs. 26% under Reagan. The Gini index shot up 6.7% under Clinton, more than any other president since 1980.

So, all in all, under Clinton and Obama, the rich got richer, and the poor got poorer. Hey, Occupiers, why not go protest at Obama’s houses in Washingtonand Chicago?

 

Do you really want an old-fashioned Christmas?

You might, but only if you go back decades and not centuries. I urge you to read Before you wish for an Old-Fashioned Christmas… for a fascinating overview of how Christmas was celebrated throughout the centuries and how it evolved to what we have today.  You might be surprised at the few things that radically changed it, and the surprisingly positive impact that the Santa phenomenon had.  Don’t get me wrong — I’m not a Santa fan and find him to be a distraction, but the historical impact is significant and not all bad.

However bad you think the commercialization of Christmas is — and I agree that it is bad — the current day celebrations are much more civil than they used to be.  There is no need to be shocked at how easy it is to miss the point of the amazing incarnation, because it has been going on for 2,000 years.

It seems that the most awesome event in human history, the coming of God to earth as a babe in a manger, has been forever obscured by Santa, shopping, and merrymaking… [But before] we brood and protest too much over what we think Christmas must have been like in generations long past, we might actually feel encouraged about the season we celebrate today when we consider what Christmas was really like in the days of old.

Only in relatively recent times, the past two hundred years, has Christmas even been celebrated by most Christians. Up until the 1800’s the day recognized as Christ’s birthday was largely a pagan celebration. Those who bemoan the lack of religious zeal in modern Christmases would have been appalled at the way people in early America celebrated the day. For a majority of people who embraced Christmas throughout history, Christ wasn’t a part of the day at all. In most of the world, especially in England and America, Christmas was not a time of worship, prayer, and reflection; rather, it was a day set aside to sing bawdy songs, drink rum, and riot in the streets.

For centuries, Christmas was anything but a holy day. It was most often a sinful parade of excess, a day set aside for ignoring laws and even terrorizing citizens… Those who attended church did so in wild costumes, the messages of many priests were anything but scriptural, and gambling was common during the services.

. . .

Collins then goes on to explain about the period in the 1600’s where the Puritans in the British Empire, led by Oliver Cromwell, rose up to overthrow King Charles I, and set about banning Christmas festivities and all the debauchery that went with it. He believed that Christmas should be a sober day of reflection where people go about their business just as they would on any other day of the week, and then go home to quietly consider what Christ meant in their lives. So both the sociable and the unsociable extremes of the holiday celebration were outlawed. No gifts given, no toasts made, no carols sung. Likewise, no day set aside to drink rum, riot in the streets and sing bawdy songs, or invade the palatial homes of royalty and the upper-class.

. . .

The drunken parties and gang riots grew so bad that in 1828 the New York City Council met in special session to discuss the issue, and a special police force was formed just to deal with the unlawful conduct of citizens on Christmas Day.

Three primary things changed all that:

  1. Queen Victoria married her cousin, Germany’s Prince Albert, in 1840, which helped import Germany’s more solemn recognition of Christ’s birth.
  2. The poem, “The Night Before Christmas.” (Originally “A Visit From St. Nicholas”)
  3. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” caused people to re-evaluate the season and how they lived

Perhaps ironically, with the introduction of Santa and Scrooge, and with the commercialization of Christmas, those living in America and England finally got a chance to experience the real meaning of Christmas. Santa put an end to the drunken riots and brought peace to the season, and this allowed millions to reflect on the peace offered by the babe’s birth in a manger. … Though many today may grow tired of the commercialization of Christmas, in reality it has opened the door for Christ to once again become the focal point of the season, and for family, especially children, to be at the heart of the celebration.

I am not a fan of Santa, but I must give credit to how the Santa-thing helped impact the positive ways we celebrate Christmas.

It is indeed also an irony that the big man in the red suit who now usurps the interest of many at Christmas, especially children, should be partly responsible for the freedom we now have to focus on the one who deserves pride of place as the inspiration for the holiday in the first place.

Because you see, Christmas is not about giving, it’s about a gift. May the gift of forgiveness through Jesus, our Lord, fill your heart this year.

Merry Christmas.

Christmas is an amazing holiday.  Easter is the most important event in Christianity, of course, but it had to start with the incarnation.  As radical as the resurrection was, I find the concept that God came into his creation as a human being even more astounding.  And I believe it with every fiber of my body.

Merry Christmas and blessings to all of you!

The Nutcracker

The Houston Repertoire Ballet presentations of the Nutcracker Ballet are December 3 – 5. Tickets are $15-18. It is your best holiday entertainment value.  Nice theater, good show and no having to to drive downtown!

Guys, impress your wives/girlfriends and take them to see some fine arts.  It is a big hit with kids because it is colorful, fast moving and has many short scenes.

Click here for tickets and more information.

I’ll be playing the role of Dr. Stahlbaum (the opening scene party host) for all the shows.  I’m retiring after this year! My youngest daughter is the real performer.  She has various lead roles in each show.  My wife is helping make the costumes.  It is fun having something the whole family is involved in.

If you bring any young kids who want to meet the dancers after the show just let me know and I can arrange that.

My oldest is performing in the Nutcracker at the professional company where she is a trainee.  We’re excited to go see that one as well.

Roundup

I don’t get too worked up about the Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays issue.  I do get irritated if Best Buy makes reference to a Muslim holiday but deliberately ignores Christmas.  If someone wants they can say “Happy HOLY Days.”  Or if someone greets you with Happy Holidays you can reply, “Yes, thanks, I do enjoy the holy day celebrating Christ’s birth.”  (I’m kidding — I don’t think being belligerent about it does much to advance the kingdom).

I have a Muslim employee.  I wish him happy holidays, and he wrote “Merry Christmas” on a present he gave me.  He knows who I worship.  I’d rather save up all my goodwill with him for our next talk about Jesus.

Obama’s Safe Schools Czar Tied to Lewd Readings for 7th Graders — a thorough summary on a very perverse man who is the opposite of safe for kids.  Go ask your friends if they’ve heard of Kevin Jennings.  Then ask them to read this and more about him and to wonder why the MSNBC, CNN and their local paper are ignoring him and the perverse GLSEN organizations infiltrating our schools?

And of course the GLSEN group does little for safety and lots for indoctrination.  Jennings wrote Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling, of which the title alone is enough to disqualify him from his current position.  Consider this from one of their events:

Using images from popular children’s media, we will transform these into a subversive coloring book, writing stories for the characters we always wanted to rebel against.  Because so much of children’s media does not include Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer, and Feminist characters and ideas, we will deliberately work to contradict this. Don’t miss the chance to make friends, cut-n-paste with a real live glue stick, and change the direction of children’s media. No artistic experience necessary.

Pew survey shows that evangelical Christian Republicans are the most rational — well, duh.  Seriously, Liberals and/or non-believers are twice as likely to believe in fortune tellers.  And this polls show how those who attend church regularly are much less likely to believe in astrology and reincarnation than those who aren’t as committed. 

Mentors and accountability partners are very important in the life of a Christian — Do you have someone helping and guiding you and holding you accountable?  If not, get someone.

Teacher’s unions working to block accountability — Hey, maybe if they worked on being better teachers instead of fighting the obvious.

Christmas gift idea

pocket.jpgNo, no, not for me.  Although . . .

If you are looking for gift ideas for folks who perform services like newspaper delivery, lawn maintenance, cleaning, etc. consider a gift card to Wal-Mart (or whatever) along with a Gospel of John booklet (or a Gospel of Juan for Spanish speaking folks).  You can get free copies at the Pocket Testament League

Seriously, if you are going to give a present to celebrate the birth of Christ, what could be more relevant than an account of his life?

—–

More about the organization:

The Pocket Testament League has, for more than 110 years, motivated Christians to read, carry and share the Word of God. Begun in 1893 as the vision of a teenage girl named Helen Cadbury, the League provides free resources empowering people to develop a lifestyle of personal evangelism.

You can get free copies of the Gospel of John with various covers and translations.  You can order all you like (they do accept donations, but it is not required).  If you are able to strike up a conversation with someone on spiritual matters you can offer to give them a booklet.  It may be less intimidating to the other person than if you gave them a whole Bible to read (though that is good, too!). 

As noted in these 8 Witnessing Tips, it is helpful to leave them with something. The Gospel of John is considered one of the most beautiful works of literature ever written, and of course it was inspired by the Holy Spirit.  As John himself wrote,

John 20:30-31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Roundup

The reason for the season?  Sin.  Same as last year.  Same as next year.

Luke 19:10 (ESV) For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

And God created Darwin — thorough review of a book exposing the scientific flaws of Darwinism.  A sample:

A disturbing quote is from a children’s book, Wonderful Egg (recommended by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the American Council on Education, and the Association for Childhood Development), which shows how a bird hatches from a dinosaur egg: “It was a wonderful new kind of egg. And when it hatched, it hatched into a baby bird, the first baby bird in the whole world. And the baby bird grew up to be a beautiful bird with feathers. The first beautiful bird that ever sand a song high in the tree tops of the new green world of long, long ago.” Schmidt is so right on when he says, “When fables turn into facts, and receive accreditations from educators and scientists, one must fear for the future of science and for our children.”

Hey, I agree with Ted Kennedy’s abortion position — uh, that is, his position before he switched to the dark side.  Of course, I agreed with Planned Parenthood’s anti-abortion position as well — that is, until they discovered how profitable death was.

Spaulding was what today would be called “pro-choice,” and Kennedy, at that time, was passionately opposed to abortion. So when the subject came up, the senator was in full voice. He screamed, “Don’t tell me there isn’t enough love in the world to care for all the unwanted babies.” He mentioned that adoption agencies had waiting lists.

Excellent summary of ClimateGate — Read the whole thing.  The Global Warming industry is built on a hoax designed to force the failed model of socialim on the world. Sadly, it appears to be working, and at a rapid rate. Evil leaders, an ignorant and gullible electorate, a complicit media and unethical scientists make a dangerous mix.

For example, last year the BBC environment reporter Roger Harrabin made substantial changes to an article on the corporation website that asked why global warming seemed to have stalled since 1998 – caving in to direct pressure from a climate change activist, Jo Abbess.

‘Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible to play into the hands of the sceptics who continually promote the idea that “global warming finished in 1998” when that is so patently not true,’ she told him in an email.

After a brief exchange, he complied and sent a final note: ‘Have a look in ten minutes and tell me you are happier. We have changed headline and more.’

Afterwards, Abbess boasted on her website: ‘Climate Changers, Remember to challenge any piece of media that seems like it’s been subject to spin or scepticism. Here’s my go for today. The BBC actually changed an article I requested a correction for.’

Last week, Michael Schlesinger, Professor of Atmospheric Studies at the University of Illinois, sent a still cruder threat to Andrew Revkin of the New York Times, accusing him of ‘gutter reportage’, and warning: ‘The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists … I sense that you are about to experience the “Big Cutoff” from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.’

But in the wake of Warmergate, such threats – and the readiness to bow to them – may become rarer.

‘A year ago, if a reporter called me, all I got was questions about why I’m trying to deny climate change and am threatening the future of the planet,’ said Professor Ross McKitrick of Guelph University near Toronto, a long-time collaborator with McIntyre.

‘Now, I’m getting questions about how they did the hockey stick and the problems with the data.

‘Maybe the emails have started to open people’s eyes.’

Hat tip: Wintery Knight

Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist (“the spirit of the time”) is the name of a popular online video that claims that Christianity is founded upon themes borrowed from other religions.  When you dig into the specific assertions it fails miserably.  Here’s an overview from a good site and one of the examples of transparently bad reasoning the movie uses:

Zeitgeist (a German phrase that means “the spirit of the age”) is the name of an online video (first released in June 2007) that is making quite an impact on its viewers. In this video, Peter Joseph, the writer and director, seeks to persuade his viewers that the authors of the New Testament borrowed the idea of Jesus’ virgin birth, December 25th birth date, twelve disciples, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection from astrological sources and ancient pagan mystery religions that were around long before the time of Christ. The video even goes so far as to claim that Jesus never existed. Well, these claims are so outrageous, we’re glad you’ve taken the time to investigate them for, as you will see shortly, there is an abundance of evidence that Peter Joseph has greatly erred in his claims. 

Here’s one of the simplest claims to debunk.  It is telling that they got something wrong that is so simple to refute.  Did the filmmakers know it was false and put it in there dishonestly or were they that ignorant of the truth?

CLAIM 4: THE DECEMBER 25 DATE WAS STOLEN

RESPONSE: Charlie Campbell says, “Another pitiful criticism put forth in the movie Zeitgeist is that the authors of the New Testament borrowed the December 25th date for Jesus’ birth from ancient pagan sources. This is ridiculous. Have the producers of Zeitgeist even read the New Testament? Where in the New Testament do we read of any date associated with the birth of Jesus? Nowhere! We have no idea when Jesus was born. The December 25 date originated long after the Gospels were written. Edwin Yamauchi, an author, professor, first rate historian and authority on the world of the first Christians, says that it was not until about 336 A.D. that the December 25 date became the official date to celebrate Jesus’ birth. The sheer absence of any date in the New Testament documents is sufficient enough to overturn Zeitgeist’s claim; Yamauchi’s word on the matter is another nail in the coffin.”

In my Copycats post I also addressed some of the fundamental flaws in the allegations that Christianity was founded based on borrowings from other religions.

Christmas memories — “All I want for Christmas is . . .”

One of my favorite memories is when we took the girls to a nursing home on Christmas Eve about 10 years ago.  We passed out candy canes and some homemade Christmas cards they made.

Old folks just love kids and dogs.  While visiting with a couple ladies one of them said, “All I want for Christmas is a hug from a little girl.”

Since we made it a habit not to force our kids to hug complete strangers, we just stood there for a second.  Then the girls went over, unprompted, and gave the ladies big hugs.  Smiles all around.

If you’ve got kids (or even if you don’t), think about visiting nursing homes.  They get loads of visitors at Christmas, but not so much the rest of the year.  We go once a month with our therapy pet dogs (I’ll blog on that some other time). 

Feel free to share a favorite Christmas memory, or what you really want for Christmas.  Or just think about some favorites memories and enjoy the season!

This was a picture from roughly that time period when we were out looking at Christmas lights.

xmas