Tag Archives: darwin

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.

—–

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.

Everyone relies on eyewitness testimony for their beliefs, even Darwinists

The question is whether you have good reasons to trust those witnesses.

Skeptics often claim that we believe that Jesus really rose from the dead based on blind faith and that you shouldn’t trust anything you can’t prove via scientific experiments.  But they haven’t thought carefully about how their own beliefs are formed.  You can also ask those raising that objection whether they have created all their own test equipment and replicated every single experiment upon which they rely.  Since no one has done this, you can then point out how they rely on the credibility of eye witnesses all day, every day.  You can also point out how many frauds we’ve seen even in peer reviewed publications.

Here is an excellent example of this reasoning, via Everything You Believe Is Based on Personal Experience and Testimony:

In other threads, certain people have claimed that personal experience and testimony are not as valid as other forms of evidence. In fact, some would dismiss thousands of years and the accumulation of perhaps billions of witness/experiencer testimonies because, in their view, personal experience and testimony is not really even evidence at all.

The problem with this position is that everything one knows and or believes is gained either through  (1) personal experience (and extrapolation thereof), or (2) testimony (and examination thereof), for the simple fact that if you did not experience X, the only information you can possibly have about X is from the testimony of others.

In a courtroom, for example, the entire case depends on testimony, even when there is physical evidence, because the jury relies upon the testimony of those that produce and explain what the physical evidence is, how it is relevant, and explains why it is important to the case. Unless the jurors are swabbing cheeks and conducting DNA tests themselves, the DNA evidence is in principle nothing more than the testimony of an expert witness. The jurors have no means of ascertaining the DNA “facts” for themselves; they entirely rely upon the testimony of what they assume to be a highly credible witness.

. . . Similarly, unless one is a research scientist in fields where one believes certain theories to be valid, he is (and we are as well) entirely dependent upon testimonial evidence – found in the form of research papers, books and articles written by such scientists. “Peer review” is nothing more to the reader than the testimomy of supposedly credible sources that the testimony of the authors is not blatantly false or contain factual errors.

Outside of what we personally experience, virtually all of our knowledge comes from testimony delivered via some form of media or another. We consider the source of the testimony, and the media it is delivered through, credible or non-credible to one degree or another – but that doesn’t change the fact that when we read or hear it, it is nothing more than testimony. If you are a scientist conducting research, you are personally experiencing the process and accumulation of data.  Beyond that, it is only testimony to others unless they perform the same experiments.  Often, the conclusions of scientific research hinge upon the testimony of other researchers, which may turn out to be fraudulent or mistaken.

We have very good reasons to trust the testimony handed down to us through the Bible. For those interested in why we find the Gospels and the rest of the Bible so reliable, here is an interesting book by a former atheist and cold-case homicide detective: Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels.

Disappointing: “God’s Not Dead” appears to have missed an opportunity

Spoiler alert: Skip this post if you don’t want to know too much about the God’s Not Dead movie

Note: I haven’t seen the movie and probably won’t, but this review seemed pretty thorough and came from a site that would presumably be predisposed to like a production like this.  Go ahead and see it if you like, but either way I encourage you to use it as a springboard to candidly discuss the points of the movie, the gaps and how we could be more effective in sharing the Good News.  My goal with skeptics isn’t to fully address every item in their Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites, but to give thorough, meaningful answers to a couple key questions to remove some barriers and then encourage them to read the word of God, which will do the real work.  

And remember that apologetic reasoning isn’t just important for addressing legitimate questions of non-believers as we seek to point them to the truths in the Bible, but also to strengthen the faith of believers.  So it is important to always use good arguments and to consider the counter-arguments.

 —–

When I first heard of God’s Not Dead I thought it might be a good opportunity to present some key apologetic arguments in a movie.  Sounds like the effort may end up being counterproductive.  Apparently they used arguments that weren’t fleshed out very well and that atheists could easily refute.  If Christians new to apologetics try to use the arguments presented by the movie, they will probably fail with the atheists and may end up with less confidence themselves.  Yes, we have been given the truth, but if you love people you won’t send them off with a false sense of confidence and pretend that they can be white-hot apologists in one easy lesson.

There are multiple subplots in the movie which are all introduced in its first few minutes, but not developed immediately, and it seems to take a while before the details emerge allowing the viewer a chance to catch up. However, the main story is that Josh, a college freshman, is taking an Introduction to Philosophy class from an infamously atheistic professor, Dr. Radisson (played by Kevin Sorbo who is known for his role on the TV show Hercules, among other roles). The very first class, the professor stands up and gives a short discourse about the virtues and intellectual superiority of atheism. He then gives the class their first assignment. He passes out blank papers, and demands that each student write “God is dead” and sign their names in order to get a passing grade. Josh refuses, so the professor forces him to take an alternate assignment; Josh will be given time in the next three lectures to prove the existence of God. If the students in his class are convinced, he passes the assignment. If not, he fails the semester, and thus his chances at a prestigious law degree.

This “hostile atheist professor” is a pretty common scenario, though usually not in such a heavy-handed way.  I am a big believer in equipping kids to stay strong in their faith when they leave your house.  But you can’t give them superficial or partial arguments.

And you should never expect some sort of immediate and across the board conversion of a group of people even if you make sound arguments.  The Holy Spirit goes where He will. We can honor God by stating the truth about him regardless of whether He has made them spiritually alive and they accept the truth.

I don’t want to be too hard on the movie, because there is only so much you can cram into two hours.  But it sounds like they could have used better arguments and that they made the characters and scenarios a little too extreme.  I would have stuck with things like the cosmological, design and moral arguments.  These are very sound yet also accessible to the average person.  But I would not have missed the opportunity to work in the minimal facts* arguments.  Consider the benefits of that:

  • You would be talking directly about Jesus, not some generic god.
  • You would point to facts that the history professors on that very campus would agree with (e.g., Jesus really lived and died on a Roman cross, that Paul was a convert and wrote extensively about Jesus close to his death, etc.).
  • You would be bursting the myth that we have a blind faith.
  • You would be talking about the crucifixion and why it occurred, and the resurrection and what that meant.

And I definitely wouldn’t have missed an opportunity to highlight Romans 1, which would demonstrate that in the Christian worldview no amount of arguments will work on people who are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and that God will judge them based on Christ’s standards, not their’s.

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.

We know why atheists hold their worldview, but all they have to explain our worldview is their beloved Darwinian evolution (however they are defining that this week). And if the manifestation of their theory is the cause of our trust in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, why are they so angry about the outcome?

Whether you see it or not, be sure to be prepared to address the topic when it comes up.  Point them to resources like Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent DesignDarwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design or Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, or to my favorite apologetics blogger, the Wintery Knight.

You can remind people that Christianity is a faith based on real events in history.  We readily concede that if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead then we are completely wrong about God (1 Corinthians 15).

But we have great reasons that He did rise from the dead, that He is fully God and fully man, that if we repent and believe in him we can be saved from our sins and have his righteousness imputed to us, that He is the only way to salvation, and more!  Point them to the word of God and trust him with the results.  And don’t be surprised if they dislike you even more after you share the truth in love.

———-

*Summary of the “minimal facts” approach: Nearly 100% of historical scholars from 1975 – present agree with the following statements:

  • Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.
  • Jesus’ disciples believed He appeared to them.
  • Jesus’ brother, James, went from being a pre-crucifixion skeptic to a post-crucifixion church leader.
  • The Apostle Paul believed Jesus appeared to him and he wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, I & II Corinthians, Philemon and others. He converted from persecuting Christians to being the greatest evangelist ever, despite nearly constant challenges, persecution and ultimately dying for his faith.

75% of the same scholars agree that the tomb was empty.

None of the alternative theories can be true in light of these facts.  The physical resurrection of Jesus best accounts for these facts.

Roundup

The Addiction: Novelty; The Cure: Preach the Worddoes your church preach from the Bible or from novelty?

10 Reasons to Love Eggs —  Mmmmmmm . . . eggs – it is unfortunate that eggs had a bad rap for so many years.

We often hear people complain that it is too expensive or challenging to eat healthily. The truth is that there are many real food options that are nutrient rich and won’t break the bank. A perfect example – eggs.  When it comes to convenient, affordable and nutritious foods, eggs deliver the perfect package. Eggs play a significant role in mind and body energy, weight management, muscle strength, brain function, eye health and more!

Here are ten reasons eggs should be a part of your daily diet:

1. Eggs are real food – They come unprocessed, in their original packaging, and let *you* decide how to prepare and eat them. Pair them with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods and small amounts of heart healthy oil, as part of an overall healthy diet.

2. Nutrient-dense – Eggs have an awesome protein to calorie ratio. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids, all for just 70 calories.

. . .

9. Fast and easy – An egg meal or snack is quick and easy. Simply beat an egg in a small bowl or coffee mug, place on high heat in the microwave for 60 seconds and add it to a toasted whole-grain English muffin. Top with low-fat cheese and a slice of tomato for a balanced meal. It takes less than two minutes to prepare!

10. Eggs make cents – Eggs are very affordable compared to other high-quality protein foods. At just $0.15 each, eggs are the least expensive source of high-quality protein per serving.

‘Camp Epic’: Gay California Teacher Molested Boys as Young as 11 —  But this will never happen with the Boy Scouts, right?

Obama Regime Calls for Wooden Skyscrapers to Stop Global Warming – As Dave Barry has noted, wood is great for buildings because it can both rot and burn.  It is hard to believe anyone would even consider this nonsense. 

New study, new confirmation that dumping money into schools doesn’t fix themnot a surprise.

Evolutionary biologists say: Darwin’s tree of life “is wrong” – Hey, we agree!

Muslims Subject Christians to Ritual SacrificeYet another truth you won’t find in the mainstream media.  Doesn’t fit the narrative.

31 Days of Purity: Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youthgood message.

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2)

We hear it all the time, practice “protected sex”! But for the Christian man, protected sex means something much more significant and wonderful than birth control. Enjoying your wife sexually (and inviting her to enjoy you!) is a God-installed sentry for guarding your heart in the fight for purity. Think of it as one of your first lines of defense. God says, “because of the temptation to sexual immorality,” I’m giving you protection—it’s called your spouse. Rather than squandering your sexual desire in pornography and lust, fulfill it by having wonderful, God-honoring sex with your wife. Love her sacrificially and enjoy her often!

A must-see about the global warming / climate change scam.

Pope Francis seems to be misunderstood quite a bit.

Roundup

Jephthah’s Perfect Vow – An interesting take on a challenging passage where one of Israel’s judges appears to sacrifice his daughter.

“Jephthah is a rash fool who made a stupid vow and an even more stupid decision to keep it by offering his daughter as a burnt sacrifice.”

That’s the most common view of Jephthah that I’ve come across in the commentaries.

And it’s totally wrong.

Jephthah was a godly man who made a godly vow and who kept that vow in a godly way. No, he did not offer his daughter as a burnt sacrifice. But that’s because he did not vow his daughter as a burnt sacrifice. Here are 10 proofs . . .

Some counterpoints here.

Planned Parenthood Produces Video Promoting Bondage and Sadomasochism to Teens – Go to the link to see the video made with your tax dollars.  Planned Parenthood also kills babies for a living, they systematically hide rape, incest and sex trafficking, they encourage kids to have all sorts of out-of-wedlock sex and pretend that it can be done without risks, they would rather destroy a breast cancer charity than part ways amicably, they commit Medicaid fraud, and so much more.

31 Days of Purity: Putting Sin to DeathThis applies to all sins.  I just finished reading The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin and it hit many of the same themes.  I like how this passage from the post emphasized how sin is fought as a gift of the Holy Spirit and as part of our duty.

The Christian learns early on that sin still has a hold on him and remains in him, even “besetting” him, dogging his steps and burdening him with guilt and shame. Paul describes this remaining sin as “another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind” (Rom. 7:23). How does the believer respond to this “law of sin”?  We must mortify (put to death) what Paul calls “the old man and his deeds,” and “the lusts of the flesh” (Rom. 8:13, 13:14; Col. 3:15). This mortification is both a gift (of the Holy Spirit) and a duty (ours). In our own strength we cannot accomplish any lasting mortification, without the Spirit’s grace. But by the powerful and enabling grace of the Holy Spirit, we may and must hate sin, strangle it, and put a sword through it. We must meditate often on the horrific consequences of sinning against our beloved, triune God and Savior. We must know our own hearts and weaknesses, and avoid those situations that tend to promote the temptations that we are weakest in battling against. We must cast off all remnants of the life we left behind when we began to follow Christ. We must put ourselves under the death-dealing power of the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:14) so that the Spirit of Christ may put to death what is earthly in us.

Crimea River – a great analysis of the foreign policy debacles of the Left.  And they are adding to this list daily.

In exchange for Russia’s laughably empty threats about Cuba, JFK removed our missiles from Turkey — a major retreat. As Khrushchev put it in his memoirs: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba — for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey.”

Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, famously escalated the war in Vietnam simply to prove that the Democrats could be trusted with national security.

As historian David Halberstam describes it, LBJ “would talk to his closest political aides about the McCarthy days, of how Truman lost China and then the Congress and the White House and how, by God, Johnson was not going to be the president who lost Vietnam and then the Congress and the White House.”

LBJ’s incompetent handling of that war allowed liberals to spend the next half-century denouncing every use of American military force as “another Vietnam.”

Wealthy Escape From de Blasio’s New York – NY is Detroit 2.0.  Things can spiral down in a hurry when you chase off your tax base.

As Bloomberg often noted, about 5,000 very wealthy families paid 30 percent of the city’s income tax. Losing even a few of them means significantly less money for filling potholes and hiring cops.

Why I Don’t Go to the Movies Anymore – It is hard to imagine a more stupid and insulting movie than Non-Stop.

If you have any intention of watching the new action thriller Non-Stop, read no further, because this review will completely spoil the suspense. But more importantly, it will save you from wasting your time and money.

Greenpeace Cofounder: There Is No Evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming 

Not even this will be enough to convince gullible true believers that anthropogenic global warming is a hoax:

A co-founder of Greenpeace told lawmakers there is no evidence man is contributing to climate change, and said he left the group when it became more interested in politics than the environment.

Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and business consultant who was a member of Greenpeace from 1971-86, told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee environmental groups like the one he helped establish use faulty computer models and scare tactics in promoting claims man-made gases are heating up the planet.

“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” he said.

Even if the planet is warming up, Moore claimed it would not be calamitous for men, which he described as a “subtropical species.”

Biggest virus ever: “We don’t understand anything anymore!” – And yet another repudiation of Darwinian evolution.  Too bad most of the Darwin fans are 20 years behind on the research.

“There is a mechanism of permanent creation going on in amoeba producing a new repertoire of viruses and predisposing giant viruses to become pathogens once they specialise”, Raoult said.

He said the mechanism was not foreseen by Charles Darwin’s theory that life comes from a common ancestor.

“The idea of a common ancestor makes no sense in the light of viruses,” he said. “That was Darwin’s idea, but he was clearly wrong.”

10 Reasons to Avoid Sexual Immorality—a great list based on Proverbs.  Go read them all.

Perhaps making your own list will help you to remember these things when you face temptation.

1. You’ll participate in evil

To preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. (Prov 6:24, ESV)

Immorality is evil, and temptation is an invitation to do evil. But wisdom preserves the wise from evil. When you believe the smooth and deceitful promises of immorality, you choose guilt by association: You are now evil as well.

2. Your desire will take you captive

Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes. (Prov 6:25)

t was for freedom that Christ has set you free, but immorality seeks to enslave you. Capitulation will become easier and easier. Resistance will become more and more difficult. Far better for you to rid your heart of these fantasies while you can.

3. You’ll lose everything

For the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life. (Prov 6:26)

The cost begins low: only a loaf of bread. But with diminishing returns, you’ll need to give more and more until your very life is forfeit. Immorality hooks you while it’s cheap. A glance here, a touch there. But before you know it, you can’t sleep without sexual release. You simply can’t keep your hands off, and you’ll lose everything in the process.

4. Your punishment is inevitable

Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished. (Prov 6:27-29)

You can’t tinker with immorality and hope to escape. You may be able to cover it up for a time, but you will eventually be found out. God sees everything, and he is a consuming fire.

5. You can’t repay what you’ve stolen

People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house…
[A jealous husband] will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts. (Prov 6:30-31, 35)

The point is not to justify theft, but to condemn sexual immorality. People can understand a thief’s motives, though they still make him repay what he stole. How much less will they understand you when they find you out?

Perhaps you rob your present or future spouse of your best love and attention. Maybe you steal someone’s innocence. Or perhaps you continue supporting the horrific porn industry, which destroys young women and holds them captive. Pictures are never harmless; we must not lie to ourselves.

  black

Roundup

Donald Miller’s “trinity” votes church involvement optional – Isn’t that convenient.  Run, don’t walk, from “Christian leaders” like him.

Good brothers Denny Burke and Todd Pruitt are writing about this post from Donald Miller in which is says he doesn’t go to church much.

Why not?

Because: I, Me, My.

(That’s shorter Miller, distilling a post [as our elders might have said] utterly innocent of the least allusion to Scripture.)

All I have to add is to say that you Pyro readers would have been already abundantly well-prepared to respond to Donald Miller decisively and finally, as well as to all the thousands of anonymous donald millers running about clutching their notes from “god” excusing them from doing what the actual living real God of Jesus Christ has called all believers to do for the last 2000 years.

Hot Bods, the Bible, and the Brain: Understanding Porn Addiction – Good article.  I like how they emphasized the role of personal responsibility. 

Reframing Boundaries in Dating – Good tips.

Darwin’s Wikipedians misrepresent Lincoln again, already – As if you needed another reason to distrust Wikipedia on anything remotely controversial, or to wonder if the Darwinists would resort to lying or suppression to advance their rebellion against God.

Apparently, Wikipedia recently invented a mythical count of Lincoln reading and being deeply move by Darwin’s Origin of Species.

Were that true, one wonders what he would have thought of The Descent of Man, wherein Darwin advanced his view that black people were becoming a separate species and predicted that Lincoln’s key political problems would be solved by exterminations, as just the way things were. There would have been no point in being Lincoln if one believed that. But the story is, in any event, a Darwinian fiction, as political scientist John West explains (February 13) at Evolution News & Views,

In its entry on Lincoln and religion, Wikipedia claims:

William Herndon, Lincoln’s law partner, stated that Lincoln… had read and knew of Charles Darwin before most. Herndon says Darwin’s book “interested him greatly, and he was deeply impressed with the notion of the so-called ‘universal law’ — evolution….and he became a warm advocate of the new doctrine.”

If the person(s) who posted this account to Wikipedia had bothered to read the sources they were citing, they would see that they had mangled the facts. Herndon does indicate that he was a voracious reader of Darwin, Spencer, and a number of other writers, but he says that he “had little success in inducing Lincoln to read them. Occasionally he would snatch one up and peruse it for a little while, but he soon threw it down with the suggestion that it was entirely too heavy for an ordinary mind to digest.” (Herndon’s Life of Lincoln, p. 353) So while it is theoretically possible that Lincoln may have read a little bit of Darwin, there is no evidence that he did, and he certainly wasn’t “deeply impressed” by Darwin’s book.

Gradualism: The Darwinist Article of Faith | Uncommon Descent – The fossil record does not support gradualism – that is, gradual changes from one species to another.  Did your government education, mainstream media or entertainment sources ever tell you that?

Resistance to Perverted Sexual Indoctrination in Government Schools

The indoctrination of innocent children with progressives’ unspeakably vile sexual ideology has encountered pushback in an unlikely place — liberal Hawaii:

State Rep. Bob McDermott, who enrolled his eight children in Hawaii’s public schools, doesn’t want his 11-year-old son exposed to a controversial taxpayer-funded sex education program.

That program is taught in 12 public schools across the state, and the Hawaii Department of Education is planning to expand the curriculum to others. …

The 10-hour program, called Pono Choices (pono is a Hawaiian word that translates to “the right way”), is designed for youth aged 11 to 13. It has been taught to 1,700 Hawaii middle school children through an $800,000 pilot program.

McDermott said the program is “medically inaccurate” and not biology based, and that it teaches children about topics such as anal sex, sex with multiple partners and how to put on a condom — using a cucumber or wooden replica of a penis.

Only Big Government could manage to waste $800,000 of other people’s money telling little kids about the glories of anal sex.

Kudos to McDermott, who has produced a report entitled “The Pono Choices Curriculum: Sexualizing the Innocent.”

“The program normalizes a homosexual lifestyle and anal sex, while failing to warn students of the extreme dangers of anal sex; it references multiple sex partners, while failing to inform students about the health benefits of monogamy; it fails to warn students about the ineffectiveness of condoms against HPV, herpes, and anal sex; and fails to educate students on the stages of human reproduction,” McDermott said, providing Hawaii Reporter with an early copy of his report.

“Any talk of anal sex — which the curriculum does frequently — is instinctively repulsive for pre-pubescent children. Additionally, calling the anus a genital — as Pono Choices does — is just plain medically wrong,” McDermott said.

95 THESES AGAINST DISPENSATIONALISM – Part 7 | Defending. Contending. – Good series.

One Month After Prison Release, Sex Offender Raped Girl, 13, Police Say – Tragic.  If he would have gotten any of these girls pregnant then Planned Parenthood would have been glad to destroy the child (oops, I mean the “evidence”).  For a fee, of course.  Because the “rape exception” isn’t just a poorly thought out justification for limited
abortions, it is a blank check for unlimited abortions. And it hides countless
crimes of rape and incest.

If there’s so much real hate out there, why make it up?The hoaxes continue. 

Sure, hate crime happens and every instance is a tragedy.  But it is not an epidemic and shouldn’t be marketed as such.  Hoaxes like this trivialize the true victims.  When problems like hate crime is over hyped, your cause and those associated with it are seen as exaggerators, and credibility is lost making your plight easily dismissed.  Let’s be honest, when you have the number of victims of the “target” population down to .00015%, I’d say you have the problem as under control as humanly possible.

Heather McDonald: Campus sexual assault crisis is based on a fiction

The reality on campuses is not a rape epidemic but a culture of drunken hook-ups with zero normative checks on promiscuous behavior.

It’s important to understand that many women who regret recreational hook-up sex afterwards deliberately choose to get drunk at parties so that they can hook-up with guys. Check out the words of some college students from this study of relationships on campus published by the Institute for American Values.

Excerpt:

A notable feature of hook ups is that they almost always occur when both participants are drinking or drunk.

A Rutgers University student observed, “You always hear people say, oh my gosh, I was so drunk, I hooked up with so and so…” Perhaps not surprisingly, many noted that being drunk helped to loosen one’s inhibitions and make it easier to hook up. A number of students noted that being drunk could later serve as your excuse for the hook up. A Yale University student said, “Some people like hook up because they’re drunk or use being drunk as an excuse to hook up.” A New York University student observed, “[Alcohol is] just part of an excuse, so that you can say, oh, well, I was drinking.”

A Rutgers University student commented, “If you’re drinking a lot it’s easier to hook up with someone… [and] drugs, it’s kind of like a bonding thing… and then if you hook up with them and you don’t want to speak to them again, you can always blame it on the drinking or the drugs.”

Other women observed that being drunk gives a woman license to act sexually interested in public in ways that would not be tolerated if she were sober. For instance, a University of Michigan student said, “Girls are actually allowed to be a lot more sexual when they are drunk…”

A University of Chicago junior observed, “One of my best friends… sometimes that’s her goal when we go out. Like she wants to get drunk so I guess she doesn’t have to feel guilty about [hooking up].”

Some reported that drinking had led them to do things they later regretted. A University of Virginia student said, “My last random hook up was last October and it was bad. I was drunk and I just regretted it very much.”

This is actually the new feminist-approved way of landing a husband, because traditional courting is sexist. Don’t believe me, believe feminist academics writing in the New York Times. . .

Growing Kids the Ezzo Way – DANGER!—This is a child-rearing program to avoid!  They call it Growing Kids God’s Way, and the course is as wrong as the title.

Freakonomics » The Inefficiency of Long Hours

The perplexing thing about the cult of overwork is that, as we’ve known for a while, long hours diminish both productivity and quality. Among industrial workers, overtime raises the rate of mistakes and safety mishaps; likewise, for knowledge workers fatigue and sleep-deprivation make it hard to perform at a high cognitive level. As [David] Solomon put it, past a certain point overworked people become “less efficient and less effective.” And the effects are cumulative. The bankers [Alexandra] Michel studied started to break down in their fourth year on the job. They suffered from depression, anxiety, and immune-system problems, and performance reviews showed that their creativity and judgment declined.

Helping teens respond to questions about their faith — part 3

My friend Edgar asked for my opinion on some questions from some of his Sunday School students.  I see the same sorts of questions from adults as well.  My goal is to provide some brief, concrete answers.

First, I think it is important to have a game plan with questions like this.  Whether answering a skeptic or equipping a believer to answer the skeptic, my goal is always to give clear, thoughtful answers that address the question and then point to the word of God as quickly as possible.  When in doubt, I’d rather someone read the Bible than listen to me.  God’s word made many promises* about what it will accomplish but contains no such promises about anything I say.

I highly recommend reading Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions to learn how to navigate conversations like these (only $2.99 for the Kindle edition — you can’t afford not to buy it!).  The burden isn’t all on you, and the conversations don’t have to be hostile.  There are many ways to ask polite questions to get people thinking more carefully and to highlight their errors.

Here is the third question:

How do you deal with questions around homosexuality? This is a tricky subject because this is a high school audience and sexuality has to be taught respectfully and with sensitivities to the teens and young ladies in the classroom.

This is a huge and contentious issue, and one that Satan is using to keep people from the faith and to divide entire denominations.  Many people use the homosexual issue as an excuse not to even consider Christianity.  That may tempt some people to gloss over the topic or misstate what the Bible says.

Yes, we should be sensitive with it, but when you consider about how aggressively the world pressures us with its false views I think we should be more bold in equipping young people about the details.

Make no apologies about what the Bible really says, because it 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).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.

Then there is the question of love.  If you really love people you won’t affirm behavior that is spiritually, emotionally and physically destructive.

But do you have to convert people to your views on homosexuality before sharing the Gospel with them?  No.  Of course you shouldn’t water down the truth, but what you really want to do is share the Gospel and let God do his work on their hearts.  As I noted in this post, you don’t have to fix someone’s sins before telling them the truth about Jesus.  The point is to let Jesus do that!  We should approach all people with humility, because we all have temptations that we’ve given into.

It is easy to quickly affirm what the Bible says (“Yes, homosexual behavior is a sin”) but then shift to the Gospel (“But even if it wasn’t a sin you would still be a sinner in need of a Savior . . .”).

Don’t be shy about pointing out the lies of the LGBTQ movement.  People aren’t “born that way,” and even if they were that wouldn’t justify acting on the behavior.  Quoting the Bible doesn’t make LGBTQ people commit suicide any more than saying “don’t get drunk” makes alcoholics kill themselves.  “Same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron and those unions can never produce children or ever provide a mother and a father to a child, so the government has no good reasons to get involved in those relationships.

Make no mistake: The LGBTQ lobby wants to silence Christians.  Lots of us may end up in jail before this is over.  It may not be long until you won’t be employable if you don’t affirm the lie that the behavior isn’t sinful.

Here are some links that go into more detail.  This is a crucial issue so I encourage people to read them.  Feel free to use the PowerPoint slides if you like (I prepared them for a series of Sunday School lessons).

Problems with pro-gay theology  

Responding to Pro-Gay Theology  

Responding to same-sex marriage arguments

PowerPoint slides: Refuting pro-gay theology

Remember that if people are sincere in their questions and aren’t just using them as excuses to justify their rebellion against God then it is completely legitimate to let them do some of their own homework, such as reading a book like Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God.

If they don’t want to do more work or read the Bible, it may be pearls-before-swine time and you should obey Jesus’ command to move on.  Pray for them and perhaps God will make them spiritually alive in the future.  You will have done your work as an ambassador and an apologist (defender of the faith):

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

1 Peter 3:15–16 (ESV) but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

* Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Isaiah 55:10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

** 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.)