Sunday, March 24, 2013

God, Marriage, Money & Starbucks Gay Coffee - For Homosexuals Only

I'm not known for getting involved with boycotts of companies that support causes or ideologies that I don't agree with. I consider them a waste of valuable resources better spent elsewhere. But this is different.

At the annual shareholders meeting of Starbucks, the CEO had some interesting financial advice for a shareholder who didn't agree with the corporate stance of Starbucks regarding Traditional Marriage. Please Click Here for the entire story as reported by Forbes and passed on by Joe Miller.

While I will not be officially supporting any attempted boycott of Starbucks by any organization, I will be willing to take the advice of the CEO of Starbucks and spend my coffee money elsewhere. After all, I wouldn't want to think that the buying public frequenting Starbucks might disagree with any philosophy Starbucks would officially endorse.
Take your Coffee Money elsewhere!
 And I definitely wouldn't want to offend their bottom line, knowing that part of it was earned providing a service and product to an unwanted customer, a Traditional Marriage supporter. God forbid!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Christian Worldview - Contemplative Spirituality for the World

In this age of instant everything, any process that promises anything other than instantaneous delivery is looked on with an ample amount of negativity. Waiting is undesirable and, essentially, not an option in the lives of most.
Looking inward and beyond
This fact is becoming more evident in the spiritual activities and desires of many. In the quest to become one with the cosmos and self (considered by many to be one and the same), all things that promise instant spiritual transformation, experiences and and altered reality are considered legitimate prospects for incorporating into daily life.

Contemplative spirituality and it's related practices have become the spirituality of choice for many. The adherents to these disciplines cross denominational, religious, cultural and national barriers, and even include those who have previously warned about them. The proponents specifically point out their applicability to all religious faiths and mindsets.

While many of the tenets sound great, especially to the uninitiated, the true seeker of Truth will find the Bible lacking in its agreement with many, probably most, of its teachings and practices. Of course, to know this requires a certain amount of time in study of the Bible in order to arrive at some basic conclusions, which is a negative for the instant guru at heart.
God's Ways for Man are different than man's way for man.
Rather than seek the mind of God on any subject, many tend to find the mind that agrees with their own mind and ideas. So tenets, practices and teachings that make sense to the common man are chosen to pursue.
So, instead of pursuing and adopting God's Ways and Thoughts for our life, many are putting into practice ways and thoughts that God doesn't agree with. They are, many times, those of their own heart or the Enemy of God, Satan. They usually are in agreement with each other in their opposition to God and his thoughts and ways. Unfortunately, as popular as they are, they ultimately lead to spiritual death. Many are headed down this path.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Christian Worldview - Cowards for Jesus

Modern Christians, in their quest to be salt and light within the cultures of this world, have taken on a quality that never befits their Savior.
The idea that it is necessary for this world to speak well of them has left them afraid to speak the Truth lest they be accused of being hateful, insensitive, judgmental, unloving, etc. Simply put, many of God's people have become cowards.  They have become what Christ would never approve of.

Oh, don't get me wrong. Many have social causes for which they take a stand on. They do this with words and actions. These causes may also have religious terms associated with them, so their duty toward God and the Church is somehow fulfilled in their mind.

But to actually speak and act the Words of Jesus as recorded in the Bible is somehow deemed to be taking Religion and God a little bit too seriously. Only the self-righteous and overly pious person follows such a path. So, reforming this world one community at a time is the preferred method. Preaching the Gospel has somehow taken a back seat to more socially acceptable activities and messages.

The idea that Man is a sinner is negative. The idea that man is powerless to help himself and needs to look beyond himself to remedy his dire situation offends man's dignity. That man is doomed to eternal punishment for his choices against a holy and righteous God and Creator is the myth of ancient, unenlightened ages gone by. The idea that a Holy God would take on the body of a man and accomplish perfection on behalf of mankind and make it possible to be reconciled to God is also offensive to the abilities within mankind to help himself. The belief in the bloody and violent death of this Savior that God requires for mankind to approach God in fellowship is considered to also constitute the vestiges of unenlightened, barbaric man. It is rejected.
Portrait of Modern Christians
So, what are modern Christians left with? One look in the mirror would reveal the same cowardice of the Lion in the Wizard of Oz - afraid to gaze at himself, trembling at the mere thought of thinking a thought, afraid that his actions will not measure up to what others think and expect, running in every other direction than that direction which call for courageous responsibility, duty and action according to the Word of God. I see a whole host of such characters when viewing the mobs that call themselves "Christian."

What a shame!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Christian Worldview - Does the Bible Really Matter?

Well Ken Ham has done it again! Christians everywhere are upset with this noted apologist because he dared to tell the truth....again. Last year, it was challenging Bill Nye the Science Guy to a debate after Nye made disparaging comments about the literal Creation account and those who believe it. Now, Genesis creation is again involved, but on a different front.
Ken Ham - Teaches a Literal Genesis Creation
 It must be admitted, though, that this time was a little different. He was a little too specific for the comfort of many. The specifics involved particular people. Ham named them!

So, now many are attempting to calm the rocking boat amidst this tempest of truth from one known for relying on the Bible for his doctrine and lifestyle.

The problem? Ken Ham named those who have publicly, verbally and in their writings, denied a literal six day creation as detailed in the first part of the Book of Genesis. Coupled with that assertion is the belief that Genesis only has doctrinal value in the allegorical interpretation of the stories in the book of Genesis rather than the literal  historical narrative account.

Ken is to be commended for taking the proper stand on such a vital issue. We need more men like him in this day of relativistic teachings coming from pulpit, podiums and publications!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Constitution & The Bible - Religious Pluralism - An Inalienable Right From God??

Religious Pluralism - An Inalienable Right Given by God?

  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights....."

These words from the beginning of The Declaration of Independence are among the most well known and revered in all of history. While holding a special place in the hearts of people within many nations of the modern world, in no place are they held higher and closer than within the hearts of American Christians of most stripes.

I found out just how closely they are held and how highly thought of these words are yesterday in a conversation on Facebook. After being invited to the page of Ben Bush Sr, my Father by the way, I posted the following;
The entire conversation can be accessed through the link in the above question.

The issue I want to point out regards Final Authority: Who or What is your Final Authority? This vital question has traditionally been answered by resorting to The Bible, self-identified as "The Word of God," as the final arbiter of beliefs and practice for all professing a relationship with God through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The above conversation, though, is a stark example of what takes place when the people of God attempt to interpret History, especially American History, without a prior acknowledgment of The Bible's statements about God, secular politics and the relationship of God's People to each one.

So, here's the rub. The Declaration espouses the particular tenet that all rights, inalienable rights specifically, come from God. That includes the Freedom of Religion, the right to worship God, to exercise their religion according to the dictates of a person's own heart, specified in the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

It must be made clear that to believe this is not a problem. For this issue to be a matter of law is not a problem. The problem begins with the fact that God is identified as the origin of this right and approves of a person worshiping Him in any manner that person desires or chooses. The problem is consummated  by the fact that the Bible can never be the source for this supposed right originating from and being approved by God. In fact, the Bible reveals just the opposite.

Exodus 20:4-6

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Soon after the giving of the Commandments to the children of Israel, they put YHWH's Word to the test when they became impatient from Moses' long stay on the mountain with YHWH. They took the matter of worship into their own hands and Aaron made the golden calf for their "feast unto the Lord". (Exodus 32:1-5)
The Golden Calf - Unapproved Worship of YHWH
When Moses returned, he was angry and asked the question, "Who is on the Lord's side?" Three thousand people died as a result of that disobedience as well as a plague being put on the people.

We can see that worship is a serious matter with God. In no way is the  manner of worship left to the thoughts of men. God specifically addresses all aspects so that nothing is left to conjecture. In fact, God specifically mentions the style and type of worship of the pagan nations surrounding them as being prohibited. Furthermore, God saw fit to put it in writing for the Nation of Israel and the rest of the World to know.

Even Jesus said that they that worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth. There is a right way and a wrong way.  

So, we can see that God in no way sanctions His Worship in any manner seen fit by man to choose. God has set the standards for men to approach Him in worship.

So, it can be seen that in worshiping the God of the Bible in truth, YHWH neither approves of nor agrees with the First Amendment Freedom of Religion according to the dictates of a man's heart. YHWH alone dictates how to worship Him.

For those who may be worried that the Founding Fathers of the United States were mistaken in their assertion that the inalienable rights of the Constitution, specified and unspecified, are given by God, the Bible does provide a certain amount of enlightenment. 

The Prophet Ezekiel tells us how YHWH deals with a people, a nation that despises His judgments and walks not in His Statutes. Chapter 20, verse 25 tells us that, "Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good and judgments whereby they should not live."

So, when the Bible is allowed to speak, it tells us that the inalienable right of Freedom of Religion as articulated in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is nothing more than the judgment of God upon this nation. It's given to a people that have rejected the Law of God in their lives. In this case, it is given by God as a law, an inalienable right, that is "not good" and  one whereby we should "not live." Contrary to the thoughts of many, it is not given as a blessing from God, nor is it to be taken as a positive. The only way this right can be declared, as the Founders articulated in the Declaration,  as one of the "Laws" of "Nature's God" is as the judgment of God.