The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 4

Western religions following the close of ancient history are perhaps best categorized as monotheistic in nature where the deity is a singular entity personally distinct from its creation and where the adherents of these respective faiths hope to obtain a blissful afterlife as distinct individual beings by gaining the favor of their respective deity following the conclusion of their corporeally linear existence. Though it would be intellectually dishonest to flippantly dismiss all Eastern religions as the same, but as with their counterparts in the Western division, those in this category also share a number of characteristics with one another. For the most part, Eastern religions tend to believe that individuals are continually reincarnated into this plane of physical reality as they attempt to achieve a sense of detachment so that they might achieve what amounts to an enlightened obliteration of the self through a merger with the cosmic unity (158). These concepts are such a stark contrast with the Christian worldview that the Christian will need to compare a number of the ideas fundamental to a Biblical understanding of reality with those advocated by the Eastern outlook.

One of the most profound differences between Christianity and Eastern religious is how each believes truth is arrived at. Christianity believes that God has revealed Himself through the word of His propositional revelation and the Incarnation of His Word in the from of His Son Jesus Christ. Of the Eastern religions, on the other hand, Harold Netland writes, “In attaining religious truth, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism give priority to mystical or introspective experiences based on rigorous meditative disciplines which are said to provide direct unmediated access to ultimate reality (163).”

In other words, Christians focus outward to gain understanding whereas the adherents of the great Oriental traditions look inside themselves. This is especially evidenced by the two foremost figures these respective faith groupings are roughly organized around: the Christ and the Buddha.

The purpose of Buddha was to get the individual to realize that the individual has within themselves the wherewithal to bring about their own enlightenment and to detach themselves from the states of being that bring about their own suffering. The purpose of Christ, on the other hand, was to get the individual to realize that they were so stained by sin that there was nothing that the individual could do to achieve his own salvation and that individuals had to look outward from themselves towards a savior, that being none other than Jesus Christ.

Since Christianity is focused outward in its offering of a solution to the travails in which each and every one of us finds ourselves, as a system it corresponds better to both the objective and existential aspects of reality. In his journey to Japan, theologian Paul Tillich learned that, should an historian ever persuasively make the case based on research findings that Gautama Siddhartha never actually existed, such a discovery for the most part would not adversely impact Buddhist teaching (165). However such would not be the case regarding Christianity, which is so linked to the existence, actions, and nature of its founder that if He did not do what the accounts of Him claim, we of all men would be the most miserable according to I Corinthians 15:19.

Despite standing in contrast to many of Christianity’s most basic assumptions, the objective student and observer of religion (even if standing within a Christian framework of belief) must admit that the most devoted adherents of the respective Eastern creeds practice a rigorous form of self-discipline as they attempt to master the urges that exert an undue influence over the individual throughout the earthly life. Though many are opposed to the idea of relying solely on a savior for their salvation and find an allure in the Eastern notion of looking for the answers to the mysteries of life and the cosmos within themselves, they do not necessarily find the idea of rigorous self denial all that appealing (at least for themselves anyway with pleas of sacrifice for the greater good something to rather motivate and govern the lower classes of the less-spiritually inclined by).

Thus in a process not all that dissimilar to the operation of the Hegelian dialectic where two competing or even diametric ideas are brought together and melded together to form a synthesis incorporating aspects of each, Eastern and Western outlooks have formed a coalition perspective in what since the 1960’s and 1970’s has come to be known as the New Age movement.

Like the Eastern worldview, the New Age outlook essentially sees the totality of reality as a singular unity with the individual in a sense being akin to a single cell in the comprehensive cosmic mind (175). As in the case of the Eastern faiths, L.Russ Bush writes, “…the New Age movement emphasizes the human problem as ignorance with salvation coming through enlightenment and self-effort (176).”

However, in the New Age movement, the approach and outcomes of this awareness are a bit more decidedly Western in their appearance. For example, in Eastern brands of yoga the purpose is more about detaching the soul from the body in preparation for spiritual states such as nirvana. To Westerners, however, yoga is packaged not only as about the quest for inward universal truths but also about improving one’s body and success in life.

Thus, for at least those in the movement’s elite, there is a considerable emphasis upon the self. L. Russ Bush categorizes the emphasis upon the here and now rather than a future heaven as “This worldliness”. Of this state, he writes, “…the New Age is focused on the here and now; it is not a pie-in-the-sky sort of faith; it is belief that the New Age is itself the here and now and for this world and its people; it looks forward to an earthly transformation, not a heavenly one (180).” What is not as often brought out to the gullible along this worldview’s outer fringes is the number that those in the higher echelons believe must be eliminated or perhaps “deliberately progressed” to more advanced levels of disembodied consciousness in order for this utopia to be brought about.

The New Age has become so ingrained throughout American society that it no longer seems as novel as at the time when its name was coined. Now, certain interpretations of this brand of spirituality quietly just about serve as the respectable backdrop of establishmentarian popular culture. For example, Star Wars is no doubt one of the most beloved movie epics of the last 50 years. However, to a percentage of its viewers, it is far more than an invigorating afternoon’s diversion. It has been reported that a number of “Jedi churches” have popped up among fans that have taken enthusiasm for the films to the next level of adoration and devotion.

Those grounded in the real world will think those taking entertainment this seriously have sniffed too many musty comic books. However, beneath the dramatic adventure and impressive special effects, Star Wars was not created solely for entertainment purposes. George Lucas, who considered himself something of a student of anthropologist Joseph Campbell, created Star Wars to serve as a mythology for the contemporary world.

This claim can be substantiated in regards to those scenes from the films where the nature of the Force is expounded upon. For example, of the Force, Yoda (the primary exponent of these teachings) ruminates, “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.”

And like New Age conceptions of the essence that runs through the universe, the Force is not a conscious person concerned about the distinctions between good and evil as evidenced by the Dark Side’s primary devotee Darth Vader who it turns out is actually the saga’s focal character as the tale centers around his embracing of the Dark Side and reentering into the Light when he saves his son Luke from Vader’s Sith Master Emperor Palpatine. This act was cast not in terms of the triumph of good over evil but rather as merely restoring balance in an almost Taoist manner.

The extent to which these various worldviews have permeated contemporary culture as to the extent Star Wars has has forced the Christian to walk a precarious tightrope. On the one hand, there isn’t a person in the United States today that hasn’t had some kind of negative encounter with those that could be classified as stereotypical legalistic Christians.

Enthusiastic believers are to be commended for the seriousness with which they take their Christian walk if it is ultimately in Christ’s redemptive and free offer of salvation that they are truly trusting rather than in a rigorous adherence to a body of systematized rules, some of which are interpretations of certain Biblical injunctions rather than explicit Scriptural commands. However, in doing so, are such believers really equipping themselves to reach out to others that have become mired in these deceptive worldviews? Furthermore, by cordoning themselves off to such an extent in relation to things such as Star Wars, Stargate, and Star Trek, these Christians are denying themselves what amounts to an innocent good time and are not doing as much as they initially think to protect their children by failing to teach them how to sift the wheat from the chaff in relation to cinematic and literary productions.

By Frederick Meekins

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Headline Potpourri #99

Those outraged at third rate comedian Cathy Griffin holding a severed cranial effigy of President Trump have been condemned as “snowflakes”. But did the left create the snowflake phenomena where Black students now demand Caucasian-free environments in order to feel safe and women fear molestation if they watch the new Wonder Woman movie with a man under the same roof?

And are Trump’s tweets appreciably more corrosive to the vitality of the Republic than Bill Clinton attempting to pin the blame for the Oklahoma City Bombing on Rush Limbaugh or insisting that the only reason Rush stood up for Janet Reno in one particular instance was because “she was attacked by a Black guy”? And more recently, are Trump’s remarks really any more outrageous than those of Barack Obama blaming America’s problems on those bitter clingers unwilling to surrender their guns or their God?

As part of his condemnation of Alex Jones, Kevin Swanson quoted from a work on conspiracies by Gary North. If we are to disbelieve in the existence of shadowy powers and forces manipulating events, people, and institutions largely from behind the scenes, do both Swanson and North repudiate North’s opus “Unholy Spirits: Occultism & New Age Humanism”? For in that work is a chapter examining from a Christian perspective the very UFO’s that Swanson’s podcast derided the believers of.

Fuss has been made over the drama that unfolded regarding a resolution submitted by a Black pastor at the Southern Baptist Convention calling for the condemnation of the so-called Alt Right. Do the proceedings of predominately minority denominations come to a screeching halt with accompanying media coverage if the token White in these typically leftwing ecclesiastical affiliations offers a proposal that has been submitted primarily to thumb one’s nose at the prevailing demographic of the organization’s membership?

In his condemnation of Alex Jones, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson hypothesized that the appeal of conspiracy theories is a form of gnosticism. By that, he did not mean the traditional heresy amalgamating Christian terminology with various Greco-Roman mystical philosophies in order to create a spirituality that denies orthodox doctrines such as those regarding the incarnation. Rather, Swanson meant that those drawn to these speculations enjoy the thrill of secret knowledge most fully understood by those within the particular group. And how is that much different than predestinarian Calvinism that holds Christ is only accessible by those already selected to rank among the soteriological elite?

Regarding the increasing number of Christian leaders advocating that youth not go to college. Are they going to provide decent paying jobs for those that heed this admonition? More importantly, are they going to provide jobs for those that heed this advice but disagree with them on some asinine secondary issue that some of these hardline sectarians are infamous for espousing? After all, you are less likely to openly disagree with the benighted leader if doing so strands you up excrement’s tributary without a paddle.

In an analysis of the Southern Baptist resolution against White supremacy, the pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church on their SermonAudio podcast equated racialist sentiment with commemorations beloved by traditionalist American Christians such as Mother’s Day and the Fourth of July. These clerics insisted that neither has a place in a Sunday morning worship service. So does this church pass over Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month as well? More importantly, does this church ever intend to remove from its SermonAudio profile page the photo of the congregation’s building surrounded by multiple American flags?

For an unproduced Wonder Woman screenplay that might have emphasized the “woman” over the “wonder”, it has been stated that even an alley of women (meaning he lavishes boatloads of money on infanticide fronts such as Planned Parenthood) such as Josh Whedon must be held accountable. It was an UNPRODUCED screenplay! That means his take on the story was already deemed not good enough to proceed into further development Isn’t that accountability enough? It’s not like he committed a war crime deserving of a human rights tribunal at the Hague.

In the discussion of his book “The Vanishing American Adult” at the Hoover Institution, Senator Ben Sasse provided the anecdote regarding students of the college he served as president of not climbing twenty feet up a ladder in order to decorate a campus tree for Christmas. Given that Senator Sasse’s academic specialty is America’s Jude-Christian foundations, perhaps he would care to elaborate where in holy writ maturity is defined by a willingness to risk one’s life and well being for the sake of decorating yuletide shrubbery. Should someone fall from such a height and profoundly disable oneself, is Senator Sasse and his merry band of radical freemarketeers going to deny the injured coverage for ongoing care?

Leftwing religionists are shocked at the reluctance of the few discerning Southern Baptists that remain to get onboard the resolution to condemn the alleged White supremacy of the Alt Right. That reluctance is probably because those that study these sorts of things realize that often this kind of rhetoric is commonly invoked to frighten into silence and compliance those refusing to applaud radical minority supremacism and professional agitation. Maybe certain Whites were not so keen on the Alt Right resolution because they are weary of Convention propagandists constantly praising minorities but going out of their way to foment Yankee varieties of White guilt.

If Neil de Grasse Tyson is supposedly qualified to hand down opinion on nuanced environmental regulation and policy when his expertise is in Astronomy, why aren’t Donald Trump’s pronouncements regarding science when the President’s expertise is in businesses negotiation?

It was said in a sermon that, after you die, whatever sins you have not confessed, you will be held accountable for. And how exactly will these sins be held against us if we are not blocked entrance to Heaven on the basis of what we have done but rather allowed entrance on the basis of what Christ did? If it was announced earlier in the year that Baptists should be all gungho for Lent, this almost sounds like the acceptance of Purgatory is not far behind.

Outrage has erupted over Donald Trump Jr clandestinely meeting with a Russian lobbyist with ties to that state’s military intelligence agency. Shouldn’t the outrage be even more with the administration under whom such a person was allowed to take up residence in the United States? If you are so stupid as not to realize such an individual is going to continue their life’s work of subterfuge and subversion, you really ought not to be working in government especially in regards to national security. In a podcast discussion about finding a church, a pastor remarked that he was leery of the average Christian that comes into a church with an agenda to fix the things that are wrong with a congregation from their particular viewpoint. But shouldn’t the same sense of vigilance be applied to new pastors storming in when things prior to their arrival weren’t necessarily out of whack to begin with?

In condemning the Wonder Woman movie because of the character’s pagan origins, does homeschool activist Kevin Swanson also intend to condemn the study of mythology and authors such as C.S. Lewis and Tolkien that employed such motifs in their fantasy narratives?

To some, it’s apparently a greater outrage that President Trump doesn’t own a dog than that President Obama used to eat them.

For converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, broadcaster Kevin Boling insinuated that Hank Hanegraaff was a heretic. The episode discussing such was bluntly titled at SermonAudio, “Hanegraaff’s Theosis Heresy”. So if a rigorous separation is to be maintained between Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy to the point that there can be very little in terms of good relations between the adherents of these differing interpretations of Christianity, shouldn’t Boling have been more critical in his interview of Rod Dreher when interviewing that author about the “Benedict Option”? After all, Dreher is an adherent of Eastern Orthodoxy just like Hanegraaff.

If Jenner did not want his “transition” turned into late night comedy fodder as the former Olympian lamented to host Jimmy Kimmel, he should have confined his escapades to prancing around in frilly lingerie at home with the curtains closed.

An episode of Generations Radio celebrated the demise of liberal arts colleges in the role of educating young minds. Apparently it’s not enough simply to teach these disciplines from a Christian perspective. Rather the entire system of classroom instruction is flawed. All well and good. However, if this is the route that conservatives and Evangelicals want to go, there must also be protections put in place so that access to knowledge is not restricted to the few preferred by the cliques that run most churches and religious institutions.

Regarding these ministries, theologians, and pundits opposed to college education. They are awfully specific in getting their point across that the truly pious and devout ought not to go. However, these same “authorities” startlingly nebulous in detailing what alternative path one is expected to pursue in order to secure a reasonable living.

Michelle Obama has once again chastised the American people. Now she claims we never saw past her skin color. Probably because either a functionary directly a member of the Obama regime or a propaganda lackey in the mainstream media had to inform the American people about this fact nearly every hour on the hour.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #98

It was lamented in a SermonAudio podcast that the average worker does not stay at a job for more than five years. But so long as the worker puts in a reasonable day’s labor and usually has the future job lined up before the current position is left, is this really an issue for pastor’s to hand down authoritative pronouncements regarding? If most employers no longer have your back for an entire career since, as the Fox News pundits enthusiastically beam, such is the nature of 21st century capitalism, shouldn’t the employees take advantage of this as well if jumping ship is to their contractual advantage?

A pastor remarked that Christians ought not to be seen engaged publicly in interactions that might be categorized as bickering or disagreements. If so, whose interpretation is going to be allowed to prevail in regards to issues or incidents where Christians can come to differing conclusions? If the reasoning for this position is that such makes the church look bad in front of the unbelievers, does this mean that since it is doubtful that the garden variety reprobate knows the difference between the two, that Baptists should not openly disagree with Vatican pronouncements? If one preacher says that women can indeed wear pants or that Christians can take anti-depressants if struggling with the physical aspects of depression, does that mean a pastor that disagrees should otherwise remain silent?

So if the Southern Baptist Convention is going to condemn the “Alt Right Movement” but say nothing critical of minority supremacist groups such as Black Lives Matter and La Raza, perhaps predominately White congregations should withdraw from this organization established nowhere in the pages of the Bible if they want to be “sola scriputra” and see how long it lasts without these funds or personnel.

So after rightfully hounding Obama hard for eight years, is the official Fox News position now that the slightest criticism of a presidential administration will result in wide scale violence or even the collapse of the Republic?

It was remarked in a SermonAudio podcast that Jesus would not have been a conservative nor a liberal because He did not get involved with politics. Likely true, but that really doesn’t have prohibitive bearing for those instinctively draw to that area of life primarily because the aforementioned social spheres were not the direct intent of His purpose. Without this kind of clarification, one could argue that the Christian Scientists are in a sense correct to avoid involvement with the medical establishment because Jesus did not come primarily to attend to minor physical pains and ailments.

An episode of Ancient Aliens hypothesized that Judeo-Christian religious institutions were the ones responsible for casting Lucifer or Satan in a negative light. Instead, the program suggested, we ought to consider other myths from around the world where a fallen cosmic being bearing light, from a sense of beneficence, bestowed rudimentary technology and enlightenment upon the earliest human beings and cultures. But if the Judeo-Christian belief system is to stand accused of promulgating propaganda against Satan, why shouldn’t we assume that Satan would not take steps through his Luciferian devotees to formulate a narrative interpreting events in a manner where he would appear to be the hero? He is, after all, referred to as “the father of lies”.

In the Hoover Institution interview of Senator Ben Sasse, one gets the impression from these snob academics that probably sip dainty cups of tea with their pinkies outstretched that we are expected to willingly die grizzly deaths or endure permanent mutilation for the purposes of fulfilling the social vision of those that have likely never gotten a single grain of dirt under their manicured nails.

In a SermonAudio podcast, a pastoral staff lamented the tendency of the contemporary newsroom to denounce the contemporary system while profiting from it. And how is that much different from the typical congregation or pulpit?

The Southern Baptist Convention condemned the dangers posed by the “Alt Right Movement”. Did this ecclesiastical association ever come out as forcefully about Black Lives Matter associates looting electronics stores or ghetto brats playing the knockout game? Usually when those kinds of outrages take place, about the closest thing to a response from the Southern Baptist in crowd is Russell Moore rending himself homiletically in sack cloth and ashes over how ashamed he is to be a White Southerner.

Fascinating. On these nature documentary programs the narrators and the interviewed drone on and on about humans living in the “animals’ environment”. Then these productions turn around and lament or even condemn the reality that our species has dared to carve out designated environs in which people are expected to dwell. Maybe those making these kinds of complaints out to offer themselves up for elimination by the elements or applaud when such a fate befalls their own offspring.

Interesting. When Prince Phillip befalls a serious infection he seeks hospitalization and we are all expected to come to a screeching halt to express concern in hopes that he will pull through. But didn’t he at one point express a desire to be reincarnated as a biological plague for the purposes of killing off vast swaths of humanity? So why does he seek medical attention while the rest of us are expected to willingly die in the name of environmental preservation?

Leftist media is condemning Donald Trump for admitting that he would not want poor people in administrative positions overseeing the economy. So which of the journalistic elite directly entered their prestigious correspondent position from that of being a Walmart greeter or gas station attendant? How is what Trump said any worse than someone admitting that they wouldn’t want an Amish carpenter as Secretary of Defense?

I dreamed I had to guide my mom away from a pack of hyenas circling the perimeter of the extended care facility where she stayed temporarily.

In a podcast, Russell Moore pondered why church attendance is declining. At least in regards to the Southern Baptist congregations that would do things the way Russell Moore would approve of, maybe a significant number are tired of getting bashed over the head for little more than happening to be White and conservative individualists in terms of their political ideology.

During the “News In Focus with Adam MacManus” segment of the 6/22/17 edition of Generation’s Radio, it was said that the best protection against terrorism is to share the Gospel with refugees from Islamic nations. However, this assertion is in contradiction of the Calvinist soteriology held by the broadcast’s benefactor Orthodox Presbyterian Minister Kevin Swanson. For if God preordained that hardly any refugees were to come to Christ, that would in no way one way or the other neither increase nor decrease the chance of preventing a terrorist attack. If one intends to maintain belief in presdestination, one is forced to admit that all this appeal was intended to accomplish would be to frighten listeners into compliance in terms of monetary contribution.

On an episode of Generation’s Radio, Kevin Swanson and his cohost mocked the listeners of Alex Jones as wearers of tinfoil hats that think the world is controlled by aliens from outer space and lizard people. Some of Jones’ theories could be construed off the deep end. However, they really aren’t that much more out of line than some of the notions peddled by Swanson such as that an intense interest in Little House On The Prairie could lead to lesbianism and that those not married by 25 years of age are the moral equivalent of the town’s deadbeat lush.

In his condemnation of Alex Jones, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson flat out admitted that he would not want Alex Jones to be a member of his church. Swanson went on to argue such a position because he believed that Jones would be disruptive when the provocateur did not get his way regarding so-called “secondary issues”. But why is Swanson’s viewpoint presumptively assumed to be the one that ought to prevail in this theoretical ecclesiastical scenario? Applying Swanson’s own worldview presupposition, should a church refuse membership to an outspoken individual that holds to Swansonite positions that the only legitimate form of education is home education or that young adult women having reached the age of majority should still be denied by their parents the opportunity to pursue formal higher education and career opportunities outside of the family home?

Feminists are outraged that Donald Trump complemented an Irish reporter on the beauty of her smile. Given that she was probably from the British Isles, maybe the President was just surprised that she had any teeth at all. It must also be asked were these critics as condemnatory of Bill Clinton when he intimately probed Monica Lewinsky’s oral hygiene?

On the podcast of Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer, Christian skepticism of climate change was condemned as “premillennial eschatalogical residue”. Wonder how long until such highfalutin terminology will be invoked to justify the curtailment of the liberties and the ultimate persecution of those holding to particular theological interpretations disputing the prevailing consensus imposed by prevailing technocrats.

It was explicitly stated on Ancient Aliens that dragons never existed. Seriously? The whole series is predicated on the assumption that what humanity understands as mythology and religion is merely the attempt of our forbearers to understand extraterrestrials. But somehow it the belief in dragons that apparently goes a step too far.

Many of the victuals available for purchase at Whole Foods are as ugly as the hippies shopping there. If that is what food is supposed to look like, I think I have lost my appetite. Ironic how the same beatniks complaining the loudest about food being overly packaged at other retailers are noticeably silent about the items for sale at this supermarket being just as tightly wound in cellophane and related hydrocarbon byproduct. Cereal for $5 a box is a bit much when I am used to getting it for 99 cents at Pennsylvania food outlets such as Sharp Shopper and Go Grocery Outlet.

In an episode of his podcast. Phil Vischer lamented the pervasiveness of consumerism. As such, does he intend to renounce and return the fortune he accumulated from the creation of Veggie Tales, probably the epitome of Christian consumerism and disposable income?

It was conjectured on the Phil Vischer podcast that the election of Donald Trump was a statement that we only care about ourselves. As an alternative, at the time of the final decision, were we supposed to elect Hillary Clinton with that statement of caring about others implemented in the form of higher rates of confiscatory taxation and projections of acquiescence or capitulation abroad? A nation doesn’t have to be overly aggressive, but ultimately the government of such exists to protect the interests of those foremostly within the borders of such jurisdictions holding sanctioned status. Do you ever hear China or Russia go out of their way almost in the anguish of a mental health crisis in need of therapeutic intervention over how pathetic they feel for standing for their respective interests?

A pastor preached that God cannot forgive a sin that is not explicitly confessed. So what happens if someone dies before the nightly review of daily shortcomings or if someone forgets a particular sin such as eating one potato chip too many if this is apparently the path certain Baptists want to start walking down?

If missionaries to Africa can wear culturally significant apparel in honor of the people group they are attempting to reach, does that mean missionaries to ComiCon or MUFON can wear Starfleet uniforms in the pulpit? Can missionaries to Appalachia wear camo pants and a flannel shirt or are hillbillies too White to be granted this exception?

In a sermon, a missionary insinuated that it is not enough to use the gifts God has given us on behalf of the Body of Christ. We must also ask if He wants us to use these gifts on behalf of a part of the Body of Christ apparently on the other side of the planet. So basically one ought to set aside the elderly in one’s family as this missionary and his wife have essentially done.

In a church choir’s Fourth of July celebration, the verbal narration claimed that those crafting and implementing the Declaration of Independence did not draw swords but rather their pens. But wouldn’t their effort have been futile if not for those Americans that did?

A Yahoo headline laments that Trump planned to have supporters bused in to his Poland oration. How is that appreciably different than the tactics utilized by Black Lives Matter or related Sorosian agitprop groups? At least Trumpites aren’t likely to loot local businesses for electronics and haircare products.

Hobby Lobby has been convicted of smuggling over 5000 artifacts from Iraq. As part of the judgment, Hobby Lobby is obligated to return the disputed antiquities. However, will these items be respected as they ought as historical treasures? Or will they ultimately be destroyed at the hands of Islamic extremists?

Am beginning to wonder for the best way for Trump to have exerted influence over policy would have been to remain a commentator. With Fox News seemingly unraveling from the inside, the time would have been ripe for the news network the mogul had hinted at establishing.

Mark Zuckerberg remarked that Facebook has the potential to fill the role once played by the physical church in people’s lives. However, the concern is not so much that people will gravitate towards these more ephemeral fellowships. Rather the greater concern ought to be the extent to which Facebook will be the determinant in what will be allowed in terms of doctrine and belief given the social network’s track record of intervention that some might categorize as censorship.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #97

In Berlin, Barack Obama assured in a planetary oration that this is not a time to hide behind a wall. Does that include the wall that he recently had built around his Washington, DC mansion purchased for no other reason than so his daughter could finish out the school year?

If movie theaters can schedule female-only viewings of Wonder Woman why can’t Christian bakeries prepare heterosexual-only wedding cakes?

A headline states that “Men Are Freaking Out Over Women-Only Wonder Woman Screenings”. But aren’t they merely applying the logic that they’ve learned from the radical activists bent on literally rioting in the streets to the drum beats of tolerance and inclusion? What about the activists freaking out to such an extent that two White women were driven out of business for merely selling burritos? How is a theater that refuses to admit men to a showing of a particular movie morally different than a country club that refuses to admit female or members of a different race? Why do these dykes hate men so much that they have to be in a male-free theater simply to watch a super hero movie?

In answering a question about whether a child should be forced to attend church, Russell Moore responded in the affirmative. Moore’s reasoning was that the role of the parent is to be the primary evangelizer in the life of the child. But if Moore wants to be known as a Calvinist, isn’t he required to concede that according to his professed soteriology that it does not ultimately matter whether the parent evangelizes or not as to whether or not that the child ranks among the saved?

In examining why a child might not want to go to church, Russell Moore suggested against a family finding a new church where everyone might be happy. This path was counseled against not because of a concern regarding the doctrinal compromise that might result. Rather, one is obligated to remain in a church because of a nebulously articulated “accountability”. Didn’t Jim Jones make a similar argument before distributing the disturbingly spicy fruit punch? Unless your are on the payroll or hold some position of uncompensated authority, you are allowed to leave a church for whatever reason you want. This is especially true if you as a parent determine that the physical, emotional, or spiritual well being of your child is on the line. You make such determinations for your family, not the deacon board or the pastoral staff.

If “body shaming” (often meaning criticizing someone for dressing like a skank) now receives the condemnation once reserved for racial slurs, shouldn’t people remain just as silent regarding those that wear socks with sandals and/or cargo shorts? At least socks with sandals in no way violates any Biblical injunctions regarding immodest dress.

It was said in a Nazarene sermon that hospitality is treating strangers like family. As such, does that make passing gas in their presence the highest compliment you can pay someone you don’t know? It was said in a Nazarene sermon that hospitality is the practice of extending friendship to and receiving strangers. In the same sermon, it was insinuated that Middle Eastern cultures are much more hospitable than America. But isn’t America’s largely free market economy based upon the premise of extending service to those one does not necessarily know? If one gets uppity regarding the exchange of currency involved, you are not pro-kindness but rather anti-capitalist.

In a Nazarene sermon, it was insinuated that Middle Eastern cultures are much more hospitable than those of the West. But doesn’t the fact that most Americans do not systematically execute at this time entire demographics and alternative lifestyles that we disagree with theologically or even politically and that we often lavish those violating our borders with extensive welfare benefits counter such a claim?

It was said in a Nazarene sermon that the ancient Israelites were under the command of God to bring those not part of the dominant culture on the fringes of society in in order to care for them as if they were family. However, nowhere in the Holy Text does it command the Israelites to so despise being Israelite that they are to abandon their Israelite ways. Nor is this generosity to be extended to the point of existential vulnerability to those insisting under threat of violence that the Israelites cease being Israelites and instead surrender to these outside marauders.

A church that could be characterized primarily as White in terms of its underlying demographic orientation has scheduled an outside consultant who happens to be Black to address the congregation on the topic of race and the Gospel. No doubt they will be berated for their shortcomings in connection to this controversy. Wonder if predominately Black churches hire White speakers these days to come in and give them the proverbial “what for” as to how those of that particular phenotype might straighten up and fly right in terms of not looting commercial districts following unpopular jury verdicts, the impropriety of the knockout game, and the imperative of abstinence to combat the propensity to out of wedlock parentage.

In a Nazarene sermon on the Epistle of Jude, if you zero in on verses 3-5 and 20-22 and harp on “lack of hospitality and community”, you’ve sort of missed the exegetical point. The text is more about those engaged in carnal immorality and the need to warn about these sorts of sins in a firm but loving manner. The passage has nothing to do with whether or not you’ve let enough people into your to rifle through your stuff.

A SermonAudio sermon warned about a pastor that eventually fell into sin because he was apparently aroused when his wife wore sexy boots. So is the moral of this homileticical tidbit that even in the bedroom that Christians are obligated to wear frumpy Duggar denim skirts?

It was said in a sermon posted to SermonAudio that mature people try new food. If a church claims that all doctrinal pronouncements are to be sola scriptura, where is this command handed down in the Holy Text?

According to homeschool activist Kevin Swanson, the Christian ought to avoid Pirates Of The Caribbean because the cavorting ribaldary of the protagonist might tempt the viewer towards drunkenness. Utilizing this logic, shouldn’t one avoid most Presbyterian churches because, during my time of attendance at one, it was rather disturbing the number of times the mention of alcoholic beverages were alluded to in order to encourage attendance at a variety of young adult functions.

Pirates Of The Caribbean was condemned by homes school activist Kevin Swanson over the use of a supernatural object in the story to break a curse. So does he also intend to offer equal condemnation of Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” for utilizing nearly the exact same plot device?

Homeschool activist Keven Swanson condemned Christian fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean series. He rightfully noted that historically pirates were wretched individuals. But why no condemnation of Patch the Pirate? No one looks to build a systematic theology upon Jack Sparrow. However, Patch the Pirate is utilized as a pivotal component of the evangelistic outreach to children in numerous fundamentalist churches.

The proverbial catch 22. Because both battery and oil were changed just recently, could not take my motorized conveyance through emission inspection (yet another pointless tax). Was told I had to run it everyday for seven days. I have never driven seven consecutive days in my entire life. So as citizens of the New World Order we are supposed to be punished for failing to keep our vehicles off congested roadways and apparently as citizens of the New World Order we are also to be punished if we try to keep our vehicles in good maintenance and off the roadways. If someone gets pulled over by a policeman and subjected to the typical sorts of verbal harassment as to where you are going (“to bed your wife, officer”) that makes it sound as if not filing the terrestrial equivalent of a flight plan is somehow a criminal offense, perhaps should just tell them that one has to drive for seven consecutive days to qualify for the emission inspection.

In the memetic criticism, James Comey is being compared to J. Edgar Hoover. But despite his faults, wasn’t Hoover masterful in bending both government and media to his will rather than as appearing as the epitome of an indecisive wimp? At the zenith of Hoover’s power, the President would be the one leaving the presence of the FBI Director shaken rather than the Director with his tail tucked between his legs. Can one even characterize Comey as possessing a zenith?

On Rachel Maddow, Dan Rather was in a panic over Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, likening this particular subversion to a psychological Pearl Harbor. If the Holocaust is to be reserved as a reference solely for the victims of that atrocity, why are the victims of Pearl Harbor not to be extended a similar degree of respect? But more importantly, did Rather ever speak out against this sort of fifth column operation in the heyday of such tomfoolery during the second half of the twentieth century.

If regular believers are to be condemned as “consumer minded” if they go from church to church over non-doctrinal matters, will pastors that leave for reasons other than doctrine such as salary be similarly chastised? After all, if a pastor is free to pursue a deal or situation more to his benefit, why can’t a parishioner be allowed to do the same?

Regarding the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise while playing baseball, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe remarked how things in America have become so partisan and how we have been pulled apart. As a devoted Clintonista, hasn’t he ranked as one of the ringleaders of this acrimony for nearly three decades?

Iran has condemned Donald Trump’s condolences noting the irony of state sponsoring Islamist terror is now the victim of Islamist terror. Now that we’ve gotten these obligatory communications out of the way, perhaps we simply ought to sit back and watch each side blast the other into the arms of the seventy-two virgins that turn out to be dessicated crones.

It was remarked in a podcast discussion between Southern Baptist functionary Russell Moore and Senator Ben Sasse regarding the danger posed to the church by perpetual adolescence that a 15 year old’s theology is not fully formed. I’ll grant that. If in a Baptist or fundamentalist environment one’s entire life it might take a while to realize just how full of it some operating under those particular theological descriptors just happen to be.

Russell Moore remarked that politics is not the most important thing in our lives. But didn’t he not that long ago toss a fit when many Evangelicals came to the decision that, at the time, Trump was the least objectionable of the onerous selection?

Too bad the Pacific Ocean isn’t big enough for two large ships to avoid plowing into one another. Sympathies extended to the injured, but overwhelming negligence or incompetence on someone’s part.

Those booing the protest of the assassination scene at Shakespeare in the park are the same ones that probably applaud the looting of businesses and the blocking of highways following unpopular trial verdicts.

Russell Moore remarked that, in most healthy churches, the youth often collected the offering and went on missions trips. First, often it is not he fault of youth if in a church that the only ones allowed to handle the collection plate are on the other side of the Social Security threshold. Second, nowhere in Scripture does it say that parents are obligated to handover their offspring to die in the Third World because the youth pastor wants to go on some tropical adventure. Let them sacrifice their own children.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #96

According to thespian Emma Thompson, way back in 1998, Donald Trump called her offering accommodations and suggested they could have dinner sometime. If we are to abide by the axiom that what happens between consenting adults is their own business and that he did not unduly threaten her after she declined, does this even rise to the level of a story? After all, Trump was apparently extending his potential conquests courtesies Bill Clinton wasn’t at nearly the same time. Just ask Juanita Broderick.

A Virginia man dressed as the Joker and carrying a sword was arrested in part for wearing a mask in public. You think the sword wielding would have been the more obvious charge. Technically, this acolyte of the Crown Prince of Crime was wearing makeup and not a mask. Shouldn’t this same law also apply to infidel sows adorned in burqas?

In a lecture titled “Can The Religious Right Be Saved?”, Russell Moore condemned the pastors of his youth that articulated a variety of outlandish statements found nowhere in the Bible. What, sort of like the ones Moore spews forth now?

Outrage has erupted that Trump announced his regime’s intentions to enforce immigration law as originally promulgated. But aren’t we obligated to obey the law because it is the law? After all, that is what businesses are told faced with choice between providing services for gay weddings or financial ruination.

An HBO producer has plead guilty as an accessory after the fact in the drug death of a 38 year old doctor and mother of three. For the dumping of the body in a hallway, the U.S. attorney said in an issued statement, “Marc Henry Johnson’s immediate response to seeing a dying overdose victim should have been to summon help.” That is probably the right response. However, isn’t it a bit much to extend the sympathies of victim status? For not only did this woman prefer dope and booze over her children, but as a doctor shouldn’t she have known of the impact that results in the overindulgence of these vices? Seems she is responsible in part for her own unfortunate demise.

So if we are supposed to collectively get jacked out of shape over comments made by Bill O’Reilly about a Congresswoman’s suspected wig, will society call as vigorously for the condemnation of those mocking balding and graying men? Wonder if those vociferous in their condemnation of Bill O’Reilly’s comments ill be as outspoken in their condemnation of the knockout game or when deadbeats pillage after unpopular jury verdicts in order to loot wigs and assorted haircare products.

Jeb Bush has admonished President Trump to stop saying things that are not true. Wonder if the failed candidate was as bold in the criticism of his father’s and his brother’s respective regimes.

In a Ted Talk, Canadian broadcaster Coleen Christie warned that citizens must be cautious about getting their information from social media because that would mean your neighbor with a thing for cats becomes your news director. By that, she no doubt meant the important task of informing the public cannot be left to amateurs. William F. Buckley once remarked that he’d rather a chance being governed by the names in the opening pages of the phone book rather than the faculty of Harvard University. Along those lines, often these professionals are only groomed for their roles largely because they look good in a short skirt and a blouse with a plunging neckline or because of what secret society they have likely pledged unwavering allegiance to under threat of disembowelment.

In criticism of the so-called “Benedict Option” where it is suggested Christians withdrawal into a quasi-monastic seclusion in order to avoid cultural decay and doctrinal contamination, in SermonAudio remarks Pastor Sean Harris also articulated harsh words about those that retired to the beach or even Christian retirement communities. The pastor counseled that time in these sorts of places needs to be limited because they supposedly keep one away from the body of Christ. What he really must mean is that such alteration to one’s life circumstances would end up directing funds away from his particular congregation. For are there not churches in beach communities if one is there that often and not congregations affiliated with or minister to Christians in active adult communities?

Yahoo News is celebrating a child with Down Syndrome as the changing face of beauty. Mind you, these are probably the same pro-abortion ghouls that in any other instance would have pressured parents to eliminate a defective child. Let’s see if the public still flocks to support the child when the child is not so cute anymore and he’s about a 200 pound middle aged individual still needing to be looked after in a manner similar to a toddler.

There is no winning with some shrill banshee feminists. President Trump is condemned for wallowing in the sins of the flesh over the course of his public life. However, a Washington Post harpy now condemns Vice President Mike Pence for living by a standard where he never dines alone with a woman other than his wife and does not attend functions where alcohol is present without his wife there with him.

Franklin Graham film insists that doctors surviving ebola was a miracle. On Fox News, Graham said this was a story of God saving the lives of these missionaries. If one is going to say that, isn’t it conversely the story of God not saving the lives of the thousands He allowed to succumb to this epidemic? Don’t like that observation? Why not just say those not weakened by living in squalor and filth might have a bit more of a chance of battling the disease? Perhaps Christian filmmakers ought to give a bit more consideration the implications of what they are saying.

Activist busybodies are now calling for the end of public applause because the gesture is offensive to the deaf. Instead,the emotion once conveyed with this gesture is to be expressed through jazz hands. But doesn’t that exclude the blind unable to notice waving hands? But then again, most blind people — unlike a significant number of deaf — haven’t organized themselves into borderline terrorist groups threatening violence against those pursuing cures to this affliction.

The State of Mississippi considered a proposal where parents would be graded regarding the extent of their involvement in the education of their children. Like it or not, report cards are part of a permanent academic record used to either reward or punish students in terms of future opportunities or the lack thereof. As such, what is to prevent such an assessment from being used against parents in terms of the child protection racket?

Wonder if those so jacked out of shape at a Canadian license plate roughly reading “Assimilate” in reference to the Borg battle cry from Star Trek but not because of any opposition to cybernetic varieties of Transhumanism but out of a desire of minorities to retain the lifestyles of their native lands still demand handouts from the Western societies that they despise so vociferously but can’t seemed to renounce the creature comforts of.

The latest buzz surrounding Cinco de Mayo is lamentation regarding cultural misappropriation. In other words, even when they abandon the celebratory commemorations of their own culture in favor of those of a preferred demographic, White people are apparently still obligated to sit around glum-faced in reflective self-loathing.

New York Magazine insists that the Second Amendment makes America vulnerable to ISIS attack. Does the magazine plan to publish a similar article regarding potential terrorism resulting from lax immigration enforcement and swarms of refugees pouring over the border?

On Facebook, I stumbled across a church with a recycling ministry where used items such as furniture and other related things are being collected for international students matriculating at a nearby university. Theoretically, why would the offspring of Alibaba founder Jack Ma or even Prince Harry himself be more worthy of such eleemosynary than the progeny of a Appalachian coal miner or a laid off factory worker? In the vast majority of cases, foreigners coming to study at American universities aren’t Kalahari bushmen. Rather they are going to have a significant degree of wealth to begin with if they are coming here just to study. As such, isn’t it just as wrong to limit one’s charity to those of this particular origin as it would be to limit one’s charity to White’s only? Furthermore, if these items are no longer good enough for you, isn’t it racist to assume that these cast offs are good enough for foreigners? Isn’t it about time Christians end this underlying contempt of their own countrymen?

Fox News talking heads applauding Trump’s Libery University commencement oration insisting critics are never successful. But doesn’t the network’s ratings success contradict that message?

In his Liberty University commencement oration, President Trump insisted critics never really accomplish anything. But didn’t Trump ride a continual drumbeat of incessant criticism to electoral victory? There is nothing wrong with that. He just shouldn’t now attempt to market himself as perennial positivity.

These pharmaceutical commercials make it sound if you aren’t in the doctor’s office constantly that you aren’t blessed but rather missing out on life. Most of the folks on these medicines aren’t out riding horseback or climbing mountains. Their trips to the doctor’s office are about the only place they go at all, that a struggle, and takes it out of them to the point that they never recover.

Interviewee on Fox News insists that a good parent ought to find and nurture a child’s talent. As Donald Trump’s unofficial propaganda office, would they endorse that message if the child’s greatest skill was criticism?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany is destined to become an Islamic state and that is something that the native population is just going to have to come to terms with as a demographic and political reality. At least there is the consolation that they can hope she will be forced to put a bag over her head as well in compliance with Sharia law.

Bill O’Reilly will appear weekly on Glenn Beck’s radio program. But according to Glenn Beck, Trump’s carnal proclivities will lead to the acceleration of America’s cultural decline but it is apparently. Yet it is apparently acceptable for Beck to finance O’Reilly because it’s doubtful someone as full of themselves as O’Reilly is going to pontificate for free.

Maybe if Microsoft just sent out security updates and not attempt to download entire new copies of Window’s onto customer’s computers, people would be more diligent in updating their devices.

Outrage has erupted over a group of “White nationalists” that organized a protest in response to the removal of a number of Confederate memorials. Do these same mainstream media outlets emphasize the radical proclivities and ideological backgrounds of the activists behind Black Lives Matter demonstrations or the shrill banshee rallies where the psychotics on weekend release from the looney bin parade around the nation’s capital in vulgar costumes? Likewise, in reference to President Trump’s commencement oration, WTOP referred to Liberty University with the modifer “ultra conservative”. Are the network’s listeners similarly systematically informed of the political correctness endemic to the Ivy League each time one of those expensive indoctrination centers is referenced?

It was remarked from a pulpit that someone cannot be prayed for unless the need is communicated. Isn’t this essentially saying that, if God has to be told the juicy details of a specific need by the hired help, He is not quite as omniscient as assorted sermons make Him out to be.

So does the sermon claiming that it is acceptable to outwardly display our depression and to tell these feelings to God now repudiate past sermons that if you are depressed it was probably because you were in a state of sin to begin with?

In a podcast, Russell Moore claimed that the current church does not mobilize WOMMMENNN to the same extent as in the past. This actually translates as ecclesiastical functionaries jacked out of shape that the pool of free labor has about dried up.

In a message on family, a pastor suggested if young people his puberty at between 10 to 14 years of age, they should be allowed to get married. And who is supposed to provide for this couple? The pastor lamented that, in some countries, 15 year olds fight wars and, in America, 30 year olds play video games. But so long as the 30 year old has some sort of gainful employment, doesn’t that comparison actually summarize the superiority of American system and way of life? Because in most instances these child soldiers are actually taken from their families against their will.

A congressional aide was condemned in the media for criticizing the deportment and behavior of the Obama children. It is claimed the condemnation was justified on the grounds that to mention the families of politicians violates an “unwritten rule”. There is nothing really wrong in violating an unwritten rule. Such a standard has not been implemented through the established procedural channels nor necessarily agreed to be binding upon those not willing to abide by it. If a subjugated population is forbidden from criticizing the progeny of their rulers and thus by proxy the the rulers themselves, shouldn’t the spouses of those holding elected office also refrain from criticizing how Americans raise their own children as well as refrain from imposing their own dietary peculiarities upon public institutions over which they exercise no legitimate authority?

An episode of Generation’s Radio was titled “Filmmaker Chastises Christians For Watching Films: Film Has Usurped Church”. In the discussion, a Christian filmmaker provided a summary of his upcoming projects. In the synopsis, he namedropped that one film featured actor Harry Anderson. The producer reminded that, before his decline to has-been status, Anderson starred as the judge on the sitcom “Night Court”. So if the sanctified believer is to refrain from these sorts of worldly entertainments, how is anyone in the listening audience even supposed to know what “Night Court” is? Admittedly, I saw a few episodes of “Night Court” in my youth. It must be pointed out that a significant percentage of the comedy on the series derived its humor from double entendres. I will admit that at times I enjoy that sort of borderline risque humor more than I really ought. But neither do I host a podcast where it was once insinuated that your daughter might turn out to be a lesbian if she is fascinated with The Little House On The Prairie books.

Trump’s Ramadan remarks have been condemned for largely being aimed at terrorism. If terrorism is what comes to the mind of the average person when they hear terms associated with Islam, isn’t that largely the fault of the violent Muslims? Buddhism seldom suffers from similar bad press. How is Trump’s hijacking Ramadan as a pretext to discuss terrorism any worse than the litany of leftwing politicians co-opting Christmas in order to guilt-trip voters into supporting calls for increased social welfare budgets?

By Frederick Meekins

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 3

It could be argued that the primary perspective allowing so many of the other outlooks to take hold that would have seemed downright silly, bizarre, and even inimical to human liberty to previous generations of mainstream Americans is none other than Postmodernism. Modernism held that man — through observational science and objective reasoning — could on his own without reliance on God’s revelation derive truths roughly equivalent to those once deduced from religion and even improve upon those areas in which credentialed experts had concluded ecclesiastical authorities had fallen short. Postmodernism holds, in the words of J.P. Moreland, that “…there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, value, reason, and so forth. All of these are social constructions, creations of linguistic practices, and, as such, are relative not to individuals but to social groups that share a narrative (208).”

The average person may not be aware of the obtuse and technical debates that go on in academia regarding the nature of history or whether or not there is a definitive interpretation to a classic work of literature or even if there are works of literature worthy of distinction as such. However, on some level just about everyone (with the exception of those in a persistent vegetative state whose lives are actually endangered as a result of the amoralism Postmodernism advocates) is familiar with the perspective of ethical relativism.

Francis Beckwith defines moral relativism as, “the view that when it comes to questions of morality, there is no absolute objective right and wrong; moral rules are merely personal preferences and/or the result of one’s cultural, sexual or ethnic orientation (211).” This sounds quite enlightened philosophically, but as Beckwith points out, in such a system the belief that unjustified killing is wrong is reduced to the level of individual predilection such as one might have for one variety of ice cream over another.

The relativism upon which Postmodernism rests is undermined by its own assumptions and is ultimately held in place only by the sheer power of those that profess it. The unfortunate thing is it is through this mindset that such elites tend to propagate themselves and to marginalize those failing to embrace a form of diversity where everyone is compelled to espouse the same set of principles.

Inherent to Postmodern relativism is the assumption that no objective standard exists. Beckwith observes, “If the mere fact of disagreement were sufficient to conclude that objective norms do not exist, then we would have to believe that there is no objectively correct position on such issues as slavery, genocide, and child molestation; for the slave owner, genocidal maniac, and pedophile have an opinion that differs from the one held by those of us who condemn their actions (215).”

Yet especially in regards to the issue of child molestation, unless one has been severely traumatized oneself or deliberately decided to wallow in humanity’s basest perversities, one recoils in horror at the prospect of there being no higher justification protecting the innocent from such horrors. Beckwith assures, however, the fact that objections can be raised regarding such practices itself lends credence to moral standards existing above the fray of human affairs. For to insist that there are no absolutes is itself to invoke an absolute.

The human tendency to formulate moral codes, even when those cultures and individuals deriving these fall short of the aspired ideal, is a powerful tool in the hands of the apologist to point the seeker towards the existence of God. If nothing exists beyond the physical realm, man is the highest authority with the state being the highest of his institutions. In such an environment, “what is” becomes “what ought” with the nation possessing either the largest army or the nation most willing to use force in extending its policy objectives both within and beyond its borders determining this for the greatest percentage of the world’s population.

Thus for standards to exist against horrors such as slavery and genocide beyond human preference and circumstance, they must be rooted in a source existing above, beyond, and yet accessible to human beings and their institutions for the purposes of reflection and implementation. Paul Copan writes, “The existence of a good personal God, who created humans in his image, offers a simpler and less-contrived connection, a more plausible context to affirm human value and rights as well as moral obligations (87).” Since human beings posses conscious personhood, the source of the standards we are to live by must also possess this quality.

Sexual debauchery and drunken carousing might provide a shallow satisfaction for a short while; however, after awhile the typical soul longs for something it perceives as having a more solid foundation. Indoctrinated now since nearly the first day of school as to the shortcomings of Western civilization, many young skulls full of mush as Rush Limbaugh once categorized naive students are turning to what are described as Eastern religions or systems of belief in their pursuit of purpose and meaning.

By Frederick Meekins

Leftist Theologue’s Animus Towards America Extends To Nation’s Very Name

Sometimes a notion or a concept can seem insightful upon its initial articulation, but after additional consideration it seems rather vapid or out of touch with reality. For example, published in the December 2016 edition of “Christianity Today” is a column titled “Christianity Without An Adjective”.

On the surface, such a goal seems laudable as it is a reminder not to sublimate Christ to any particular ideology or social philosophy. However, such an admonition fails to take into consideration why many today feel the need to articulate a modifier when describing their particular brand of Christianity and how this admonition to avoid doing so just as easily plays into the hands of the adversary.

“Christianity Today” began in the second half of the twentieth century in order to defend sound Biblical Theology in an intellectually respectable and rigorous manner before a public whose institutions of thought had already turned markedly hostile towards religiously orthodox ideas and perspectives.

In particular, “Christianity Today” was intended to stand as an alternative to more leftist publications such as “Christian Century”, “Commonweal”, and “Sojourners Magazine”. These publications often tended to promote a more liberal outlook on a variety of social, cultural, and theological issues to the point where the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith were denied but the Christian terminology retained as a way to understand reality even if these definitions were reconceptualized in compliance with the radical fads of any given moment of the lengthy print runs of these respective publications. Coming briefly to mind was an article published a few years ago suggesting in violation of Hebrews 9:22 that the shedding of blood really wasn’t all the necessary for the remission of sins after all.

Those holding to a more traditionalist understanding of the faith once delivered unto the saints were not the ones that attempted to alter the rules in the middle of the game or the very game itself. As such, why are we obligated to be the ones verbalizing a flagellating remorse in order to differentiate ourselves from those that deny essential doctrines such as the Incarnation of Christ, His Resurrection, and heterosexual marriage as the only valid form of carnal relations between human beings?

From the article, the discerning reader also comes away with the impression that this crusade against descriptive modifiers is also a front through which to ensnare Evangelical Christianity in the leftist fads of White privilege and racial guilt.

K.A. Ellis writes, “A Christianity qualified by any adjective now feels restrictive for good reason.” That means that, .by tying Christianity to any one particular understanding, one ends up feeling guilty when making common cause with universalists, moral subversives, and any number of garden variety unbelievers.

The author continues, “…As I mentioned in a previous column, that is why some are calling themselves ‘Christian Americans’ rather than ‘American Christians’.” In other words, the truly pious or devout (those truly “sold out to Jesus” as they used to say hoping to manipulate prospects into “surrendering” to full time missionary work) have severed all meaningful ties with an identity other than their Christian one.

Yet while this is praised with one hand, the author turns around and ignores this ideal with another. What the writer probably intended to convey was that this condemnation of Christians identifying themselves in part by their particular nationality is only to be applied to those that invoke the term to signify a sort of benevolent sternness that, while desiring to advocate as much goodwill as possible to the external world, when the time comes is not going to be passively kicked around by the advocates of malevolence and tyranny.

For example, K.A. Ellis referred to Stanley Hauerwas as an “American theologian” and not as a “theologian from America”. It should be pointed out that Hauerwas is noted for markedly leftwing views.

Those that like to pat themselves on the back by playing word games in the attempt to trip people up but in the process expose just how devoid of actual wisdom and commonsense those whose primary purpose in life is to put on display just how broadminded they think themselves to be will no doubt make a fuss that in this particular instance the word “American” was paired with the word “theologian”. As such, this new standard being advocated does not apply.

However, this was not the only instance it was violated in this particular article. Ellis writes, “…we are more in concert with the orthodoxy of the two-thirds world Christians, especially those in the underground church.”

Shouldn’t Ellis have formulated the phraseology as “Christians in the two-thirds world”? So if we are to so despise America that we get jacked out of shape upon hearing the linguistic combination “American Christians” why ought those living elsewhere get an easy pass?

Worthy of note is the admonition to be “in concert with the orthodoxy of two-thirds-world Christians, especially those in the underground church.” Just what exactly does that consist of?

Does Ellis mean the strong stance against homosexuality and similar carnal lifestyles that have prompted a number of ecclesiastical functionaries to take a bold position against the wanton licentiousness allowed to fester in certain branches of the Anglican Communion by seeking their apostolic oversight under a select number of African bishops rather than traditional Western prelates? Or instead, is this sentiment articulated more in solidarity with the tendency of some in these less developed lands to prefer a less than free market and more communal distribution of resources where profit does not so much accrue to those that earned it but rather to those that shout their grievances the loudest or are perhaps the most proficient at acts of violence?

It is imperative that Christianity be articulated in such a way as to grab the attention of those that are spiritually adrift. However, their eventually comes a point where those attempting to reach the lost by adopting much of the way that the lost view the world around them become virtually indistinguishable from the lost and end up losing much of their way as well.

By Frederick Meekins

Those Denying God’s Existence Should Forsake His Cash As Well

An article titled “Christian School Teacher Fired After Deciding To Live 2014 As An Atheist” attempts to place the onus for such a state of occupational limbo on organized religion. But isn’t it even more the fault of the educator in question for attempting to turn his crisis of faith into some kind of theological publicity stunt?

According to the article, Ryan Bell was a Seventh Day Adventist minister and adjunct professor whose leftwing support of gay marriage and variance with his denomination’s eschatology resulted in his resignation from the Hollywood congregation he pastored. He was forced from his teaching positions from Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University when Bell publicly announced his intentions to live as an atheist for a year to see if that particular worldview more accurately reflected his spiritual state where disillusionment caused him to question a number of his most deeply held beliefs.

The press account puts the blame for the hardship Bell would have to endure on these respective institutions of higher education. After all, Bell pointed out in the article, he has utility bills to pay and children to feed.

But shouldn’t these employers be applauded for assisting Bell in taking his experiment in atheism to its logical conclusion? For Bell is not a minister in the Unitarian or Episcopal Churches so wishy washy in their core doctrines and beliefs that they are at times willing to keep outright unbelievers on their respective payrolls.

According to the article, Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University both require faculty to adhere to a statement of faith seemingly quite broad in terms of Christian specifics if these institutions of higher education claiming to be Evangelical openly embrace Seventh Day Adventism. What Dr. Bell has said is that, at the time this all came to a head in 2014, he no longer believes the bare bones required by these schools.

As such, if Bell for the time being no longer believes that there is an all powerful being sustaining the universe and providing a means whereby fallen men might be brought back into fellowship with Him, why shouldn’t Bell also forfeit the salary provided by those that do believe in such in a context that already doesn’t sound all that picky or particular regarding what are commonly referred to as secondary theological matters? After all, when the unbelievers are holding the administrative reigns and catch a whiff of doctrinal content they aren’t particularly fond of they aren’t exactly all that magnanimous either.

For example, in “Reason In The Balance”, popularizer of Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson chronicled the case of a Biology Professor that suggested that the complexity of even the simplest lifeforms pointed in the direction of a designer. Whom or what that might be was left up for the student to decide as the professor made no suggestions as to whether that designer was God in yonder Heaven or little green men zooming about the cosmos in a flying saucer. For engaging in the free exchange of ideas in an environment supposedly priding itself on such intellectual dynamism, this professor was booted out the door.

Adherents of Intelligent Design have faired little better in other settings. For example, a scientist lost his job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for simply expressing an interest in Intelligent Design.

Yet that very same facility explicitly stated in its public propaganda how its administrators supposedly appreciate innovative perspectives. Apparently believing that a Higher Power is behind the grandeur of the universe has little to do with building better rockets with the exception, of course, of boosting the esteem of Muslims in regards to that civilization’s developments in mathematics from nearly a millennium ago. President Obama was quite explicit in making that an aeronautical agency funding priority despite their being barely a cent available for manned extra-atmospheric travel in the form of a space shuttle or lunar expeditions.

Did the atheists that got all worked up on behalf of Ryan Bell rush to meet the material needs of the occupationally displaced adherents of Intelligent Design or flagellate themselves in shamefacedness over the way the establishment media expects Christians to upon hearing of the hardships caused by the failure to at first compromise and then ultimately set aside these minimal standards derived from a set of very rudimentary beliefs one would think nearly anyone even wanting to be employed in a Christian setting would agree to? After all, it is not like Fuller Seminary these days enforces a no movies under any circumstances rule.

Proponents of the decision to impose penalties upon the bakers refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings insist that we ought to be willing to accept such punishments with little comment as the price for standing for convictions at variance with established social norms. In the case of those professing some manner of public unbelief such as itinerant academic Ryan Bell, this is to be yet another of the expanding network of exceptions and double standards.

by Frederick Meekins

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 2

Academics get the ball rolling on a more widespread denial or misunderstanding about the divine existence of Jesus by first calling into question and raising doubts about the validity and accuracy of the Biblical accounts pertaining to the life of the Messiah. Often such efforts are commenced under the banner of an epic endeavor such as “The Quest for the Historical Jesus” or “The Jesus Seminar” where professors with impressive scholastic credentials such as John Dominic Crossan claim to be doing the truly devoted a service by scraping away centuries worth of theological barnacles to get at the simple Jesus that existed before the executors of his reputation elevated the compassionate Nazarene handyman to religious superstar status. However, closer examination of the actual historical record reveals scholars advocating such a viewpoint are as mired in fiction and fantasy every bit as much as Dan Brown.

Throughout political and religious history, one of the most time-tested tactics to undermine one’s opponent is to attack the credibility of his messengers or heralds. That is why the so-called “cultured despisers of religion” have spent so much of their effort to drag the Bible in general and the Gospels in specific into disrepute. For if one begins to doubt the authenticity of these ancient documents, it is often not long until one begins to question the claims of and about the Savior Himself detailed within those pages.

First and foremost, the apologist must show that the Bible can go toe to toe with what is considered established, factual history. In his essay, Quarles compares the New Testament with the Roman Annals of Tacitus (106). Of this work, Quarles points out no complete sample of the manuscript survived from the time it was written around AD 115 to 117, with only two fragments known to exist and the earliest complete manuscript of the text dating back to the ninth century. Regarding the New Testament, the earliest surviving manuscript, the Vaticanus, is dated at AD 325, several centuries closer to the time of the New Testament Autographs.

However, the superiority of the New Testament as an authentic historical document does not end here. For whereas only two ancient fragments of Tacitus have been discovered, numerous portions and segments of the New Testament have been discovered that are believed to date often just a few decades from the time the originals were believed to have been written.

One could easily conjecture there would have been more of an opportunity to perpetrate some kind of forgery in regards to the writings of Tacitus. Yet we find no clever professor having academic laurels bestowed upon his furrowed brow for bringing into question our entire understanding of the Classical World or Ron Howard producing from such speculation a summer blockbuster bringing in sufficient box office receipts so he can finally afford that realistic toupee or hairweave he has desperately needed for so many years.

More importantly, how many (other than the most enthusiastic of historians) would really have their epistemological and moral worlds shattered if it was eventually discovered that the likes of Tacitus, Julius Casear, or even Plato and Homer were frauds? Thus, the documents of Scripture are not only historically authentic, but so is the account of an individual whose meaning and significance far transcended the ordinary.

The Christian can be assured of this because not only are the Biblical documents historically authentic in terms of their mechanics in how they came down to the contemporary world but also in terms of being reliable in regards to the credibility of the internal content. For example, if the Bible was nothing more than propaganda literature, in all likelihood those compiling the documents would have taken considerable care to downplay the faults of the movement’s earliest leaders. However, this clearly did not happen.

In Church History, Christ’s handpicked Apostles are considered the closest any human beings can come to epitomizing the ideal qualities of leadership. However, before being imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament is rife with instances where the pillars of the Church were closer to the human rather than ideal side of the lofty concept.

For example, John’s mother is depicted as a social climber who wasn’t fully aware of what she was getting her sons into when she went right up to Christ demanding that her sons be placed at His right hand in the coming kingdom. And though many view Peter as the unyielding rock upon which Christ built the Church, given his bumbling and cowardly nature, he seems no more competent than any of us and certainly neither a figure militant nor triumphant.

Thus, from such attention to the details that could have easily been brushed over if those penning the New Testament had been out to perpetrate either a religious fraud or to craft an inspirational but still a nevertheless fictional narrative, the believer gains a confidence that the Bible may be just as truthful in regards to its much more majestic claims as well.

Since the Bible itself teems with historical respectability, those serious about considering its claims ought to examine what is said about the text’s central character, Jesus Christ. Certain skeptics wanting to pat themselves on the back just how broadminded they can be claim they applaud the so-called “ethics of Jesus”, insisting that He was a good man but did not claim to be deity.

However, the Bible tells us otherwise. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus said, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

And since we have no reason to disbelieve the legitimacy of the account, Jesus did indeed rise from the grave. Secondly, at no time did Jesus condemn those that claimed He was God despite the rigorous monotheism of ancient Judaism. Of special interest to the skeptic will no doubt be Thomas who, like his counterparts in contemporary academia, was reluctant to accept the reality of the risen Jesus without more tangible proof. Upon examining Christ’s wounds first hand, Thomas declared in John 20: 28, “My Lord and my God.”

In previous eras, such would likely bring us to the end of an evangelistic apologetic discourse since respect for (though perhaps not always adherence to) Scripture was ingrained throughout the culture. However, today there are so many worldview alternatives to select from that the believer must not only state what Lee Strobel has termed “the case for Christ” but also begin to plant the seeds that will assist the seeker to disentangle themselves if they so desire from the webs of deception in which they are entrapped. The Christian cannot assist in this process unless they themselves are familiar with at least the basic tenets of their own faith’s most prominent competitors.

By Frederick Meekins

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 1

Here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Apologetics as an evangelistic endeavor and intellectual theological outreach finds itself in something of a paradox. When the West thought of itself in terms of resting on broadly Judeo-Christian assumptions, the discipline was not as desperately needed while most within the church at least knew of the field’s existence as a subject. At the time, the less practically inclined among the membership dabbled in the subject by contemplating abstract questions and topics. However, as society moves away from Biblical assumptions and the church finds itself in desperate need of the discipline to prevent both individuals and nations from sliding into the abyss, it seems very few even know what Apologetics is and those that do are often contemptuously dismissive of this kind of scholastic undertaking in favor of a more pietistic or even mystical approach to the Christian faith.

In the anthology “Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses On Christian Apologetics”, Paul Copan and William Lane Craig have assembled a number of essays rallying the faithful as to why Apologetics is necessary and tackling head on a number of the greatest challenges to the Christian faith prevalent in the world today.

Renowned futurist Alvin Toffler has remarked that the changes sweeping over society are akin to waves that can be so unsettling that they leave those they have rolled over in a state of shock while leaving those still riding the crests of previous conceptual epochs dumbfounded as to how to address the changing situations around them. Particularly hard hit has been the humanities, of which the areas of study such as philosophy, religion, and thus ultimately apologetics happen to be a part. Unlike previous eras of world history in which the average individual often dealt with a limi

ted space in terms of both mental and physical geography, today even the poorest resident of the twenty-first century West finds himself bombarded constantly with opposing worldviews. These come at us in the forms of an omnipresent media establishment, the swarms of people pouring over our borders from every conceivable corner of the globe, and the shocking number of our own countrymen willing to abandon the worldview this civilization was built upon in favor of any number of alternatives that turn out to be less than solid upon closer inspection.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The confusion characterizing the spiritual scene today would not have come about unless there had been a widespread abandonment of what Francis Schaeffer termed the “Christian consensus”, what C.S. Lewis referred to as “Mere Christianity”, and what those wanting to cast the most ecumenical net possible might characterize as the Judeo-Christian belief system. G.K. Chesterton is credited with observing that the problem that arises when we abandon orthodox theology is not that we won’t believe in anything but that we will believe in anything.

The pillar or keystone of Christianity setting it apart from all other religions and philosophies is that Jesus as the only Begotten Son of God and second person of the Trinity came to earth by being born of the Virgin Mary to live the sinless life no man could, to die on the Cross as payment for our sins and to rise from the dead so that all that believe in Him might spend eternity with God in Heaven. This is what is known as the Gospel message.

All excursions into error (no matter how seemingly ancient or modern) begin as either an outright denial of or failure to recognize these fundamental truths. This can be seen in terms of both popular and academic culture.

In terms of his own theory of Apologetics, Ravi Zacharias has postulated that there is a highest refined level of philosophy that eventually filters downward to the general population in the form of mass media and entertainment. This is true of other academic humanities as well and is not a phenomena confined solely to technical philosophy.

The first decade of the twenty-first century, renowned primarily for its advances in electronic entertainment, experienced a publishing phenomena that gripped the public imagination like few things else in the form of a novel titled “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. Underlying the suspense of this thriller is the conjecture that Jesus was not divinity in human form but rather simply an outstanding human teacher no different than anyone else but elevated to godhood for political purposes at the Council of Nicea.

Provocative as those heresies might be, what really set the book off like wildfire was the assertion that among those otherwise mundane things Jesus did as an ordinary human being was to father a child by Mary Magdalene. It was through this lineage, rather than through any organizational church structure, that true Christian teaching was passed down through history through the intermarriage of Christ’s descendants with the royal houses of Europe, especially the Merovingian of France. Of these astounding claims and their alleged justifications, Charles Quarles writes in the essay “Revisionist Views About Jesus” in “Passionate Conviction”, “This fact coupled with the enormous popularity of the book and the film require thoughtful believers to respond intelligently to the claims of the Code (96).”

It seems odd that so many — both Christian and non-Christian alike — would allow a popular novel to either so shake their faith or to allow it to justify what they already believe. Quarles writes, “Those whose faith is shaken by Dan Brown’s claims lose their faith far too quickly. If they will take the time to investigate Brown’s claims, they will find that his statements about biblical and historical Christianity are a comedy of errors and lack historical evidence (108).” Thing of it is though, Christianity has been maligned and discredited for so long in the halls of higher learning that the average person thinks such radical skepticism is the default position of the open, educated mind.

By Frederick Meekins