Entries Tagged as 'Wisdom of the Word'

Reasons to Fire Mr. Nandor

A little list compiled in class at my request this year.

Misery of the unborn

In her recent letter, Cheryl Rollings makes numerous claims that abortion should be kept legal. She primarily makes the claim based on the safety of women who are seeking abortions. Ms. Rollings states, “it’s difficult to imagine that abortion in the U.S. could actually be criminalized once again.”
Although I am sure her claims are heart felt, nowhere in her article does she explain what abortion is. It seems that once a definition for abortion is given, her quote would be ridiculous. Abortion is: intentionally killing an innocent human being prior to biological separation from her mother.
I understand some readers may disagree with this definition, so allow me to break it down. “Abortion is intentionally killing,” simply denotes the purpose of an abortion is to intentionally and permanently stop the growth of a human being. If we cut down a tree, we permanently stop it from growing and we kill it.
“An innocent human being,” carries with it the meaning of that the unborn growing being has human parents, human DNA, and if nurtured grows into an adult human being. All of these demonstrate that the biologically growing entity inside of the mother is a human being. What else could it be? If one says, “it’s a blob of tissue,” they are missing two points. One is that we are all blobs of tissue, and the second is that this “blob of tissue” is nurtured becomes an adult. This definition also means the unborn child has not committed any crime other than being alive and in a location that is inconvenient to the mother.
“Prior to biological separation from the mother,” means that during an abortion, the unborn child is killed (stopped from living) while still inside of her mother. If this definition is spelled out, abortion becomes: intentionally and permanently stopping the growth of a human being, whose only crime is to be living and located where she is unwanted, before she leaves her mother.
In order to clarify Ms. Rolling’s comments: “it’s difficult to image that,” intentionally killing an innocent human being prior to biological separation from her mother, “in the U.S. could actually be criminalized once again.” Once we know what the terms mean, it seems there is something wrong with her defending the lives of women, the overwhelming majority of whom have made the choice to participate in activities leading to pregnancy, at the expense of killing children who do not have a choice.
Near the conclusion of the article, Rollings writes, “the lives of our mothers, daughters, and granddaughters are at stake.” How true she is. For if abortion took the lives of our mothers, we would not be here; and if abortion claims the lives of our daughters and granddaughters, we will destroy the lives of young ladies yet to be born. The real misery is not for the women who have to take responsibility of their actions, but for the unborn children who never receive the opportunity to do so.

This post was sent as a letter to the Ventura County Star.  It’s posting and the discussion on this article and others can be found here.

Can a full tomb produce a full faith?

A recent Time Magazine article revisits James Cameron’s ‘discovery’ of what he believes could be the tomb of Jesus. Cameron’s made for TV search for the lost site of an ossuary bearing the inscription, “Jesus, son of Joseph” has many holes in it both historically, mathematically, and logically. In this article, Princeton Theological Seminary, Prof. James Charlesworth comments on whether or not finding the actual tomb or ossuary of Jesus would affect Christianity. In regards to finding the Jesus of the Bible’s full tomb he concludes, “I don’t think it will undermine belief in the resurrection, only that Jesus rose as a spiritual body, not in the flesh.” He also states, “Christianity is a strong religion, based on faith and experience, and I don’t think that any discovery by archeologists will change that.”

Unfortunately, reading the New Testament in the manner in which the author’s intended the readers to understand it is a lost art at Princeton. Although Charlesworth is not the first to propose this theory (Gnostic did as well two millenea ago), he is simply the latest to not understand Paul’s pronouncements in 1 Corinthians 15.

First, in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 Paul writes, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. ” (NASB). Please notice that Paul associates the burial with both the death and the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, both in the NASB as well as in the Greek, the phrase “and that” is written to connect all of these events. It is one flowing testimony from death through Jesus’ appearance to Cephas (Aramaic name of Peter).

Second, Was Jesus killed spiritually? Was He buried spiritually? Paul clearly associates Jesus’ physical death with His physical burial, and His physical resurrection. To believe that Jesus only appeared to the disciples spiritually would not account for the manner in which they lived their lives from this point on nor for the rest of the passage. The disciples clearly believed they saw Jesus in bodily form. They committed themselves to this message and became bold proclaimers of this testimony within 2 months of the crucifixion and within two weeks of the ascension of Jesus. Verses 6-8 also demonstrate a bodily resurrection since Jesus appears to skeptics such as his brother James and Paul himself. He is also seen by 500 followers at one time. There is no evidence a group hallucination of this magnitude nor of this importance can occur.

Third, in verses 13-19 Paul relates this bodily resurrection of Jesus to tenable faith. If Jesus is not raised from the dead, faith in Him and in Christianity is not only useless, but pitiful. The premise for Paul’s assertion is that Jesus has physically risen from the dead (vv. 3-8). So for Charlesworth to claim it makes no difference to “a strong religion” like Christianity if Jesus is not raised from the dead, is simply dead wrong.

Most likely, Charlesworth would like to believe all religions are based on faith and experience. What you have experienced it true for you. However, the ‘experience test’ for the validity of a faith falls short since there must be at least some minimal truth in which to have faith. If it is my experience that President Ronald Reagan appeared to me, claimed to be God, and will save all of mankind who believe in him, is that just as valid as the claims of a faith and experience based Christianity? If not, why? I have faith in the hallucination of President Reagan and it is my experience so you cannot tell me it is wrong. This Reaganity religion would be just a ludicrous as Christianity without a physically risen Jesus.

Everything about Christianity hinges on the person of Jesus Christ. God in the flesh, who came to be a savior to sinners and a pattern for our current living. If He has not risen, and Cameron has indeed found the bones of Jesus, we are pitiful creatures if we continue in Christianity.

ONLY an empty tomb can produce a full faith.

The Epiphany

The Orthodox branch of the Christian church observes Epiphany today. Epiphany is the celebration of Christ’s incarnation by remembering Christ’s baptizism or the visitation of the Magi.

Although Orthodox Christians believe the goal of salvation is to become like God (which confuses salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) with sanctification (Ephesians 2:10)), they church has something that most western Protestant churches do not have: the ability to evoke proper adoration of God.

Many western churches eschew emotion, and those that do allow it to detract from the worship of God rather than focus the worship on God (1 Corinthians 14:33). Just as the most emotional Protestants can leave behind proper theology, the Orthodox can as well. The veneration of saints is a typical problem here. However, the sense of awe and mystery that can be generated in an Orthodox service should not be thrown out by conservative Protestants.

Jesus taught we should worship with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27). Too often we only use our minds in the western church. This would be the equivalent to loving your spouse with just your intellect. True commitment, devotion, and love comes by utilizing out whole soul – which includes not only our mind, but our emotions, service, and desires.

What does this have to do with the Epiphany? If we truly have a passion for the Incarnate Savior, shouldn’t we live out that passion by celebrating His humility at the incarnation daily (Romans 12:1)? Shouldn’t we serve Him with exuberance and energy? Shouldn’t our lives be focused on God’s glory (Philippians 2:11 & 1 Corinthians 10:31)? What are we doing today to celebrate the Incarnation today?

Just a thought.

The Trinity

John Owen said, “There is nothing more fully expressed in the Scripture than this sacred truth, that there is one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; which are divine, distinct, intelligent, voluntary, omnipotent principles of operation and working; which whosoever thinks himself obliged to believe the Scripture must believe.”

That being said, many still find it difficult to comprehend. These discussions prove the Trinity in such a way as to use the Jehovah’s Witness’ New World Translation and logic. It is a theological tool, an apologetic tool, and an evangelistic tool.

Trinity Part 1

Trinity Part 2